Directory of Parish Lay Ministries

Directory of Parish Lay Ministries

St. Margaret Parish has been blessed with a vibrant, caring congregation which has supported our many lay ministries over the years. This directory is intended for the use of our new parishioners, as well as those who have been long time members.

Our lay ministries are organized into the following 6 categories, please click on the links below to learn of the many lay ministries within each of these categories:

For added convenience we have also provided the following Lay Ministries Contact Directory which is an alphabetical list of all the parish lay ministries along with names and contact information to learn more information or to get involved.

Some of the information within this directory will change over time so please refer back to this site regularly to obtain any updated information about our lay ministries.

Each ministry described is seeking your participation and support in serving God, our parish community and our neighbors who need our spiritual and material support. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions and most important, please consider volunteering for one or more of these varied lay ministries.


Parish Administration Ministries

Finance Committee: This committee meets four times per year. Either our pastor or the business manager runs the meetings. Members have access to all materials and are able to discuss and ask questions. Note: All Committee members have financial backgrounds.

Parish Trustees: Act as advisors to the pastor as required.

Parish Council: The purpose of the Parish Council is to encourage a more prominent lay involvement in the life of the parish community, establish and serve as a medium of communication between the priests and parishioners in considering the spiritual and material needs of the parish community, cooperate with other churches and civic organizations in serving the community at large, advise and assist the pastor in the administration and development of spiritual and material matters in the parish of St. Margaret. Parish council members are elected by parishioners for a two year period.
Contact Chris Lee at

Money Counters: Following procedures set forth by the Archdiocese of Hartford, three teams, alternating weekly, count and document offertory collections. Money is counted, strapped and prepared for bank deposit.

Faith Formation Ministries

,Baptismal Preparation Classes: Conduct Baptismal Preparation Class for parents who seek to have their child receive the sacrament of Baptism. Contact the Parish Office (203) 245-7301,

Pre-School & Kindergarten Sunday School: A 16-week parish program of religious education for children ages 4 and 5 which starts in October each year and is held during the Sunday 9:30 AM Mass. Contact the Parish Office (203) 245-7301,

Faith Formation for Grades 1-8: This ministry teaches children from grades 1 through 8 about God and the Catholic faith. Students are also prepared for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Catechists are all volunteers. Contact: Coordinators, Nancy Hoban and Chris McSweeney (203) 245-7301 Ext.115,

Faith Formation for Grades 9 & 10: Confirmation Program This is a two year program for students preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. They meet at the Parish Center for classes on Sunday evenings twice a month. Contact: Coordinators Ed & Joanne Arrandale (203) 245-7301, Ext.108

Inter-Parish Catholic Elementary School: East Shoreline Catholic Elementary School is co-sponsored by St. Margaret Parish, St. George Parish,Guilford and St. John Bosco, Branford. A STREAM Model and Successor School of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Mary Schools, East Shoreline Catholic Academy (ESCA) is a ‘think forward’ school that places high priority on educator training, learning, leadership, and 21st century skill applications. We guide our children’s developing relationship with God in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic faith and provide a rigorous learning environment that fosters academic excellence.
Contact: Cheryl Panzo, Principal at (203) 488-8386.

Adult Faith Formation: The Adult Faith Formation Ministry consists of a continuing series of classes and events on a variety of topics related to the tenants and practices of our Catholic faith and the living out of that faith in our daily lives. Contact: Kevin Johnson (203) 245-1663,

Bible Study Groups: The morning group meets at the Parish Center on Mondays at 10:45 AM for one and a half hours, and studies various books of the Bible. Contact Lauri Sturwold (203) 245-7301 Ext.107,
The evening session has regular meetings at the Parish Center Wed. from 7:30pm to about 8:30pm. Meetings are held from Sept. through May or June. Meetings include a Hebrew scripture reading, a song to fit the theme or day, and a prayer session. Members choose a book in the Bible to study, and follow prepared discussion points. Contact Alan Steines (203) 421-4989,

The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study Program is designed in such a way that anyone can make sense of the Bible and experience the life-changing power of God’s Word. Various programs are offered focusing on specific themes and time periods within the Bible.
Contact: Cosette Heimann (860) 338-3076,

PreCana: A combined ministry with St. George Parish open to all engaged couples in the diocese. Three marriage preparation sessions of 5 hours each are held per year. Our Mission is “To provide a variety of key tools to insure a healthy, God-centered, committed partnership in marriage.” Contact Edward & Joanne Arrandale (203) 318-8590,

Walking with Purpose: a Catholic women’s ministry that develops Bible studies to reach adult women, young adult women, and girls. Our Bible studies:
present practical Biblical teachings consistent with Church doctrine; Vary in length and depth to meet the needs of different women; Utilize the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an additional resource; Have received the imprimatur from Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore.
Walking with Purpose supports the use of our Bible studies in a variety of ways in order to lead hearts to Christ where He is found in Scripture.

