Social and human concerns ministries invite parishioners to share
the gospel message of peace, justice and charity to all within our parish and beyond.
Helping Hands and Hearts
This outreach program meets the spiritual, material and financial needs of our local community. Activities include the Prayer Network, Meals to Shut-Ins, Transportation, Home Visits, One-On-One Ministry and the Nursing Home. Two special collections are taken up each year, memorial donations are accepted at any time to provide the financial assistance needed by members of our local community. Our outreach to the poor and homeless are branches of the HHH program.
Each March, a blood drive is held in the Parish Center. All parishioners are encouraged to donate this life-saving gift, if possible. Even if you cannot donate, you may still participate by baking items and assisting our donors.
This group provides support for persons who are responsible for the cares of a family member or friend. This group meets on the first Monday of every month (with the exception of holidays, at which time, it is held on the second Monday) at 8:00 PM.
Each week a volunteer picks up the soiled linens, which were used for the Sunday and weekday Liturgies, to take home and wash and iron. These linens are then returned before the following weekend.
We also have volunteers who do light housekeeping in the Church and Sacristy. They dust the furniture in the Sanctuary, dust the window sills in the body of the Church, vacuum rugs in the Sacristy and Sanctuary, clean and refill the Holy Water fonts and water the plants. This ministry involves both men and women.
Disbursement of Funds to the Needy
Saint Helen's community is committed to sharing their blessings with our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Members assist organizations representing the poor to meet their needs through our financial support so they can provide food, shelter and education to those in the inner-city communities. The committee consists of 8 parishioners. Five percent of our weekly collections is deposited in this special fund. Requests submitted by organizations are discussed and voted upon by the committee. Needs within our Archdiocese are given first preference.
This ministry staffs the food pantry located at Holy Trinity School every Thursday between 12:00 and 2:00 PM.
Genesis Westfield Center
Volunteers assist patients to the common room, where Mass is celebrated every other week, and bring them back to their rooms after Mass. On Sunday, after the 9:15 AM Mass, Eucharistic Ministers bring the Eucharist to the individual rooms. These volunteers also provide Bingo and other activities for the residents. Mass is held every other Friday at 10:15 at Genesis.
Hospital and Home Visits
Parishioners are asked to call the Parish Center if they would like a priest or staff member to visit them or a family member.
Saint Helen's Parish, working with the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, sponsors a house, Helen’s House, for temporary homeless families. Our parish pays the mortgage and the utilities with funds obtained through an annual Service Auction. This type of transitional housing for the homeless helps families get through a difficult time and emerge able to function in a community. It keeps families together, allowing them to maintain a sense of dignity and receive appropriate counseling. Families have been able to live there while they accumulate the resources for permanent housing...not one family has returned to homelessness so far.
Meals for Shut-ins
Meals are provided by volunteers for ill or elderly parishioners temporarily confined to their homes.
Volunteers choose one day of the week to offer their prayers for particular intentions. They are called each week on their chosen day with these requests.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Creation of loving prayer shawls for people needing the warm arms of concern wrapped around them is the mission of the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Members knit or crochet shawls that are given to persons who are ill, have suffered a loss, or are in the midst of a life crisis. The group currently meets at the Parish Center to work on shawls and pray for the recipients of their work.
An incipient ministry in East Jersey Prison revolving around the area of Centering Prayer and periodically offering Mass. Members of our Centering Prayer group are involved as well as some parish members who have done prison work previously. The possibility of expanding into a literacy program is being studied. The Chaplain sits on the Lifers Board.
On the third Saturday of each month, volunteers from Saint Helen's cook and work in the soup kitchen at St. Joseph's Social Center in Elizabeth. A notice is placed in the bulletin each summer for parishioners to volunteer. Schedules are made out annually.
Volunteers drive individuals who need this assistance to their doctors, hospitals and shopping.
Visitation of the Sick
Please notify the Pastoral Staff for a hospital or home visit.
This support group is for those who have lost spouses. It meets the third Wednesday of every
SEASONS ~ Separated and Divorced Support Group
A support group for anyone who has lost a partner, including separated, divorced, widowed or never married. The purpose of this group is to provide healing of emotions and spirit through discussions and social activities. For more information contact Bob Laudati (908)322-7762.
Individual, couple or family counseling is offered by appointment by Licensed Marriage/Family Therapists. Please contact the Parish Center.