Be doers of the word and not hearers only. - Letter of James 1:22


Ministry Schedules

Please login to the Ministry Scheduling Web Terminal to manage your online profile, request a substitute, and review your service schedule for the month. 

Parish Ministries, Committees and Organizations

The Parish of St. James comprises a vibrant and dynamic community of families that offers a wide variety of activities and ministries designed to support and foster the faith life of its members.

Below you will find a comprehensive listing of those offerings, along with a brief description and contact information for each. If you have questions or would like further details, please feel free to contact the noted individual(s).

Altar Servers

Boys and girls of the parish who have reached the fourth grade are invited to participate in the altar servers ministry. As one of the truest expressions of service to others, altar servers assist the priests at weekend liturgies as well as weddings and other special services throughout the year, providing an opportunity to grow in their relationship with our God. Adult coordinators offer ongoing training for beginners and experienced servers.

Contact: Peter Morelli
Where/When: Weekend liturgies and special services year-round.

Baptism Ministry

The baptism of a child is surely the most significant moment in the life of the family. The priests and deacons of the parish offer bi-monthly classes designed to educate new parents on their responsibilities for the faith life of the child. Members of the Baptism ministry are also present at the meetings, often sharing their own experiences and perspectives on Catholic parenthood. Host couples from the Ministry attend the baptisms and actively assist the presider as well as the families throughout the ceremony.

Contact: Mary and Charles Arasi at or 
Where/When: Instructional meetings for parents are held in the Parish Center on a bi-monthly basis. Baptisms are held on the first and third Sundays of the month at 1pm.

Blood Drive

Blood drive volunteers play an important role in supporting the valuable work of Long Island Blood Services. Volunteers contact potential donors for appointments and help at the drive as escorts for donors, canteen volunteers and receptionists. Their hard work has enabled our parishioners to donate close to one hundreds pints per drive year after year. Each donation helps up to five patients. It is truly an extraordinary and selfless act to donate; don't miss out on the next opportunity.

Contact: John Dahl at (631) 474-1937 or 
Where/When: March, June and November of each year in the Parish Center.

Catholic Ministries Appeal

In March of each year, the Diocese of Rockville Centre initiates its annual appeal. The appeal affords an opportunity for members in each of the 133 parishes in the diocese to pledge financial support for essential programs and services across Long Island. Some of those programs include food programs for senior citizens and low-income families, hospital ministry to over 325,000 people each year, Catholic Diversity Initiatives, faith formation and the education/formation of priests and deacons in the diocese.

Each parish is assigned a quota, or goal, that they are asked to meet; those that reach their goal receive 20% back from the diocese. Any parish that exceeds its quota in completed (paid in full) pledges will receive 80% of that amount. These monies are then utilized at the parish level to support outreach programs, develop special programs for the community or to help maintain parish buildings.

Contact: Bob Freaso at: or 631.689.5480
Where/When: Annually in March; call or email for details

Christ in the Marketplace

Christ in the Marketplace is a friendly group of men who meet twice a month on Wednesday for lunch at 1 PM. Many are retired but that is not a requirement to join. They discuss all topics except for politics. Join this lively group for good food and good conversation!

Contact:  Jack Herr at (631) 766-3081

Ministry of Consolation

The death of a loved one is certainly one of the most difficult things we must endure. Members of the Ministry of Consolation help to alleviate the burden on surviving family members in the days immediately surrounding the loss. While each family is unique in its needs, the responsibilities of ministry members generally include joining the priest when he meets with the family to start planning the funeral liturgy and attending one session of the wake. On the day of the funeral, multiple members of the ministry are present to assist both the presider and the family in a variety of roles. As an expression of sympathy from the entire St. James community, a baker in the ministry will also provide a home-made baked good, which is given to the family on the day of the funeral.

Contact: Carol Simco at (631) 941-4141 or 
Where/When: Meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month at 9:30 in the Parish Center.

CYO Basketball and Volleyball

The St. James Parish chapter of CYO supports the worldwide mission of the organization to provide young Catholics with a foundation built on Catholic values. Girls and boys in grades 4-12 learn sportsmanship and team concepts along with skills related to basketball and volleyball as they develop their self-esteem. Teams play competitively alongside those from other parishes on Long Island.

Contact: John Case (basketball) at (631) 689.5113 or Mike Specht (volleyball) at (631) 897.6594 or For more information please visit the CYO home page.