For information, please email:

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults – RCIA: The process for initiation into the Catholic Church for those adults who have not been baptized, have been baptized in a different Christian tradition, or who have not received the sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation. Contact the parish office at (203) 245-7301.


Pastoral Ministries

Caregiver Support Group: A Christian based spiritual support group for caregivers who provide care for an elderly parent, spouse, child, relative, friend or neighbor who needs extra care. The group meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the Parish Center of Saint Mary Church in Branford from
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM.
Contact Deacon Adam Michaele 203-530-4466,

Spiritual Wellness Ministry: A Christian based spiritual support group for those who feel anxious, depressed, stressed or isolated. The group usually meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from September through June at the Deacon Ruiz Center at Saint George Church in Guilford from 2:00 PM –3:30 PM.
Contact Deacon Adam Michaele 203-530-4466:

Rosary at St. Margaret Church: The Holy Rosary is recited Monday-Friday at 7:20 AM. On Saturdays recitation of the Rosary and special prayers begins at 7:20 AM.
Statues of Our Blessed Mother Visitation Program: Three statues of our Blessed Mother are available for one week visitations to you and your families to inspire devotion. One is a traveling version of Our Lady of Fatima which includes the Rosary and documents which will help you understand the importance of the Rosary and how to pray it well. The other two are statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Grace.
Contact Dianne Coyle 203-421-1196,

First Saturday of Reparation: As authorized by the World Apostolate of Fatima, this group meets in the church on the First Saturdays of each month to pray the Rosary and other prayers in reparation for our sins, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.
Contact Dianne Coyle 203-421-1196,

Prayer Line: The St. Margaret Prayer Line Ministry consists of parish volunteers who pray on behalf of people who submit their requested intentions via phone call or e-mail. Ministry leaders distribute the requests to the Prayer Line volunteers who pray for the intention.
Contact: Bernadette Niedermeier at 203-980-0570 or e-mail

Prayer Cenacle for Priests: On the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, a group of parishioners meets at Paul and Maria Prete’s home to pray for all catholic priests.
Contact Paul and Maria Prete 203-245-7172

Liturgical Ministries

Altar Servers
* Weekdays: Adults who serve at weekday Masses.
* Weekends: Young people in Grade 4 and older who serve at weekend Masses.

Contact the Parish Office (203) 245-7301,

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
*Distribute Holy Communion at Weekend Masses
*Distribute Holy Communion at local convalescent homes
*Distribute Holy Communion to homebound parishioners
*Distribute Holy Communion at daily Masses
Contact Kelsey Fuchs at 

Lectors: Members of the parish who proclaim scriptural passages and lead the congregation in prayers at weekend and weekday Masses.
Contact Tom Keogh 860.463.5490 ,

Ushers and Greeters: Ushers greet and assist parishioners and are responsible for the proper and orderly collection of the offertory money at all weekend Masses.
Contact Ed Del Monte 203-421-4479

Monthly Family Masses: These are held once per month at 9:30 AM Sunday Mass from September to May. All parish families are incited to participate in various parts of the service, such as bringing gifts to the altar, reading from scripture and greeting parishioners.
Contact Chris McSweeney and Nancy Hoban (203) 245-7301 ext.115 or

Eucharistic Adoration: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, for adoration, is offered on the first and third Thursday of every month. Adoration begins immediately following the 7:45 AM Mass and ends at 7:15 PM after Benediction.
Contact Dianne Coyle at

Music Ministries

Cantors sing the responsorial psalms and lead the parish in singing hymns and Mass parts. It is not necessary to sing every week. A brief meeting and audition are required.
Contemporary Choir Sings at 9:30 AM Mass on Sundays. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM in the church. Audio recordings of voice parts are made available for learning music.
Instrumentalists: A talented group who play at Mass on a regular basis and accompany various parish choirs.
Youth Choir: This group sings at the 9:30 AM Faith Formation Children’s Mass once a month and at the Christmas Eve Mass. Children in third grade and above are invited to come and sing. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays at 6:15 PM in the church.
Resurrection Choir provides an important ministry by singing for funerals and memorial Masses. Those who enjoy singing and are available during the week are invited to join.
Traditional Choir sings at the 11:00 AM Mass on Sundays. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM in the church. Audio recordings of voice parts are made available for learning music.
Women’s Ensemble: This choir is an auditioned group of singers. Ability to read and learn music quickly, sing in tune and blend well with other voices is required. This group sings once a month at Mass and sings a wide variety of styles from chant and Latin models to contemporary music.
Contact Elizabeth Stone 203-245-7301 Ext. 110

