A pastoral council is established in the parish; it is presided over by the pastor and in which the Christian faithful, together with those who share in pastoral care by virtue of their office in the parish, assist in fostering pastoral activity. “The aim of the pastoral parish council is to revive pastoral life in the parish and to provide opportunities for the sons and daughters of the parish to undertake their mission in a spirit of cooperation in order to activate pastoral work” (The Maronite Synod, Text 13, # 42). The guidelines of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles define the role of the pastoral council as to advise and cooperate with the pastor in the pastoral care of the parish. It is to provide leadership, counsel, resources, encouragement and assistance to the apostolic and spiritual development of all parishioners.
Even though the Church’s main mission is to save souls and to look after the spiritual needs of the faithful it has an obligation to properly administer the temporal goods as well. As stated in Canon 290, §1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO), the Pastor represents the Parish in all juridic matters. He is the person ultimately responsible and accountable in ordinary matters for all spiritual and financial actions of the Parish. the CCEO Canon 295 states, “In the Parish there are to be appropriate councils dealing with pastoral and economic matters, according to the norms of the particular law of its own Church sui iuris.” In the Finance Council the Christian faithful, selected according to the Code of Canon Law and by the norms issued by the Eparchial Bishop, aid the pastor in the administration of parish goods.
For over 90 years, the choir of St. George has been an integral part of the liturgy in the Maronite Rite. Throughout the years, the music has evolved but still adheres to the old Maronite Syriac tradition. Currently we have adult, youth and children choir groups. The members of the choir are all volunteers. Any parishioner is always welcome to become a part of this organization. Come be a part of our rich and beautiful liturgical heritage.
Welcoming our visitors with warmth and sincerity in our hearts and souls is our goal as Greeters at St. George. Our mission is to serve, encourage and enrich the lives of each person entering the doors of St. George Maronite Catholic Church by welcoming and supporting them in a positive, friendly, warm, loving, nurturing and spiritual manner. We serve as ambassadors of kindness, especially for all of our first time visitors and for members alike; we are an extension of the priest and act in his place welcoming all those who come to share in our Mass; we are a minister of hospitality which goes above and beyond greeting and welcoming newcomers and parishioners. We represent St. George Church, as we are the first person that you see when you come in through the doors of the church. All are welcome.
Too often ushers are considered to be “those people who take up the collection.” That is the most visible aspect of the duties of the usher, but not the most important. The primary role of usher is to provide assistance to the members of the congregation and thereby facilitate the full and active participation in the Liturgy.
The Usher – The Minister of Hospitality is a person chosen to reflect the warmth and welcome of Christ himself. Like greeters, Ushers are friendly people who are attracted to all age groups and nationalities. The Ministry of Hospitality is open to all – women and men. The faith of the Ushers enables them to see Christ’s presence in individuals and in the gathered community of believers. Ushers can handle emergency situations with courage and assurance. They carry a dignity about themselves even when performing menial tasks. Stationed at the door of the church, ushers act as hosts to warmly welcome the people of God to each Eucharistic celebration, assist in seating the congregation, support the other ministers and help in the collection.
Lector or reader is one of the ministries adapted to present day needs in the Church. A lector functions partially as the subdeacon did previously. He is appointed to read the word of God in the liturgical assembly. Accordingly he reads the lesson from Sacred Scripture, except the Gospel, in the Mass and in other sacred celebrations; presents the intentions for general intercessions when the deacon or cantor is absent; and also directs the congregation during the liturgical celebration. If necessary he also assumes the responsibility of instructing any of the faithful called upon to read the Scriptures in any liturgical celebration.
The Altar Server’s Ministry is a unique one in the Catholic Church. When Altar Servers serve the priests and deacons, they serve the people of God, and above all Christ. Altar Servers must remember that everything that they do is for the Glory of God. They do it out of love for His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. St. Ignatius of Loyola called this attitude “All for the Honor and Glory of God”. It is the motto of a heart of service.
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy, by looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times. Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary.