Where/When: Girls' basketball season runs September through January, and Boys' season runs October through March, in the Parish Center and at other Parishes. Girls volleyball runs January through May.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are lay ministers from the parish community who have attended formal trainings required by the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  Once a minister has received his/her commission from the diocese, additional training regarding local (parish) protocols and practices is provided. Assisting in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Our Lord during mass is a privilege that ought to fill the hearts of the minister and communicant alike with joy.  Ministers should have a naturally welcoming and pleasant demeanor that will invite members of the congregation to comfortably approach them to receive communion.

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion also assist in the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Contact: Kathy Brown at (631) 828-5264 or 
Where/When: Weekly Liturgy as well as special services throughout the year. DRVC training is offered twice yearly; ongoing support and local training provided by experienced ministers at the parish throughout the year.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion - Homebound

The Diocese of Rockville Centre requires additional training (Part B) for those ministers who are interested in serving as ministers to the homebound or to those who are otherwise confined to hospitals, nursing homes and similar facilities. If you have completed Part A and would like to expand your ministry to include those unable to attend mass, please contact Kathy Brown to register for the next available Part B DRVC training.

If you are a commissioned minister who has successfully completed Parts A and B of the diocesan training and would like to serve our parish family by bringing the Eucharist to the homebound, please contact Joan Murray at (631) 941-4141. Similarly, if you are a parishioner and would like to arrange to have the Eucharist brought to you or a family member, please contact Joan as noted.

Contact: Rectory Office 
Where/When: Parishioner's home by appointment

Facility Committee

The parish facility committee is an ad hoc group overseen by the pastor and parish business manager whose responsibility it is to review use of parish facilities by various ministries as well as outside organizations.  The committee also determines any/all fees associated with such use.

Contact: Fr. Robert (631) 941-4141 
Where/When: As needed.

Faith Formation

True catechesis leads people to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and moves them to continuing conversion. In the religious education program we accomplish this by trying to bring the gospel to life through weekly instruction, large group offerings and family involvement. Our first year is a parent/child program with regular parent meetings held throughout the year. We also offer a unique family-based program for families who have been unable to go through the formal religious education program. Website:

Contact: Louise DiCarlo at (631) 751-7287 
Where/When: Call contact for details.

Fertility Care Services

Contact: Helen McCarthy, R. Ph, Pharm D, CFCPI ( or 631.455.4137

Ministers of Hospitality (Ushers)

Our Ministers of Hospitality, (previously known as “ushers”), provide an invaluable service to the parish community. By their presence at our weekend liturgies, these men and women offer a welcoming attitude while ensuring the comfort of attendees and providing an atmosphere that is conducive to participation in and appreciation of the liturgy. Ministers of Hospitality also organize the procession for the presentation of the gifts during the liturgy, are available to help anyone in need, and assist in the collection of alms from the congregation. Members of this ministry are also responsible for ensuring that the church itself is left in good order after each liturgy.

Contact: Bob Freaso or 631.689.5480
Where/When: All weekend liturgies and special occasions throughout the year

Informed and Involved Catholics for Freedom of Religion

The formation of this group is a response to the request by Bishop Murphy and Cardinal Dolan for the laity to get involved in defending and preserving our 1st Amendment Right of Freedom of Religion. This first Amendment guarantees its citizens 5 freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

In addition to our monthly meetings, we sponsor and participate in various events such as lectures with guest speakers, movie nights, rallies, speech/essay contests, parades and prayer services. This organization is non-partisan and welcomes people of all faiths to get involved in one or more of its various committee; Education, Prayer, Legislation, Recruitment, Media and Hospitality.

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is a worldwide Catholic men’s organization established in 1882 to provide a means by which Catholic men could support the Church at large. With nearly 1.8 million members, it is the largest Catholic lay organization in the world today.

St. James Parish is fortunate to have the Mother Theresa Council of the Knights as one of our many ministries and organizations. With a philosophy of service to others at its heart, the Council has successfully organized numerous fundraising efforts that have served to benefit the parish as well as the community at large, including Teddy Bears for Kids, and support and care for Rachel’s Stone in the parish cemetery. The Knights also organize three annual blood drives at the parish, held in the Parish Center in March, June and November. In advance of each drive, members schedule appointments for donors then serve in a variety of supportive roles on the day(s) of the drive(s).

