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Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
14 Phoenix Street, P.O. Box 595
Shirley, Massachusetts 01464-0595

Now God gives us many kinds of special abilities, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service to God, but it is the same Lord we are serving.  There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is the same God that does the work in and through all of us who are his.  The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

For the ongoing life of our parish we need your time, talent and treasure. In donating just a couple hours a month to the church, you are setting an example for the children of the parish and ultimately strengthening a church community. 

Please consider volunteering for our parish ministry opportunities.
Click here to signup.

Your talent is God’s gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift to God.  Each of the ministries has different time commitments, which change upon the needs of the parish.  For all Ministries, unless noted, please contact the parish office at or call 978-425-4588.


Altar Servers
An altar server assists the priest during Mass by participating in the entrance procession, presentation of the gifts, setting the altar as well as holding the prayer books.  They serve during weekend and Holy Week liturgies.  This ministry is open to anyone in grades 4 and above who has received First Eucharist.  Altar servers must complete a course of instruction.

A cantor serves the assembly by leading sacred songs, the responsorial psalm and Mass parts.  Cantors must have a good singing voice and the willingness to sing in front of an assembly. 

The choir serves by leading, supporting, enriching the assembly’s sung prayer.  The choir sings at the 11:15 am Sunday Mass, as well as Holy Week observances and liturgical celebrations.  The choir strives to reach beyond the parish by using sacred music to evangelize and to share their gifts with others.  Singers and instrumentalists interested in sharing their talents are encouraged to join.  Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:00pm in the church.  Contact Barbra Nole at

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
This ministry allows parishioners to assist in the distribution of the Holy Communion at Mass.  In addition, some ministers visit and bring the Eucharist to parishioners who are homebound or unable to attend Mass.  Ministers must complete a course of instruction, and must have received Confirmation. 

They welcome parishioners and visitors gathering for worship at weekend Masses and liturgical celebrations, offering assistance, helping them to feel at home and introducing new parishioners to others. 

They proclaim the Scriptures during Mass.  They devote time and preparation to understanding the Word of God so that all may hear and be open to God transforming their lives.  Lectors require very good reading skills.  They must complete a course of instruction and must have received Confirmation. 

The sacristans are responsible for setting the credence table (gifts) before Mass, preparing the altar for Mass, and washing and taking care of the Sacred Linens and Vessels after Mass.  .

The ushers assist in maintaining the orderly movement and seating of the assembly before and during liturgies.  They also collect the weekly offering. 


Church Cleaning Crew
Every month a different cleaning crew assumes the responsibility of cleaning the church on a weekly basis.  This ministry is an excellent way for families to volunteer together.  All ages are welcome to participate.  

Holy Name Society
The Holy Name Society was founded under the guidance of the Dominican Order, in 1274, to spread devotion to the Holy Names of God and of Jesus Christ.  One of the prime objects of the Society is to impart to Christian men courage in the profession of their faith.  Young men are encouraged to join after they have received Confirmation.  Membership is open to all men of the parish. 

Post-Baptismal Outreach
The purpose of this ministry is to offer support and connection with the parish to the parents of the newly baptized.  Contact Sonia Razzetti at

Religious Education
Religious Education of the young is very important for the growth of the Church.  Classes begin when a child is in Kindergarten and end with the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Volunteering to become a Teacher, Aide, or Substitute will help in the passing of the faith to the next generation.    Contact Donna Vaira at or call 978-772-7474.

Visit the Homebound
As in any church community there are parishioners who are unable to attend Mass due to health concerns.  A visit from a fellow parishioner, to talk and bring friendship into the home, is what they might need in their healing process.  As a volunteer you will be called on an individual basis. 

Visit Hospitals or Nursing Homes
This ministry will bring a presence to our sick and elderly parishioners.  The Eucharist will also be offered for those who wish to receive.  Training will be given prior to assuming this ministry. 

Welcome Committee
This committee welcomes people who are new in the town or new parishioners at St. Anthony of Padua.  They provide information about parish life and help new parishioners become active members of the church community.  Contact S. Joan Guertin at or call 978-772-2414.

