“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
St. Jerome’s parishioners have notable community-wide events throughout the year. See the photo gallery for scenes from selected events.
Pastoral Council Nominations and Elections, May
Parish Raffle and Picnic, Early June
Parish Family Festival, Early Fall
Ministries Weekend, Late Spring
Fr. Mike Book Club, Spring and Fall
Pancake Breakfast, February
Fish Buffet, during Lent
Pastoral Council Nominations and Election, May
Pastoral Council Nominations and Election occur in May, Council Officers are elected in June. New members are nominated and elected every year in May, are commissioned with a special blessing at the Masses on or near Pentecost, and become part of the Council at the June meeting. The Council would like to thank all of the parishioners who nominated candidates and voted in the recent election.
For information on the council including the current slate of officers, click here.
Since 1997 the Parish Raffle has contributed significantly to the financial well-being of our parish community and helps maintain the operations of the parish. Deep thanks to the many volunteers who make it so successful by selling tickets and to the many parishioners and friends of the parish who purchase tickets. A limited number of tickets are sold. From 1997 through 2010 raffle tickets were $100 each, included a parish buffet dinner for two, and the first prize was an automobile such as a brand-new Mercedes-Benz, a BMW, or a Subaru Forester.
In 2011 the raffle ticket price went to $50, a sizeable cash award became the first prize, and all ticket purchasers were invited to a parish barbeque in the church hall after the Saturday Vigil Mass. The raffle drawings cap the barbeque. Everyone enjoys good fellowship and plentiful food. John Kuczo and Jim Alvord chaired the parish raffle for its first fourteen years. Karen Christensen became raffle chairperson in 2011.
Started in 1999 and held in early fall each year on a Sunday close to the September 30th feast day of Saint Jerome, the St. Jerome’s Parish Festival celebrates our parish and its parishioners. Parishioners enjoy a picnic cookout, music, and celebratory activities. About 200-300 children, young people, and adults attend, enjoy plenty of good food, music, children’s games, and the chance to meet old and new friends and join with each other in conversation and fun.
From 1999 to 2011 the festival location was Norwalk’s Cranbury Park and several years a different theme – be it Octoberfest, Country & Western, Caribbean, or Renaissance – determined the afternoon’s activities and cuisine. A late-afternoon Liturgy of the Eucharist concluded the festival at the park. Starting in 2012 the festival has been located at the church hall with a focus on Parish Family and an emphasis on families and children’s activities. To encourage participation by families and children the festival now begins right after REACH religious education classes and admission was reduced to the 2005 price for adults with free admission for children 12 and under. The festival menu was simplified and the need for volunteer helpers reduced.
By 8:00 AM on Festival day, things are buzzing and volunteers are working hard on preparations. Tents outside the church hall are raised, decorations put up, tables and chairs readied, grills started for hot dogs and hamburgers, and mac and cheese, different types of salads, and the many parishioner-contributed desserts put out. Music, heard throughout the celebration, enlivens the day. Outside run-around games and a magician delight children and adults alike. Children line up again and again for the crawl-through inflatable or throw basketballs at the hoops inflatable. The Arts & Crafts room engages them with pumpkin painting, face painting, temporary tattoos, bead work, and numerous other activities. The Dessert Contest and 50-50 Raffle winners are announced.
A Festival Planning Committee meets from June through September to organize the parish festival and its many details. For more information about the Festival Committee, click here. Suzanne Calnon headed the festival for its first 13 years and showed remarkable leadership in creating and maintaining this community-building parish event.
On a weekend often on or near Pentecost Sunday, St. Jerome’s hosts a Ministries Weekend “open house” in the church hall where tables are set up for each parish committee or group. Parishioners are invited into the hall after all the Masses to find out about the work of each ministry, committee, and group. Representatives explain their particular ministry, its agenda, schedule, accomplishments, and future plans, and ask visitors to sign up for membership or more information.
Book club, noun, “a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they are reading.” Led by Fr. Mike who taught English literature for over 30 years, Book Club readers since 2008 have met in the spring and fall on mid-month Thursdays at 7:00 PM in the Kevin Eidt Youth Room in the church hall.
Titles the club has discussed include The Shack by William Young, Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Staggerford by Jon Hassler, Faith Stories edited by Michael Curtis, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, The Samurai Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
Nearly 200 parishioners, including many families with children, enjoy a parish buffet pancake breakfast in the church hall after Sunday morning Masses. All enjoy loads of delicious pancakes — blueberry, chocolate chip, and plain — plus scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, orange juice, and coffee.
On a mid-season Friday in Lent over 150 parishioners have an old-fashioned, sit-down fish feast in the church hall. The buffet dinner includes fried fish and shrimp (with no trans fats) for adults and fish sticks or macaroni and cheese for children; plus French fries, coleslaw, corn bread, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, and dessert.
Both events are sponsored by the Pastoral Council and staffed by volunteers, especially the Men’s Ministry, and are part of the Pastoral Council’s initiative to foster community and social togetherness among all age groups in the parish.