Contact: Jack Simpson
Where/When: Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 7:30 pm in the Parish Center. The meetings on the second Wednesday are business meetings open only to members of the Council. The meetings on the fourth Wednesday are social and open to all practicing Catholic men over the age of 18.


Music Ministry

Throughout the centuries the church has fostered the incorporation of music in its liturgical prayer. This is still true today: the reform of the Roman liturgy and the recovery of the principle of full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations have signaled the need for creative efforts in musical composition involving assemblies, cantors, choirs, instrumentalists and organists to lead the musical prayer of the church.

The Parish of St. James offers a variety of opportunities for parishioners of every age and musical interest to participate in our liturgies through the gift of voice or playing of a musical instrumental. Voice opportunities include membership in the children’s, youth, or adult choirs as well as cantoring during our celebrations while instrumentalists provide an added dimension to our prayer.

Ability to read musical notation helpful, but not required.

Contact: Miriam Salerno at (516) 263-5173 or 
Where/When: Weekend liturgies and special occasions throughout the year as well as weekly rehearsals.
Note: Couples who are to be married at St. James are welcome to email Miriam Salerno, co-director of the Music Ministry, one month prior to the wedding to discuss your musical selections. Kindly use the notation “wedding” along with the wedding date, in the subject line of your email to:

Nocturnal Adoration Society

Noctural adoration is a long-standing tradition among Roman Catholics that provides participants with a unique opportunity to spend an hour with the Lord through the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Society meets in the church on the first Friday of every month from 8:00 - 9:00 pm.  Open to all parishioners, the service includes communal prayer and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament, with special focus on the needs of the parish, Church and world at-large. A period of private meditation is provided from 7:45 - 8:00 pm.

Contact: Eric Waxman at (631) 689-5759 or 
Where/When: First Friday of each month from 8:00 to 9:00 pm in the church

Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

Each Sunday afternoon, dinner is provided to whoever is in need (sit down or take home), by volunteers working on a rotating schedule. Although housed at St. James Parish, the group itself comprises of participants from various organizations and community faith based groups.

Volunteers in this organization serve in a variety of ways, including food planning, cooking, serving and cleanup, as well as giving out bags of food from the pantry, and clothing distribution.

Contact: Kathy Vaeth (631) 941-4141 x313 or
Where/When:  Sundays 2:00pm – 3:00pm in the church basement


Parish Finance Committee

The Parish Finance Committee is comprised of the pastor, the parish business manager, two parish trustees and additional parishioners with expertise in the fields of accounting and finance. Its purpose is advisory in nature, serving to support and advise the pastor on matters pertaining to the financial well-being of the parish. Members:

Mr. Edward Gutleber, Chair; Mr. Todd Bradshaw (Business Manager); Mrs. Theresa Ellner (Financial Manager);  Mr. Robert Freaso, (Parish Trustee); Mark Geraci; Mr. Thomas Powers (Parish Trustee); Mr. Matthew Berger; Mr. Christopher McGeever; Mrs. Judi Wallace

Where/When: Meets as needed

Parish Outreach

The responsibilities of the Parish Outreach office are far-reaching, assisting those in the parish who may find themselves in need of food, clothing, financial assistance or other parish resources. With a goal of empowering those in need of a helping hand, Outreach endeavors to provide advocates and connections with other community service organizations as needed.

Contact: Kathy Vaeth at (631) 941-4141 (ext. 333) or 
Where/When: Meets as needed by community members

Pastoral Council

The Pastoral Council, together "with the pastor and those who also share in the pastoral care of the parish, give help in fostering pastoral activity" (Canon 536). The Council is a consultative and advisory body. Its primary concerns are evaluating parish needs and forming long- and short-range parish goals in light of the parish mission and vision. Priorities are formed by gathering necessary information through dialogue with parish members. Members: Mr. Thomas Hayes, Mrs. Josephine Prokop, Mr. Michael Vaeth, Mr. Fred Sawicki, Mrs. Roni Groth and Mrs. Judi Wallace.


Where/When: As needed

Peace & Justice Committee

The St. James Parish Peace and Justice Committee is a group of parishioners concerned with the dissemination and modeling of Catholic social teachings and practices. The group has previously participated in events that address world hunger, prison reform, militarism, racism and the disparity of wealth in the world. Discussions have also included the often conflicting roles we experience as practicing Catholic Christians living in a secular society.