The Ladies Altar Society of St. George is a religious organization of women established to preserve the faith, serve the church and work together for the needs of the community. The LAS mission is to provide for the spiritual and material needs of the church, especially the altar; to provide support and service for the Pastoral Team of St. George; to enhance the spirituality of the members; to support the various Parish activities; and to foster spiritual growth of the Parish through religious activities, by personal example and by commitment to the devotion to the Blessed Mother. The Ladies Altar Society at St. George meets the 2nd Sunday of the month after the 11:00 AM.
The Holy Name Society is a religious organization of men that promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members. Members are called to contribute to the evangelization mission of the Church and to make perpetual acts of reverence and love for our Lord and Savior. The apostolate of the society is to assist in parish ministries by performing the Corporal as well as the Spiritual Works of Mercy. The Holy Name Society at St. George meets the 1st Sunday of the month at 9:30 AM.
The Maronite Young Adults (MYA) organization is a Christian life movement for a group in which its members choose to delve deeper in their catholic faith to live it with all acceptance and to spread it passionately in their daily lives. Every Christian could perform the Christian virtues without being a member of the MYA. However, the MYA puts together all the programs and tools necessary to help its members better understand these virtues and put them into practice.
To achieve these goals, the MYA does the following activities: holds masses dedicated to the MYA members, their families, and their friends, holds bible studies, holds social events, assists the needs of local parishes and the most vulnerable people in the community, holds annual MYA retreats, supports Eparchial organization and activities, and honors the Virgin Mary through praying the rosary. The MYA at St. George meets the 3rd Sunday of the month after the 11:00 AM Liturgy.
The primary purpose of this organization is to promote the spiritual welfare of its members, to strengthen youth groups in the Maronite faith, to have prayer days, to learn more about each other and to grow socially and intellectually.
Our goal is to build a community of teens and adults. In this community, we hope to strive opportunities for the development of personal faith, service to others and systematic instruction in our Maronite religious tradition. To achieve this goal, we participate in liturgies, hold annual youth retreats, assist the needs of local parishes, support eparchial organizations and activities, hold weekly meetings and prayer services, organize fundraisers for local churches, hold social events to promote American Lebanese heritage, and understand and promote the Maronite Faith. The MYO at St. George meets the 1st Sunday of the month after the 11:00 AM Liturgy.
Faith Formation Program at St. George serves youth in pre-k through 12 and their families, as well as the catechists who serve in this ministry. Our mission is to pass on the faith of our ancestors to our future generations. The Faith Formation Program strives to catechize our children through sharing the basic elements of the Maronite Catholic faith and preparation for the reception of Sacraments. This is done in a classroom setting using a variety of teaching techniques and the “Faith of the Mountain” series. Traditions and history of the Church; stories of Scripture; Prayer; and the Sacramental life of the Catholic Church are keys elements in what we teach in our program. It is here where children will receive a two year preparation program (1st and 2nd grades) for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Classes start in September and run through May on Sundays at 9:30 AM. To register, stop by the parish office and pick up a form or click here to download Faith Formation Registration Forms (PDF).
The Adult Bible Study Program is the place to help laity adults grow their faith, refresh their spirit, share their spiritual experiences, and be equipped for ministry. Interactive study and fellowship are an important part of growing in the faith. We are dedicated to the Church’s call for a new evangelization.
It’s a great opportunity to educate ourselves in the saving Truth of Jesus Christ, and thereby fulfill the Church’s call for a “New Evangelization.” We do not offer a packet of dogmas and commandments, but together we reflect on different areas of study such as church history, theology, liturgy, Bible, etc… Together we discover how to live a rich and deep life in our Catholic Faith. All are welcome to join the Adult Bible Study Program. Bible Study for adults is offered during the week.
The origin of the Lebanese cultural dance troupe can be traced back to the mid 1960’s. The entertainment group was formed as a fundraiser for “Magic is the Night”. Karen Karam (Baines), trained in classical dance, choreographed the group belly dance along with a Dabke and childrens’ group for this St. George event. To this day, the group belly dance stands as a unique example for this type of dance. A dancer among the group, Deborah Mery Fernandez, would later play a key role in establishing the Lebanese Folk Dancers of St. George.