Community Building & Outreach  Ministries

Addiction Parent Support Group:these meetings are open to any parent of a child with substance use disorder, mental illness and co-occurring disorders. There is no program or group affiliation required to attend. We strive to support and listen to each others stories and needs and to help each other recover and become stronger in our journey. We ask only that what is heard in the meetings stays in the meetings! It is a safe, loving, and confidential place to share our experiences.
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6:30 PM in the Faith Formation Room on the first floor of the parish center.
Christina at (203) 395-5220.

Afternoon Book Group: meets every other week on Tuesday afternoons to discuss a selected book of relative and redemptice nature. Contact: Laurel Ann Carta at

Bi-Annual Food Drives: Two food drives are conducted on: Thanksgiving and Easter. All donations go to the Food Pantry, operated by Madison Community Services and Little Miracles.

Bridge Group: Meets at the Parish Center every Tuesday from 1:00-3:00 PM.
Contact: Laurel Cavanagh
 (203) 421-5344,

Family to Family Gift Sharing: St Martin De Pores Church: For the past 37 years St. Margaret parishioners, have worked with ministries at St Martin’s to insure families in need have Christmas presents. Each year approximately 160 families have gifts on Christmas morning because of the generosity of this program. Started and shepherded by John McDonald, the program is now facilitated by Helen and Tom Burland, Elizabeth and Art DeCillis, Julie and Hugh O’Toole. Family profiles are available the 3rd week of November and gifts should be dropped off the 2nd weekend in December.
Contact: Tom and Helen Burland (203) 245-0153

Family to Family Gift Sharing: All Saints Catholic Academy (formerly St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima School): St. Margaret Parish has had a very long standing holiday sharing program with students at the merged St. Francis and St. Rose Elementary School in Fair Haven. Our parishioners “adopt” a family and provide gifts for this family for their celebration of the Epiphany on January 6th.
Contact Michael and Connie Piccione 203-245-3622

Helping Hands Ministry: Helping Hands is a volunteer-driven ministry of the Knights of Columbus. This ministry provides free “handyman” services to our local neighbors in need. Yard clean-up, snow removal, dump runs and other minor maintenance work (even simply changing a light bulb) to help keep your home safe and comfortable. Last minute errands and/or transportation to appointments will also be considered based on availability and distance. No job is too small. For information, or if you need our help, please contact Justin Murphy at (203) 952-8752 or

Highschool Youth Ministry/SMYLE Youth Group: St. Margaret Youth Leadership Enterprise is open to all parish high school students for educational, spiritual, social and service opportunities.
Marie Mozzi at

Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council: Catholic laymen who do a variety of good works in support of our parish and our community; raising money to support VISTA and SARAH; working with Habitat for Humanity; raising money for scholarships for students entering Catholic high schools and colleges; supporting the Madison Food Pantry and Operation American Soldier.
Contact: Francis Connelly, Grand Knight at

Library Committee: members oversee the organization and visitility of the parish library located in the Church Hall. Parishioners are welcome to utilize this space and borrow any of the great variety of books.

Contact: Laurel Ann Carta at

Little Miracles: Little Miracles is a respect life volunteer Christian ministry dedicated to the care of families and/or single parents with children up to the age of five years old. We provide material support for those we serve with the goal of helping our clients achieve a stable family life.
Contact: Barbara Ciotti at and Valerie Leschane at (203) 314-5677.

Ministry for the Homeless & Less Fortunate of New Haven:
Toiletries are collected on a weekly basis in the usher’s closet. These are distributed to shelters and to those of low income through a larger, long standing ministry at St. George Church in Guilford.
Contact: Michael & Connie Piccione 203-245-3622

Monthly Soup and Tuna Drive: Monthly soup and tuna collections are held at the church on the first weekend of each month. The donations are brought to the Madison Food Pantry and Little Miracles.

Women’s Fellowship: The purpose of St. Margaret Women’s Fellowship is to promote the spiritual welfare of the women of St. Margaret Parish through religious, educational, social and fraternal activities. Membership is open to all women of the parish. The Fellowship holds monthly general membership meetings planned to enlighten, entertain and promote friendship among the members. Our Fellowship supports parish events and conducts outreach activities. For information, please email: