COMMUNITY LIFE MINISTRIES
serve our needs for
fellowship, hospitality, and social support. For more information on
becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the
Church office at 225-473-3176.
RECEPTIONS & SOCIALS (Hospitality Ministry): Schedules, publicizes
and puts on receptions, such as those following First Communion,
Confirmation, Mass honoring Graduates of our Parish; puts on socials
related to special meetings and Parish Missions; sets up refreshments
for parish meetings. Volunteers are needed who can be called upon
periodically to help with food preparation, ordering and picking up
catered refreshments, setting up in the Church Hall or Conference
Room, and clean up.
ANNUAL PARISH PICNICS
(Hospitality Ministry): Schedules, organizes and publicizes annual
fall parish picnic held on the church grounds. Solicits and collects
donations of food items needed to prepare meal, desserts, and
refreshments. Arranges and coordinates entertainment, helps with
serving, set-up, tables, chairs, clean-up.
(Hospitality Ministry): This ministry will welcome all new
parishioners into our family of faith, and help facilitate a sense of
“belonging” to new parishioners by putting together packets of
information and materials to familiarize them with our parish, its
ministries, and auxiliary organizations, and invite them to do more
than just attend Mass on the weekend, but to help them feel at home
here and become involved in the life of the parish.
(Youth Ministry & Formation): Addresses and meets the needs of young
Catholics as individuals, heightens their awareness of other people’s
needs within the community, and increases their sense of community
through fellowship. Open to all Catholic youth in our parish grades 7
through 12. Adult volunteers for this ministry organize and
coordinate the activities and meetings as called, supervise service
projects, chaperone outings, and provide good example as role models
of Christian virtues and values in our faith community.
(Youth Ministry & Formation): For single college age and adults under
30. Provides a forum for gathering to socialize and discuss issues
and needs relative to Christian values and growing up.
(Youth Ministry & Formation): Committed volunteer adult leaders and
interested youth provide leadership for this time-tested and proven
form of parish youth ministry here at Ascension of Our Lord.
Professionals from the local Council of the Boy Scouts of America
stand ready to provide the program, adult leadership training, and all
the tools and resources and nationwide camping and high-adventure
facilities of the Boy Scouts of America to provide time-proven
character building, instill collaborative leadership skills, promote
family activities, and sense of duty to God and country to our youth.
Cub Scout Pack 308 and Boy Scout Troop 308.
provide for the ministers and atmosphere which
enables our quality community liturgical celebration and worship. For
more information on becoming involved in any of the following
ministries, please call the Church Office at 225-473-3176.
(Liturgical Ministry): Proclaim the Word of God and lead the assembly
in prayer at liturgical celebrations. Training required for new
ministers; all ministers participate in ongoing formation. Involves
reading on a rotating schedule at weekend and holy-day Masses.
(Liturgical Ministry): Serve as ministers of hospitality at liturgical
celebrations, greeting people, assisting with seating parishioners,
directing smooth flow of the assembly for receiving Holy Communion,
assisting disabled worshippers, receiving offerings, etc.
(Liturgical Ministry): Young men and ladies of the parish, 3rd grade
thru 12th grade, who assist the Celebrant at liturgical celebrations.
Annual training meeting. Involves serving at weekend, holy day, and
selected special liturgies as needed, on a rotating schedule. Offers a
summer recreational trip.
(Liturgical Music Ministry): Composed of adults and youth who lead and
enable congregational prayer through song at select weekend and
holy-day liturgical celebrations. It is not necessary to be a
professional vocalist or to read music, but only to have a pleasing
voice, to enjoy singing, and have a willingness to share it in this
ministry. Involves attending a weekly evening rehearsal in addition
to one Mass per weekend at which the choir sings.
(Liturgical Music Ministry): Add variety and color to liturgical music
by playing guitar, piano, flute, organ, and other instruments to
accompany choir and/or congregational singing during liturgical
celebrations. Involves attending weekly evening rehearsal with the
choir, and accompanying Masses with congregational singing.
(Liturgical Ministry): Discusses liturgical and worship issues
relative to liturgical seasons, reviews current resources for
new ideas and suggestions, evaluates past seasons, implements
liturgical themes with the interior appointments and environment of
the church building, especially with regard to liturgical seasons.
Orders, provides for, and arranges cut flower arrangements, green
plants, decorations, banners, etc., depending on the feast or
LADIES’ ALTAR SOCIETY:
Launders on a rotating basis the altar linens used at Mass. Operates
a small religious articles and devotional materials shop at the parish
office, the proceeds of which are dedicated to the purchase of flower
arrangements and decorations for special liturgical occasions, as well
as to the purchase of other liturgical supplies and equipment.
(Liturgical Ministry): Set up for special liturgical celebrations,
attending to the preparation of supplies and instruments, sacred
vessels, for weekend, holy-day, weekday, funeral, and wedding Masses;
attends to the care and repair of vestments for clergy and altar
servers. Attends to good order and proper storage and inventory of
liturgical supplies and equipment in sacristy.
(Liturgical Ministry): This group of volunteers meets weekly on
Tuesday at 10:30 A.M. in the Conference Room to plan in advance our
weekend and holy day liturgical celebrations. The scriptures are
prayed, and through sharing and reflection using published resources,
the theme of the liturgies is determined, and the penitential rite,
Celebrant’s prayers to introduce and conclude the prayers of the
faithful, the prayers of faithful themselves, and the Commentator’s
introduction to the Mass are written.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST:
These special ministers are directly commissioned for limited terms at
the discretion of the pastor to assist in the distribution of Holy
Communion at scheduled liturgies and communion services, to carry Holy
Communion to the homebound, the hospitalized, and prisoners
incarcerated in prison or jail. Special training and qualifications
LITURGICAL MINISTRIES SCHEDULING:
This ministry undertakes the challenging and essential task of advance
scheduling and coordination of all liturgical ministers for all
weekend and holydays liturgies, soliciting availability, mailing
schedules to all liturgical ministries, and preparing the schedule for
publishing in the bulletin each week.
TEMPORAL AFFAIRS MINISTRIES
provide for many of the functional, operational, and physical needs of
our parish. For more information on becoming involved in any of the
following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176.
This group of businessmen and businesswomen of our parish meet on a
monthly basis to monitor professionally prepared and detailed
transaction registers and financial reports of the parish, to conduct
financial planning, to prepare and oversee budget, and to generally
advise the pastor on fiscal matters to assure sound stewardship and
management of the financial resources of the parish. Special training
and qualifications apply.
FACILITIES MAINTENANCE/CEMETERY MINISTRY:
Our church-owned facilities, including the largest and oldest Catholic
cemetery in the diocese, extend over approximately six city blocks,
and the maintenance, development, improvement, and repairs of the same
classically account for a substantial part of our annual budget. We
depend heavily upon this group of qualified businessmen and
professionals to advise the Pastor and our Facilities
Custodian/Cemetery Supervisor on the best ways and means to
economically and adequately maintain and improve our facilities to
assure that the best interests of our parishioners is served, both in
the present, and for the future. Any of our parishioners who can
offer their skills and manpower from gardening, landscaping,
electrical and mechanical expertise, plumbing and carpentry and
painting, to assist in repairs and improvements would be greatly
appreciated. Our skeletal maintenance staff is usually consumed with
janitorial and lawn grooming tasks, and with jobs demanded in the
operating of the cemetery and mausoleum.
Legally, every Church parish is constituted as a non-profit
corporation for the purpose of purchasing or selling real estate or
entering into legal contracts. The officers of every parish
corporation are the Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese, the
Pastor, and two lay directors appointed by Pastor for the purpose of
signing corporate resolutions which empower the Pastor to enter into
needed contractual agreements which legally protect the interests of
the church parish.
ST. MATTHEW’S GUILD MINISTRY:
Count and prepares the Sunday collections for deposit each week.
Confidentiality required. Strict diocesan guidelines for checks and
balances needed in the handling of funds is demanded.
BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTING MINISTRY:
These parishioners who are professionals exercise an invaluable
ministry in sharing their expertise to prepare the monthly and annual
financial reports, transaction registers, and budgets needed by the
Finance Council for its financial planning and monitoring.
CHURCH PRESERVATION PROJECT MINISTRY:
When a church building is as old and historic as ours, the planning
and providing for its preservation becomes an ongoing and unending
task. Restoring it to its original magnificence to the Glory of God
and assuring that it remains a viable liturgical worship space are a
constant challenge, demanding tremendous resources from our generous
parishioners, and expert consultants and contractors. Those
parishioners who involve themselves in this ministry are truly making
history and providing a legacy for future generations to benefit the
future of our entire community.
OFFICE ASSISTANCE MINISTRY:
Every once in a while there is a flurry of activity in the parish
office, requiring the time and talents of those who can help with
collating, folding, stapling, labeling papers or booklets or
mailings. This is kind of an “on call” ministry, usually for a
weekday morning or afternoon.