Contact: Bob Becherer at (631) 751-3525 
Where/When: Second Wednesday of the month (except July and August) from 7:30 - 9:00 pm in Room 106 of the Parish Center.


The well-known Catholic marriage preparation course is required of all engaged couples that wish to be married in the Catholic Church. Offered at St. James Parish annually in a weekend format, the Pre-Cana program introduces a variety of topics and challenges often faced by married couples. While group participation is encouraged, the focus of the program is on open and honest communication between a couple as they explore their relationship as well as their relationship with God.  Under the guidance of a priest, the program is facilitated by two married couples, who share their experiences and offer firsthand examples of what it means to live as a married Catholic couple.

Contact: Ken & Deb McKenna 516-375-0348
Where/When: once a year at the parish.

Proclaimers of the Word

Proclaimers of the Word of God are members of the parish family who have responded to God’s call to serve in one of the oldest ministries of the Church.  The role of the proclaimer is not simply to read the printed word aloud, but to deliver the reading in such a way that it invites the listener to embrace the Word of God. Proclaimers generally serve on a rotating basis, at one mass per month, with consideration given to individual mass preferences. All proclaimers are provided with a workbook as well as ongoing training, education and support as needed. Meetings are held twice annually,(Spring and Fall) providing an opportunity for members to gather together and review local protocols.

The “model” for the proclaimers ministry at St. James Parish is for two proclaimers to be present, to proclaim the Old and New Testament readings at each weekend liturgy as well as on Holy Days of Obligation and other special occasions throughout the year.

Contact: Peggie McHugh/Eletto (631) 821-3384  or
Where/When: Weekend liturgies, Holy Days of Obligation and other special occasions

Respect Life Committee

With a goal to promote and defend the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, the Respect Life Committee works to encourage and strengthen life-affirming attitudes throughout the parish and local community. Members offer support of these beliefs as well as public witness through prayer, peaceful protest, education and legislative action; particular support is provided to women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.

Contact: Eric Waxman at (631) 689-9759 or 
Where/When: First Sunday of the month in the church basement after 6:00 pm mass

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), adults who expressed a desire to join the Catholic Church were generally provided with private instruction, received the sacraments and were quietly slipped into the fold. Fortunately this is no longer the case. With a wish to return to early Christian practices, Rome subsequently restored and mandated the ancient practices of initiation, which include stages of prayer, study and reflection, marked by liturgical celebrations and witnessed by the faith community. The faith journey is a true conversion process, involving the whole life of the candidate as well as the whole life of the Church.

The desire to be initiated into the Catholic faith is a deeply personal one. After consultation with the director and RCIA team, candidates may be invited to participate in the next scheduled group, which generally commences in September each year. Please call for additional important details regarding the process.

Contact: Fr. Robert at (631) 941-4141 
Where/When: Meetings/classes are held on Sunday mornings

Rosary Altar Society

The Rosary Altar Society is an organization that primarily promotes devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary. This goal is achieved through a variety of ways, the most important of which is the regular recitation of the Rosary at 12:00 pm in the church on the first Tuesday of the month (or at 12:30 pm on the Tuesdays that fall in the Season of Lent). Members of the Society also maintain a long-standing tradition of caring for the altar and sacred linens used during our celebration of the liturgy.

The Society offers a number of social opportunities throughout the year such as a Communion Breakfast, Christmas luncheon, a spiritual retreat and the crowning of the Blessed Mother. Monthly meetings include recitation of the Rosary, as well as a number of informative guest speakers throughout the year. Meetings always conclude with refreshments and conversation. New members are welcome to join at any time during the year.

Contact: Patricia Raptoulis at (631) 473-3561 
Where/When: First Tuesday of the month (except January, July and August) in the church and Parish Center room 101/102.

Rosary Makers

A guild member of the international organization of Our Lady’s Rosary Makers International, the Rosary Makers ministry at St. James Parish continues to foster the beauty and importance of the recitation of the Rosary as a sign of our devotion to Our Lady. With affordable supplies provided by the umbrella organization in Kentucky, members make Rosaries that are distributed to chaplains at local hospitals and to a number of other parish ministries. In addition, Rosaries are provided to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith who then disperse them to missionaries for use in their work around the world.

