The Catholic Churches of St. Marys, Clayton and St. John the Evangelist, LaFargeville

Ministries

Eucharist Ministers

"I find being an EMHC to be a humbling privilege and a joyful ministry! It has really been a blessing to me, especially in how it has brought home the truth that each person coming forward is made in God's image, is beloved by Him and is related to me in Christ's Body." 

Those who we call Eucharistic Ministers are actually ExtraOrdinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC). At Mass, they assist the priest in distributing Eucharist, either in the form of the Bread or Cup. 

Some ExtraOrdinary Ministers of Holy Communion take Communion to those who are homebound, hospitalized, or in a nursing facility.  Those who carry Holy Communion to the sick and confined continue the community's act of worship, extending its embrace to include those unable to be physically present at Mass.

 Training is provided. If interested, contact the parish office or speak to Fr. LaBaff.

Commissioned Lay Ministery

God gives us gifts to be shared. Our parishes have many lay people who through their service to the church enhance our liturgies, reach out to others, and promote the faith. 

Are you called to serve your church? In our parishes, Commission Lay Ministers serve at Liturgies, visit and bring Holy Communion to the homebound, are catechists, serve on parish council, and are active in many parish activities and ministries.

The Commissioned Lay Ministry Program offered through the Diocese is a 2-year program of study in which participant learn more about and grow in their faith, allowing them to better serve at the parish level. For more information, speak to the pastor or visit the Diocese of Ogdensburg web-site at www.rcdony.org/formation

Decorating Ministry

The Decorating Ministry is a group of volunteers who, through their artful talents, enhance our Liturgies, our buildings, and our grounds. From flower beds in the summer to the beauty of the Christmas and Easter Masses, their talents and dedication helps create a lovely and prayerful atmosphere in our parishes. To volunteer, contact the parish office.

Altar Servers

Youth who have received the Sacrament of First Communion are encouraged to be Altar Servers. Altar Servers assist at Liturgies. What a wonderful way for children to participate in the Mass! Training is provided. For more information, speak to Deacon Neil Fuller. 

As a thank you for their service to their parish, each summer a day-trip to Enchanted Forest Water Safari is held  for Altar Servers of St. Mary's, St. John's, the Catholic Community of Alexandria, and the Catholic Community of Cape Vincent, Rosiere and Chaumont.

Bereavement

St. Mary's Bereavement Ministry is ready to assist when a loved one dies. Bereavement team members meet with the family to guide them in planning the funeral Liturgy, burial, and reception making a difficult time a little easier.

Topics discussed could include music, readings, and prayers for the funeral or memorial Mass; eulogy; and a meal after. For more information, contact Deacon Neil Fuller at 315-686-4293.

Substance Abuse

If you or a loved one suffer from the ravages of drug or alcohol abuse, perhaps the Substance Abuse Ministry can help. 

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 315-783-5268.

Prayer Line

Do you have a concern or petition that you wish to have others pray with you?  You can call the St. Mary's/St. John's Prayer Line at 315-686-4884 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You do not have to leave your name just your request for prayer. 

If you wish to be one who prays for the intentions that have been made just leave your name and telephone or email address and you will be notified of prayers/needs that are requested.

Women of Grace

The Women of Grace Ministry seeks to transform the world one woman at a time by affirming women in their dignity and vocation as daughters of God and in their gift of authentic femininity through ongoing spiritual formation. Women of Grace promotes the dignity of woman, the gift of true womanhood, woman's fundamental call and mission in the world, and presents the Blessed Virgin Mary as the exemplar of all women. Women of Grace was founded in 2003 by Johnnette Benkovic. For more information on Women of Grace, visit their website at www.womenofgrace.com or contact Mary Dillenback at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 315-686-4107.

Lectors

"When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel." (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no 29) 

The Lector proclaims the first and second readings from Sacred Scripture. He may also announce the Intentions and, if not done by the cantor, may read the Psalm. 

"Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you, that His flame be bright in your heart as you joyfully proclaim His Word." 

Training is available.  To learn more, contact the parish office or speak to the pastor.

Music

The goal and purpose of Music Ministry is to enhance the experience of worship by heightening the Word of God with music and to provide beauty to the liturgy through music. Through strong musical leadership, music ministers strive to enable the song of the assembly to encourage full, active, and conscious participation.  Cantors, Choirs, and Instrumentalists also minister to the assembly by providing music which allows and encourages spiritual reflection. 

Our Music Ministry director at St. Mary's is Cathy Harruff. At St. John's, Sue Gifford leads the music team. New choir members and cantors are always welcome and encouraged.

Elizabeth Ministry

Elizabeth Ministry is a woman-to-woman outreach which focuses on the childbearing years. Women visit and share with others facing similar experiences. The areas of Elizabeth Ministry include, but are not limited to, pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, infant or child death, crisis or special needs, adoption, fertility and infertility. For more information, visit the international organization site  www.elizabethministry.com.

Baby Loss Grief Prayer

Lord, you invite us to place our burdens and cares in your hands. Accept my sorrow as I grieve the loss of my child. Sustain me as I am overwhelmed with grief's agony. I believe my baby lives now with you and that someday we will be together in heaven. Until then, please give me the grace to see the light of eternity as I face the darkness of death. Settle my soul and help me find
peace. Amen.

Birth or Adoption Prayer

My heart overflows with praise for you, God, as I think of the blessing this child is to our family. Guide me in my role as a parent. Make me an instrument of your love. Let me give myself unselfishly so my child might know the joy and security of being loved unconditionally. Give me the wisdom to help my child discover life's beauty and wonders while nurturing our family's faith in your abiding presence. Amen.

