St Nicholas of Myra Parish Penrith

Ministry Groups

'I am the vine, you are the branches'

- John 15:5 

Our many ministries help our Parish welcome new members and assist with the integration of various works to form one body as the Parish of St Nicholas of Myra Penrith.

Unless indicated otherwise, to make contact with one of our ministries or devotional groups, please contact the Parish Office.


Following appropriate training, acolytes are appointed in a service called 'institution', so that they may minister to the priest. Their proper ministry is to look after the service of the altar and to assist the priest in liturgical services especially the Mass.

The acolytes function may be described as a combination of server, sacristan and master of ceremonies. The acolyte coordinates the functions of altar servers, musicians, readers, commentators and any other person who is performing ministerial roles in the liturgy. Acolytes may also perform other duties carried out by Ministers of the Eucharist.

Acolytes, as other ministers, are placed on a roster to cover all Masses and to ensure that unrealistic expectations are not made on their availability.

Altar Servers


Parish altar servers assist with the celebration of the Liturgy. These young volunteers assist the celebrant during the Liturgy itself and make sure everything is put away once it is concluded.

More importantly, altar servers are afforded the opportunity to participate in the liturgical life of our Parish in a meaningful way, giving praise and thanks to God for all He has done for them.

Training for altar servers takes place at various times during the church year here in our parish. It is open to boys and girls of the Parish who have received their First Holy Communion.

Contact via email

Altar Society

Clean and care for the altar space including maintaining altar candles, linens, vestments, etc. This visual ministry brings people together to change our worship space each liturgical season through the use of flowers, plants and fabrics. Many skills are needed to prepare and hang displays, arrange plants and flowers and care for and repair various fabrics. New members most welcome.

Audio/Visual Operators

This is an evolving ministry in our church to enhance the Liturgy. Volunteers assist with the preparation of material and operation of the computer and projection equipment to enhance the presentation of the Liturgy during Mass. This requires close co-operation with the music ministry regarding visual display of the words of Hymns etc,  A roster is provided so that most masses and celebrations are covered.  We are always looking for dedicated youth / students to help with the operation of the computer.  Training will be given.

Baptism Preparation

Baptisms are held most Sundays during the year at St Nicholas of Myra.

They take place at 11:45am and are by appointment only. We do four baptisms on the first, second and fourth  Sunday.  Families enrolling for Baptism are asked to attend a preparation meeting which is held on the Third Sunday of each month during the months from February to November commencing at 11.30am for about 1 hour in our Parish Meeting Room.  

At this meeting we cover what will happen on the day of your Baptism and it is a time for you to ask any questions. 

We only require one parent to attend and a Godparent if they are able.  One godparent must be over the age of 16 and be a fully initiated Catholic.  This means that they have been baptised made their Confirmation and Holy Communion.    Families are also invited to attend a welcome Mass before Baptism and this is held on the third Sunday of each month.

If you would like to discuss anything further or make a booking, please do not hesitate to telephone the sacramental co-ordinator on 47212509 who is in the office Monday and Thursday    


Building & Grounds Maintenance

Volunteers assist the Handyman on church and property maintenance projects such as painting, landscaping, carpentry and cleaning on an 'as needed' basis.

Donation of time and materials are always welcome to reduce costs to the Parish and to beautify our meeting place.

Catechists/Special Religious Education Teachers ('SREs')

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Penrith


The Special Religious Educators (SREs) or Catechists are volunteers who take the Good News to Catholic children in the State Primary Schools located in our Parish.

The classes are held weekly and last for approximately half an hour.

This is a very rewarding ministry - just ask anyone who has been involved.

No special qualifications are needed. Support and backup are always available and excellent resources for children and teachers are given.

Meetings with the coordinator are held regularly for mutual support and discussion.

Contact via email

Childrens Liturgy

The children who attend the 10am Mass 2nd third and fourth  Sunday mornings of the month during school term time are able to take advantage of the Children's Liturgy of the Word - the Gospel and homily of the Mass celebrated at a level which younger children (up to about 10 years of age) can more easily understand.

Children's Liturgy Leaders then explain the Gospel, and the children may then complete work sheets relating to the reading. Children process out of the church after the welcome by the priest and return at the Presentation of the Gifts.

This is a rostered group with the leader on duty responsible for preparation of the liturgy. Leaders are assisted by at least one helper. Volunteers are always welcome.

Parents are encouraged to take part in the group.

Christian Life Community (CLC)

This is a lay association officially approved by the church. Each local CLC is a group of people who meet together regularly to help one another to get to know Christ better through the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola and to seek and to respond to what He is asking of them in their lives. There are currently four groups within our Parish who generally meet in members’ homes and attendance is generally by invitation.

Members seek to deepen their faith and express it in their daily living by seeking ways to bring peace and justice into our community.

Community Representation

Assist in the liturgy by performing duties of MC by introducing Mass, hymns, prayers of the faithful and psalms as required. Training required with roster rotation.

Enquire via email

Couples for Christ

Couples for Christ (CFC), is an international catholic lay community. It is a servant and partner of the Catholic Church in the work of evangelisation and in the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. The Vatican in April 2005 gave permanent recognition of CFC as a Private International Association of the Faithful, with juridical personality in accordance with Canon Law.

CFC started in 1981 in the Philippines and although initiated by the Philippine community it now transcends all cultural, educational, social and other distinctions. It currently functions in 158 countries and came to Sydney in 1988.

Couples are renewed and strengthened in their Christian lives. Strong couples make strong families, which makes a strong parish. CFC members are expected to support their parish priests and be available for parish services.

Persons interested in joining are encouraged to attend a Christian Life Program which is an integrated course intended to lead participants into a deeper personal relationship with Christ.

Couples for Christ has other ministries including Kids for Christ (KFC) and Youth for Christ (YFC), these are currently managed on a diocesan level by a co-ordinator.

For more information, visit Couples for Christs

Extra Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

Lay ministers who assist in the distribution of Holy Communion.

As the principal Celebrant the priest is the Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist. Those who are trained assist the priest in the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass.

People called to this ministry have a deep reverence and love for the Eucharist.

Training is required and roster on a rotation basis for weekend Masses.

There are three aspects of this ministry - see under 'Pastoral Care' (on this page).

Enquire via email


Finance Committee

This is a dedicated group of parishioners, appointed by invitation of the Parish Priest, to assist in the management of the financial roles and responsibilities of the parish. These persons are generally appointed by virtue of their qualifications and experience in the financial and business world as the income and expenditure of the church and associated buildings and property is comparable to other major organisations. They advise the Parish Priest and parish staff on matters such as budgeting, expenditure, collections and OH&S.


Greeters welcome worshippers, assist with information about the building, pass out worship programs and bulletins and introduce regular parishioners to others, particularly visitors or new parishioners. A small group assists with the Baptismal program by greeting persons arriving at the church for baptisms.

Hospital Chaplaincy

This is a position that  operates within the parish to offer Pastoral care to staff, patients and families at the local hospital and other institutions. Practical care and comfort and the consolation of God in difficult times is part of the overall care. 

All requests should be made to the Chaplaincy Office at Nepean Hospital by phoning 02 4734 2000.



Proclaim the Word of the Lord at each of the weekend Masses by reading the assigned Scripture passage from the Old and New Testaments. Volunteers are also welcome at daily Masses. Training required. Roster rotation is required to cover Masses.

Enquire via email

Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary is a worldwide organisation of lay persons, in which Catholic men, women and youth sanctify themselves through prayer and apostolic work in union with Our Lady.

Each weekly meeting offers to the Legionaries the recitation of Rosary, spiritual reading, a discussion on Catholic doctrine and devotion, and an evaluation of the work program. At the meeting, each member is assigned two hours of apostolic work, to be performed during the week and reported on at the following meeting.

The Senior Legion meets at 1pm on Tuesdays in gift shop.

The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholic men or women who want to serve God in the capacity of helpers to the priest, and who will conform to the Legion system.

