Josephine LowParish Secretariat The administrative work that is needed to run many businesses and companies today is described as “clerical”. In the Middle Ages and since the early Church, the work of the clergy or priest included overseeing the welfare of the Christian people, and over time, this included more administrative work such as baptismal records and so forth. Hence, much of the clerical work we think of today was based on the actual work priests and deacons had to do to run their parishes. To help the priests focus more on their pastoral work, modern parishes today cannot do without a secretariat to take care of its administration.
Today’s parish secretariat’s role is as diverse and as modern as any administrative function in an office. There are all the telephone calls to be managed, as well as a barrage of emails, faxes and personal visits to the church office for enquiries and requests. These usually relate to records of baptisms, registration for confirmation and weddings, maintenance of the death and anointing registers and annual returns file. Routine work also includes the coordination of activities around the church building including the control and issue of keys for meeting rooms. Most of us would also look for the parish secretariat when we need to book masses to be offered as well as liturgical ceremonies to be conducted for weddings, funerals and home blessings.
Josephine commenced work on 15 January 2010.
Geoffrey Abraham ElijahSacristan The responsibility of preparing the necessary items required for each mass falls on Geoffrey, our church sacristan. His duties include preparing the vestments for priest & alter boys and charcoal fire for burning of incense.
He ensures lightings, air-conditioning, liturgical readings are in order and stocks of wine and host adequate. A convert, Geoffrey was offered the post of sacristan 3 years ago by the parish priest then, Fr Francis Lee.
Interestingly, the offer came at a time when Geoffrey was looking for an opportunity to do church work. Since then, he performs his duties with the calm knowledge that he is doing God's will.