BULLETIN FOLDING & MAILING MINISTRY:
Volunteers who fold the bulletins require the skills to operate and
maintain an electric folding machine. Another group of volunteers
gathers faithfully in the workroom of the parish office every
Wednesday morning to insert flyers, apply the mailing labels, and
bundle by carrier routes, to prepare the bulletins for mailing every
DEVOTIONAL CANDLE RACKS:
This ministry maintains the two devotional candle racks in the rear of
church, one at the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the
other at the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The stands must be cleaned and
repaired periodically, and the candle supplies and lighting wicks
APOSTOLIC SERVICE HOURS COORDINATOR:
This ministry will organize and coordinate the apostolic service hour
activities for students in the Catholic school who must earn Church
service hours as part of their religion grade. The purpose of the
program is to introduce to our children at an early age all the
opportunities available to them to exercise stewardship, and to give
them opportunities to respond to the many ways in which their Church
parish needs the service of their time and talents.
assist parents in their role as primary educators in providing
ongoing religious education programs for their children, and assist
adults in assuring the continuance and enrichment of their own
religious education. For more information on becoming involved in any
of the following ministries, please call the Church office at
ASCENSION CATHOLIC INTERPAROCHIAL SCHOOL
Parents of children enrolled in Ascension Catholic Interparochial
Schools are appointed for limited terms to serve as our parish
representatives or to contribute specialized expertise to this
consultative and policy formation body rendering invaluable aid,
support, guidance and direction for future planning to the Pastor
(Superintendent) and Administration of our Catholic schools. Special
diocesan training and qualifications apply. Two parish representatives
are appointed by the Pastor.
(P.R.E.P.) PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
These volunteer catechists support parents whose children attend
non-Catholic schools as they lead their children to grow in awareness
of the presence of God and teach their children to live the Gospel as
part of a believing community. Teachers do not have to be
professional educators but they are encouraged to participate in an
on-going process of workshops and seminars available through the
diocese as well as in parish teacher certification courses.
Catechists are responsible for reinforcing the Christian formation and
instruction of students from First through the Twelfth grade levels.
Catechists, teacher aides, and substitutes are needed. (Volunteer
catechists agree to criminal background checks).
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL:
Conducted for five consecutive mornings, Monday through Friday, for
all children in our community, grades K - 6th, usually during the last
week of June every summer, at the facilities of Ascension Catholic
Primary School. (Adult volunteers agree to criminal background
FIRST RECONCILIATION PREPARATION PROGRAM:
This sacramental preparation program runs for six weeks in the fall
each year. While parents of second grade candidates for First
Reconciliation do the work, study, and assignments with their children
at home, the candidates meet on six Saturday mornings when their
assignments are reviewed by volunteer catechists and preparations are
made for the actual celebration of the Sacrament early in Advent.
(Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks.)
FIRST EUCHARIST PREPARATION PROGRAM:
This sacramental preparation program runs for six weeks in the winter
each year. While parents of second grade candidates for First
Eucharist do the work, study, and assignments with their children at
home, the candidates meet on six Saturday mornings when their
assignments are reviewed by volunteer catechists and preparations are
made for the actual celebration of the Sacrament before Lent.
(Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks.)
CONFIRMATION PREPARATION PROGRAM (YOUTH):
Volunteers for this ministry serve in various capacities, e.g.
catechists, small group discussion facilitators, etc., while preparing
eligible teenagers (usually 11th grade) for the Sacrament of
Confirmation. Involves participating in a period of faith-sharing,
formation, and special meetings with the candidates for an hour and a
half on sixteen Sunday evenings, to help the candidates fully
appreciate the meaning of accepting and actively practicing as
Christian adults their baptismal commitments. (Adult volunteers
agree to criminal background checks. Click on this link for
Preparation Registration form.
CONTINUING ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION:
We never reach an age when we “know everything” we need to know about
our faith, or using our faith more effectively at the different
stages of our lives. We must continually grow and mature in our faith
throughout our lives through study and prayer. This ministry helps
foster the continued spiritual formation and growth of Catholic adults
by bringing guest speakers to teach classes on the Church and various
teachings of our faith, bringing to us audio-visual Catholic
educational resources, and becoming aware of and publicizing available
resources for retreat opportunities.
BIBLE STUDY GROUP:
This ministry fosters the continuing religious education efforts for
adults of our community with the study of the bible by organizing,
scheduling, and leading scripture study meetings using audio visual
and published study guides and commentary resources.
(R.C.I.A.) RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
This ministry assists those adults who have expressed an interest in
becoming Catholic in their respective journeys of faith while
participating in the year-long catechumenate process which culminated
in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults at the Easter Vigil.