Youth Group
This group offers fun, faith, and friendship for 7th through 10th graders, usually with a little food added to keep our engines going! Future projects include service days in the local area and an annual mission trip.  The 7th & 8th grades meet on the First Saturday of the month. The 9th & 10th grades meet on the Second Saturday of the month. All meetings are from 7:00 P.M to 9:00P.M., at St. Mary Parish Hall, Ayer.  Contact Joe Leone at


Advent Retreat 
This is two evenings of prayer, presentation, reflection and sharing on Advent themes.

Lenten Retreat
This is three evenings of prayer, presentation, reflection and sharing on Lenten themes.

Men’s Prayer and Sharing Group
This group of men gathers on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month from 7:30 – 9:00 pm at St. Anthony’s Church to pray together and share with each other. 

Prayer Line
The prayer line is a group of parishioners who pray at home for those in need of healing and prayers. 

Silent Eucharistic Adoration
Every Wednesday evening all parishioners are invited to attend a quiet hour with Christ.  The Adoration is at St. Anthony of Padua in Shirley on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays of the month.  The adoration is at St. Mary on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. 

Theology on Tap
Is an invitation for curious Catholics to explore how faith in Christ can speak to their circumstances.  This is accomplished through gatherings which include a presentation by a well-informed and dynamic speaker and time for questions and answers.  The group meets the third Monday of the month September through April at the Nashoba Club Restaurant in Ayer, MA. Contact Julie Murray at

“Why Catholic? Journey Through the Catechism
Illuminates our understanding of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and explores what we believe, how, through the eyes of our Catholic faith, we see the world, how we see ourselves, and how we regard our purpose in life.  Small faith-sharing groups meet once a week for six weeks in the fall and during Lent.  Contact S. Joan Guertin at or call 978-772-2414.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Adults and older teens are invited to learn about and explore the Roman Catholic faith. This is a journey where the participants are introduced to the foundations of the faith through study and discussion with the directors and others on the journey.  The goal of the RCIA process is to provide the participant with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about joining the Catholic Church as an adult.  Participants may be non-Catholic or Catholics who have not completed their formation.  Leaders simply need to be people of faith who have a good understanding of the Catholic faith.  Contact Kathy and Bob Eldredge at


Bazaar Committee
The Bazaar is held on the first Friday and Saturday of August and is a major fundraiser for the parish and a major social event for the town of Shirley.  There is a lobster or clam dinner offered on Friday evenings, a BBQ chicken dinner on Saturday evening and a host of other yummy foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs, fish chowder, and chili.  There are booths with games to play, a dunking booth, a White Elephant section, raffles, and many other fun things to do. 

Christmas Extravaganza
This is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.   Do a little Christmas shopping in the White Elephant sale.  Know someone who’d love a new toy or game?  We’ve got some of those, too!  Enjoy the companionship of others while also tasting and purchasing refreshments of the season.  

Dinner and Ham Raffle
This event is sponsored by the Holy Name Society, working with the youth of the parish, and is held on the Saturday before Palm Sunday every year.  A delicious dinner is served and then the wheel begins to spin.  You can win Easter hams, chocolate bunnies, Easter lilies, and many other Easter related items. 

Easter Egg Hunt
A St. Anthony’s tradition held at 10:45am on Easter Sunday in Whitely Park.  It is hosted by St. Anthony’s Confirmation students.  Contact Donna Vaira at or call 978-772-7474.


Finance Council
The Finance Council assists the pastor in making financial decisions and preparing an annual budget for the parish by conducting long range and fiscal plans.  It provides advice to the pastor regarding investments, fundraising and cost-saving measures.  This board meets to compare and analyze variances of actual spending to the budget and to discuss future plans such as capital projects.  

Parish Pastoral Council
The role of the parish council is to maintain the integrity of the parish mission and to establish and monitor the goals and objectives that promote the mission through ongoing pastoral planning.  As a leadership body selected from the parish, the council serves as an advisory body to the pastor. 




What have you done today to make the Church Holy?

What have you done today to make the Church Welcoming?

 Please consider volunteering 
with our parish ministry opportunities.
Click here to signup.


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