Today, this troupe continues an exciting tradition of combining the ageless culture and charm of the Mediterranean with the energy and spirit of modern day San Antonio. Today, the dance troupe entertains at events namely, “Magic is the Night”, Lebanese Festival (Mahrajan), St. Maron’s Feast Day Hafli, the Texas State Fair, the Texas Folklife Festival and numerous other events year round.
CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) is an outreach youth sports centered around the youth of St. George Maronite community. Participation affords kids an opportunity to learn many life skills not normally available in a classroom setting. Some of these skills include social health, friendships, team work, leadership, persistence, motor skills development, team pride and much more.
CYO is an age appropriate sports league which starts as early as pre-K through the 8th grade. The sports year has sports seasons similar to our local schools. The Fall sports (August thru October) are Flag Football, Soccer (co-ed) and volleyball (girls only) and runs September thru October. The Winter sport is basketball and runs December thru January. The Spring sports are baseball and softball and runs April thru May. Player registration is one month prior to the start of a season.
Our goal is to get our kids to play together and learn friendly competition through good sportsmanship modeled by adult participants. We invite all participants, youth and adults, to share in the life of our faith community. In doing so, we strive to create a connection between those kids, their families and our church community.
The scholarship committee at St. George was established in 1994 to promote education among the youth of our parish and help them become successful contributors to society. The function of the St. George Scholarship Committee is:
- To advise the pastor in matters concerning the amount of annual awards from the Scholarship Fund, the selection of recipients of scholarship awards, the establishment of procedures for receiving and acknowledging gifts to the program, investing and allocating asset holdings of the Fund, and in establishing guidelines for the acceptance of endowments;
- To publicize the program and to seek financial contributions thereto;
- To record its actions, monitor the Fund and report regularly to the Church Council of St. George Maronite Catholic Church.
Scholarship committee members bring to the selection process the benefits of their life experience, their diverse outlooks, their local knowledge, and their human touch. We measure the heart, drive, desire, or talent, the qualities of character of the applicants as well as their commitment to the parish and their involvement in parish activities.
The Veteran’s Committee, established in 2004, honors members of the Armed Forces, past and present, from St. George Maronite Catholic Church. Equally important, we remind all parishioners of the many contributions and great sacrifices these men and women gave to our country. We do so with an annual program in November that includes a special liturgy and blessing, patriotic songs from our choir, an address by the Committee Chairman or guest and followed by a reception. The committee created and maintains the Wall of Honor that includes photographs of service members from St. George who have honorably served our country. The committee is the military advisor to the Pastor and his staff.
“It is our church and our responsibility; so make it happen, make it better, make it last” that is our motto. The goal of the grounds committee at St. George is to help maintain the grounds of the parish and keep the facilities safe, secure, and beautiful. The grounds committee oversees all activities associated with the operation, maintenance, safety and security of all buildings, grounds, furnishings and equipment owned by the church. As needed, the grounds committee assists the pastor on matters relating to the building, facilities, and grounds.
The mission of the St. George the Community Outreach Committee is to serve God by showing Christ’s ever-present love, justice, and mercy through leadership and service in local ministry and to further our commitment as a church to the community. Our purpose is to engage church members and educate them about the essentials of our faith. We promote a welcoming environment in our church to visitors and work with the pastor on developing strategies to reach out to our people, active and inactive.
The Order of St. Sharbel is a national organization with a local chapter. The Order of Saint Sharbel was named for Sharbel Makhluf (1828-1898), who was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977. Saint Sharbel was a priest of the Maronite Church in Lebanon who, following the example of Saint Maron for whom the Church is named, lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His life of holiness and dedication to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ make him an outstanding role model for priests. The Order provides financial support to seminarians of the Maronite Church in the United States.
The National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) is a nationall organization with a local chapter. Our mission is to assist our bishops, serve as a link in unifying Maronite laity in the U.S., strengthen the bond between clergy and laity. NAM helps preserve Syriac-Maronite traditions by making people aware of the rich Maronite heritage and by fostering pride in the Maronite Church. Through its many programs of service to the Maronite Church, the apostolate helps nurture interest in our spiritual, cultural and ethnic roots. For many, NAM’s most important events are its national and regional conventions, where the Maronite Faithful are gathered along with our bishops and clergy for spiritual renewal, educational growth and social and ethnic fellowship.