Converts used to be received into full communion in the Catholic
Church by a one on one instruction program with a priest. Now, it is
the Church itself (members of the Body of Christ), parishioners who
help guide and provide example to those aspiring for full membership
in the Church. Click on this link for
MARRIAGE PREPARATION PROGRAM ASSISTANCE:
These individuals and/or married couples assist the Pastor in helping
couples seeking Marriage to fulfill various aspects of the required
preparation program, planning the wedding ceremony itself, and making
arrangements for and conducting wedding rehearsals in our church on
behalf of the Pastor. Click on this link for
Marriage Preparation Guidelines & Policy Brochure.
enrich and promote the spiritual growth of the Ascension of Our
Lord Parish family, help discern more readily our personal pilgrimages
of faith, and increase a sense of our need for on-going conversion,
renewal, leading to a life of prayer in action. For more information
on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call
the Church office at 225-473-3176.
ROSARY PRAYER GROUP:
The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday at 6:15 A.M. prior to the
beginning of the 6:30 A.M. Mass, and in the Main Church on Wednesday
afternoons at 2:15 P.M. We would like to see the ministry of this
group expanded to offering to lead the Rosary at the Funeral Home
PERPETUAL ADORATION MINISTRY:
This ministry consists in a commitment to spend one designated hour
per week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in our
Perpetual Adoration Chapel. The adoration is ongoing 24 hours a day,
7 days a week (except from Holy Thursday evening through Holy Saturday
night). year-round, and is the source of untold and countless
miraculous blessings as testified by the hundreds of committed adorers
currently participating in this ministry. Commitment to the more
difficult hours reap the richest personal blessings.
PARISH MISSION MINISTRY:
Each year this ministry hosts, publicizes, makes arrangements for a
Parish Mission to be conducted as a special opportunity for spiritual
and personal growth in faith. The mission is normally conducted
either in Advent or during Lent, and all parishioners are invited and
encouraged to participate.
SMALL FAITH COMMUNITIES MINISTRY:
A number of small scripture and topical oriented groups meet regularly
at the home of the group facilitator. Members share prayer,
scripture, and their individual faith journeys with Christ. These
groups are considered the mini-parishes within our parish, and often
take on ministerial projects of their own which support and contribute
to the overall ministries of our Church parish. We currently have 4
active small faith communities, each with a unique focus and style.
We are called to practice “Stewardship as a Way of Life” by
remembering that all that we are and all that we have comes to us a
gift from God. Good stewards make a return of the first portion of
their time, treasure, and prayer back to Lord. This ministry of taking
on the organizing, scheduling, and legwork to insure that our parish
carries out all three phases of our Total Stewardship Program each
year has been assumed by one of our active Small Faith Communities.
In this day and age, when the numbers of priestly vocations has
drastically diminished and the numbers of Catholics continue to
drastically increase, the business of promoting and encouraging
vocations to the priesthood is clearly everybody’s business. Every
parish needs a ministry of those committed to making special efforts
to pray for vocations frequently, to educate young adults and parents
about the need for vocations, and to identify and encourage
prospective candidates for a vocation to the priesthood from within
our own families and community. If our future priests and religious
are not among our own children now, where are they?
There are many people in every Christian community who are unchurched
or fallen away from the practice of their faith. Catholic
evangelization efforts have been on the rise everywhere, through which
age-old “myths” about “Catholics” are being dispelled and we are
reaching out to people with the “good news” of the Christian faith as
lived out and experienced in the Catholic religious tradition. This
is a ministry of being proud of our religious heritage and letting
people know that we are here, and inviting them to come back and join
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MINISTRIES
provide direct service to helping people survive their immediate
crises and enable a consolidated means for our parish family to
administer the corporal works of mercy as best we can. For more
information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries,
please call the Church office at 225-473-3176.
Most of our parishioners are probably participating in this ministry
on an individual basis already, for our community is renowned for its
compassion when anyone suffers the loss of a loved one through death.
We are perhaps most active in this ministry by preparing and
delivering food dishes to the homes of the bereaved when a death in
the family occurs. We could become more active in an organized way by
having volunteers who are willing to help the bereaved with the
sometimes difficult task of making appropriate liturgical arrangements
for the funeral Mass, such as selecting music, scripture readings,
procuring lectors and Extraordinary Ministers.
CARE OF THE HOMEBOUND:
Volunteers keep tabs on our homebound parishioners to make sure that
their spiritual and sacramental needs are met. Occasionally, such
needs as grocery trips and transportation to church on the weekends
also arise. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are called upon
to bring Holy Communion to the homebound each week. This ministry
assists the priest in getting around to visit the homebound with Holy
Communion, and the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick
and the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a month.