Prayer to Conceive or Adopt

Lord God, my desire for a child grows stronger every day. Cradle me in your love and calm all my anxieties. I look to you for insight to make the dream of parenthood a reality. Stir in my heart the desire to Follow your will in all my decisions.
Give me courage to trust your guiding presence. Deepen my faith in your plan for our family. Shine your divine mercy and compassion upon me. Amen

Prayer During Pregnancy

Help me, Lord, to enter the mystery unfolding deep within my womb. Allow me to accept this gift with wonder and excitement. Permit me to cherish the life I carry. I freely offer my body, mind, and spirit as my unique gift to this child. Lord, I know you are present, taking care of me and my child Help me to experience your presence and know your loving care. In crease my faith and trust in you. Amen.

Grandparent's Prayer

Heavenly Father, the gift of being a grandparent is so amazing, yet complex. I pray for insight as I seek to discover my role in my grandchild's life. Guide me in offering advice when needed, yet refraining from inappropriate interference. Please shield this precious child from all harm and give the grace needed to handle times of illness, stress, and challenges. Help me be a  source of wisdom, comfort and strength. May I pass on the faith, share the bond of family traditions and provide unconditional love. Amen.

Prayer for Troubled Times

Almighty God, during this time of trouble, give  comfort to my spirit, peace to my fearful heart,  and trust to my anxious mind. Increase  my courage to endure the challenges and hope to sustain my strength. Provide me with  patience in pain and faith in your healing power. Grant the grace to accept this burden and the wisdom to place all of my needs under your compassionate care. I entrust myself, my loved ones and all who are in need of health, security, happiness and love to your holy will. Amen.

Franciscan Mystery Players

During  Advent and Lent, the Franciscan Mystery Players of St. Mary's and St. John's present the Mystery Play at St. Mary's Church and in other parishes. They present 'The Way of the Cross' during Lent and 'The Birth of Jesus' during Advent.  The Mystery Players are made up of high school students and adults. 

These plays, written and developed by Francis Pompei, OFM, are moving presentations that makes use of special lighting, a stirring soundtrack, live reading, and pantomime action by the teen players to help each viewer contemplate the meaning of the Stations of the Cross and the Birth of Jesus as it relates to today's complicated world.  To learn more or to book the Mystery Play, contact Michelle Capone at 315-767-1564 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hospitality - Greeters and Ushers

Ushers and Greeters are called to be Ministers of Hospitality. They are entrusted with promoting a sense of welcoming and belonging to all the faithful assembled for worship. They are the first point of contact for the communal celebration of the Liturgy and because of this, should take special steps in being living representatives of the Parish. Ministers of Hospitality minister to the entire community in a very active way. By freeing each person of their own personal impediments to the Mass through a welcoming atmosphere, ministers of hospitality take an active role in enabling each person to come to a freer expression of God in the Liturgy.

During July and August following the 4pm and 10am Masses at St. Mary’s, refreshments are offered in the parish center. It is a time to welcome our summer visitors and a time to build friendships with parishioners and guests.

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus was founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney on March 29th, 1882, in New Haven, CT.  Venerable Father McGivney was an Associate Pastor of St. Mary's Church at this time, and noted a need for a Fraternal Benefit Society that would render Financial Aid to its members and their families.  Working conditions were deplorable in this age, especially for Catholics and immigrants, who faced persecution.  The founding principles have remained the same - Charity, Unity, and Fraternity. 

Thousand Islands Council # 350 in Clayton received its charter on June 12, 1898.  We currently serve the Parishes of St. Cyril's of Alexandria in Alexandria Bay, St. Francis Xavier in Redwood, St. John the Evangelist in LaFargeville, and St. Mary's in Clayton, and their communities.  In addition to serving our Churches and Pastors as needed, and our local communities, we participate in various programs.  These include Food for Families, Scholarships to local High School Seniors, the Adopt-a-Highway Program, Altar Servers Day Trip to Enchanted Forest, and the Pennies from Heaven Program, were we have raised over $110,000.00 which has been distributed to aid our Seminarians and Novices with their expenses. 

More information can be found at  www.kofc.org. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus, please speak to your Parish Priest, any member, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Lay Order of Carmelite

Prayer is at the heart of the Carmelite vocation. When people think of Carmel, the very first thing that comes to their minds is an Order that is devoted to prayer. 

Lay Carmelites are called to live in the presence of the living and true God who in Christ has come to live among us. They look for every possibility and occasion to reach divine intimacy. Letting themselves by guided by the action of the Holy Spirit, lay Carmelites are open to a transformation of mind and heart, of their vision, and of their actions. 

Gradually Jesus must become the most important person in the lay Carmelites' existence. This means having a personal warm, affectionate, and constant relationship with Jesus. This bond is nourished by the Eucharist, the liturgy in general, by Holy Scripture, and by various forms of prayer. 

In Luke 10:38-42, we find two sisters: Martha, busy with hostess tasks and Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. When Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary to help with the work, Our Lord replies: "Mary has chosen the better part and it shall not be taken from her."

These words of Our Lord have been applied to Carmelite Order. For the Carmelite, contemplation is 'the better part'. 

Any man or woman age seventeen or older may consider a  vocation to the Third Order Carmelites and will share in the fraternity of the third order centered on a life of prayer in the spirit of Elijah and devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 

We welcome interested persons to learn more about the Third Order Carmelites. For inquiries, please contact: Joel Walentuk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dee Fuller at 315-686-4293.