Contact: Mary DiBenedetto at (631) 331-2747 
Where/When: Tuesdays, Room 105 in the Parish Center

Shalom Interfaith Project

An adjunct to the Parish Outreach office, the Shalom Interfaith Project was formed in 1995 to assist community members with serious needs. Applicants for assistance are screened by social workers trained to offer support and find solutions. Member congregations include the following: Christ Church Episcopal, First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson, Little Portion Friary, Society of St. Francis (Episcopal), Mt. Sinai Congregational United Church of Christ, North Shore Jewish Center, St. Paul’s Lutheran (ELCA), Setauket Presbyterian Church, Setauket United Methodist Church, Temple Isaiah and United Universalist Fellowship of Stony Brook.

Contact: Kathy Vaeth at (631) 941-4141 (ext. 333) or 
Where/When: Call contact for details.

Ministry to Families with Special Needs

Families who have members with special needs or developmental disabilities often find it difficult to attend weekly Mass together. We are pleased to provide an opportunity for families to experience and celebrate God’s presence in their lives at a special Mass held on the second Saturday of the month during the school year at 1 pm in the church.

Please be sure to follow updates to this scheduled in the weekly parish bulletin.

The ministry strives to be inclusive in its approach, inviting those with special needs to fill liturgical roles such as proclaimer, and bringing the bread and wine forward during the offertory procession.

Refreshments and fellowship immediately follow Mass, in Smith Hall (church lower level)

Contact: Eric Waxman at
Where/When:  Second Saturday of each month during the school year at 1:00 p.m. in the church.

St. Vincent de Paul Society

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide organization of caring men and women who endeavor to grow spiritually by providing a personal, one to one service to those in need. SVDP provides a safe, secure environment where they work with clients to assess their most urgent needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. Contributions to the SVDP clothing bins and poor boxes at the church provide much needed financial support to the organization allowing them to continue the important work of serving the poor among us.

Contact: 631-482-7837
Where/When: As needed

Wedding Facilitator

Members of the Wedding Facilitator Ministry are volunteers who strive to ensure that weddings run smoothly for all involved. Ministers are responsible for running the wedding rehearsals, working with the bride and groom as well as their bridal party, parents and others involved in the ceremony/mass. Generally working in teams of two, the ministers will also attend the wedding, guiding the participants as well as photographers and videographers, and assisting the presider as needed. Ongoing training and support is provided.

Contact: Maureen Denzler at: or 631.751.4231/ Christine Weisman or 631.675.6095
Where/When: As needed based on parish schedule throughout the year

Wednesday Pantry

Under the auspices of Parish Outreach, the Wednesday Pantry was developed to better serve families in the Three Village area who are without basic necessities. In addition to food, families are provided with toiletries, diapers and formula, and are invited to avail themselves of donated clothing and household items. Throughout the year, children are given back–to-school supplies, Halloween costumes, Easter baskets and an all important “Birthday Box” that includes all the makings of a children’s birthday party. Where needed, holiday help is provided in the form of parishioner-donated Thanksgiving baskets. Throughout the year-end holiday season, special collections such as the “Help a Family” gift drive ensure that those in need receive gifts and/or gift cards for Christmas. Guests at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen also benefit greatly from these annual collections.

Contact: Kathy Vaeth at (631) 941-4141 (ext. 333) or 
Where/When: As needed throughout the year

Welcoming Committee

Members of the Welcoming Committee serve as greeters at the doors of the church for all weekend liturgies, providing a warm atmosphere for parishioners as they arrive. In addition, the committee sponsors monthly “Coffee Sunday” gatherings on the first Sunday of every month, (except July and August) held in the parish center after the 8:00 am and 9:30 am Masses. 

Contact: Stacey Constantino at or Sallie Culloton at 631-405-0245
Where/When: Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month in the Parish Center. Volunteers serve at all weekend liturgies, as well as on Coffee Sundays.

Youth Ministry

While there is currently no formal Ministry to the Youth of our parish, we do have a strong contingent of young people in our parish who are active in their faith, and involved in a variety of ministries here (sacristans, musicians, leaders of song, Youth Choir members, religious education volunteers, altar servers, ushers), and those who attend our Sunday liturgies.  We also have college-aged parishioners who are involved in diocesan youth programs, young adult groups, and campus ministry.

Contact: Parish Office 631.941.4141
Where/When: TBD