A Communion Service is conducted every Sunday afternoon and Mass is
provided once a month at Ascension Parish Jail. Rosaries and
religious and catechetical reading materials need to be solicited and
collected for distribution to the prisoners, as well as having
supplies for the Communion Services and Masses packed each week to
assist the priest in getting there for Mass or the Extraordinary
Minister in getting there for the Communion Service. Extraordinary
Ministers of the Eucharist are called upon to conduct the Sunday
afternoon Communion Service when Mass is not provided.
ANGOLA PRISON OUTREACH MINISTRY:
A number of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist from our parish
assist on a monthly basis in the distribution of Holy Communion to
prisoners at Angola State Penitentiary under the supervision of the
Catholic Chaplain there.
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE MINISTRY:
Volunteers assist with a screening and interviewing process for the
needy in our community and transients who apply for assistance with
utilities, rent, food, physician visits and prescriptions, clothing,
and household items. This assistance is funded with donations to the
poor box in the rear of church and receipts from clothing sold in our
“Daughters of Charity Center Thrift Shop and is subsidized with church
DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY CENTER THRIFT SHOP
Located in the former Chapel of the “newer” convent building,
second-hand clothing in good condition that is donated is laundered,
sorted by size and condition, shelved and hung on racks, for
inspection and purchase by visitors on Tuesday mornings when the
Thrift Shop is open. Clothing that cannot be re-sold for pennies on
the dollar is packed and carried periodically to the St. Vincent de
Paul Center in Baton Rouge. Household items such as pots, pans,
dishes, utensils, towels, spreads, sheets, pillowcases, are also
donated for re-sale. Receipts from sales are used to fund emergency
THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS:
Non perishable food items and monetary contributions are solicited
annually, and are used to assemble and deliver food baskets for
Thanksgiving to needy families in our community. Volunteers collect,
store, and sort the donated food items, purchase perishable items for
the baskets, assemble, and deliver the baskets in time for
CHRISTMAS “GIVING TREE”:
In conjunction with Donaldsonville Elementary School, a Christmas tree
is placed in the church foyer early in Advent bearing paper ornaments
describing a needy child in the community for whom a Christmas gift is
needed. Volunteers make the paper ornaments, hang them on the tree,
for parishioners to take after Sunday Mass. When gifts are brought
back to church and placed under the tree, they are collected, stored,
sorted, and ultimately delivered to the children for Christmas.
CHRISTMAS FRUIT BASKETS FOR SHUT-INS:
This ministry solicits donations of fresh fruit and monetary
contributions near Christmas so that fresh fruit baskets can be
prepared and assembled and delivered to needy shut in families at
EASTER “CARE PACKAGE” FOR SHUT INS:
This ministry prepares a gift “care package”, usually an assortment of
religious and devotional items with an Easter message, for delivery to
the households in our parish with shut-in parishioners for Easter each
This ministry visits and monitors patients at Prevost Memorial
Hospital and contacts Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to
insure that they are brought Holy Communion while hospitalized, and if
requested, receive the Sacrament of the Sick and the Sacrament of
Reconciliation from a priest.
NURSING HOME MINISTRY:
Mass is celebrated every Friday morning at 9:45 A.M. at the D’Ville
House Nursing Center. This ministry sets up for the Mass every Friday,
and ensures that liturgical supplies and vestments are on hand.
Volunteers lead the recitation of the Rosary before or after Mass, and
accompany the priest with Holy Communion to the individual rooms of
residents who could not attend Mass. During Lent, the Stations of
the Cross are led weekly for the residents, and once a year, a
communal celebration of Sacrament of the Sick is celebrated. This
ministry also solicits donations of prizes to be awarded for the
weekly Bingo which is conducted for the residents.
RESPECT LIFE MINISTRY:
This ministry plans, promotes implements
prayer, activities, and events which foster and advocate in our local
community respect and dignity of human life at all stags. It
especially promotes the protection of the rights of the unborn, and
all those who cannot speak out for themselves to protect their own
MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING
ASSESSMENT & REFERRAL:
This ministry by our professional pastoral staff confidentially direct
couples and families whose marriages and homes are troubled, to
licensed marriage and family counselors whose expertise and training
can help them.. This ministry also offers confidential assistance for
this counseling is needed, so that no situations or circumstances
which require help are neglected for lack of funds. A licensed
psychotherapist contracted with Catholic Community Services in Baton
Rouge is at the church office by appointment only on weekday evenings
for convenient and professional personal, family, and marriage