Marriage Preparation

Our local program to support the Sacrament of Marriage and the preparation of engaged couples involve four sessions of about two hours duration over a four week period, usually conducted in the home of a married couple who will also be facilitators. Each session begins with a talk given by the married couple on various important aspects of marriage, followed by private discussion between the engaged couples on issues raised during the talks and concludes with some group discussion and question time. The Church bulletin also regularly advertises the Marriage Encounter Engaged Couples program experience.

Music Ministry


Experienced musicians are welcome to join a roster to assist in enhancing the presentation of the Liturgy at weekend masses, in particular, by use of the organ or piano. Other musical instruments, woodwind, brass, percussion, strings or guitar are also welcomed.


The Cantor sings the Responsorial Psalm and assists the assembly with the singing of the hymns and acclamations. The ministry requires above average singing ability and a willingness to serve at weekend Masses on a regular basis.


A mixed choir with a varied repertoire that ministers through music at major liturgical celebrations, Christmas and Easter etc. Practices are advertised regularly and new members are always welcome.

Our Lady of Penafrancia

This is a special devotion to Our Lady particularly by members of the Philippine community. History suggests that the image of Our Lady was miraculously discovered in the hills of Spain and was accompanied by a number of miracles.

This image was taken to the Philippines by missionaries and following a number of other instances of divine assistance, churches and devotions were established.

In 2006, a replica of the image was brought to Australia and the Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta was asked if he would find a church where the image could be displayed and devotions held. It was approved that the image be placed in the church of St Nicholas of Myra at Penrith on 6 September 2006. Devotions are held monthly and advertised in the parish bulletin.

Parish Care & Support Group

A group of caring parishioners who are prepared to attend to emergency requests from the Parish Office to people in a crisis situation. This may be to sudden bereavements, family crisis 

These, by virtue of the term, emergency, may involve visiting homes to assess peoples needs and providing whatever short term needs are necessary. Any long term needs would be referred to the appropriate organisations. It may involve providing emergency meals, transport to doctors or hospital, babysitting and cleaning.

A real Christian initiative in terms of the Good Samaritan and new members most welcome.

Enquire via email

Parish Outreach

Please see our Parish Outreach Page.

Parish Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council is a consultative body. It consists of a group of parishioners elected by the community to provide wise and constructive assessment to the Parish Priest on the direction of the parish’s life and mission.

The council is not a management committee but works with all other groups within the parish to develop parish initiatives and goals. Committees included are:

  • Executive
  • Liturgy
  • Property, Development and Planning
  • Parish Pastoral Plan
  • Youth Participation
  • Social

Pastoral Care

A group of parishioners who:

  • Bring the Eucharist to homebound parishioners
  • Bring Holy Communion to local nursing homes and hospitals

Enquire via email

Penrith Community Kitchen

Please see our Parish Outreach page.

Piety Stall

This is a dedicated group of ladies, members of the Legion of Mary, who provide parishioners and visitors an opportunity to purchase religious books, materials and gift shop items from the stall. Generally open prior to, and after, all weekend Masses.

Rite of Christian Initial of Adults (RCIA)

Please see our 'Becoming a Catholic' Page

Sacramental Preparation

The Parish Community at St Nicholas of Myra has Sacramental preparation each year. Children who are in Year 3 and above are invited to attend our Sacramental program which commences with the sacrament of Reconciliation. The following year those children are invited to prepare for First Holy Communion and will finish the program with Confirmation in Year 5.

Preparation for the sacraments is completed through working in family groups here at St Nicholas of Myra. Information is sent to children via children who attend St Nicholas of Myra, Catholic School and Mary Mackillop Catholic School. Children attending the State schools will receive an invitation to join the program via their Catholic scripture teachers. We also advertise in our parish bulletin advising when the Sacramental program will commence.

This preparation program is designed to be a faith building and most fulfilling experience for your child and family. If you would like any further information regarding this program, please contact the Sacramental Co-ordinator, during school hours Monday and Thursday.

For information regarding Baptism Preparation, please see towards the top of this page.

Enquire via email


Sacristans prepare items used during our liturgical celebration, including but not limited to hosts, wine, vessels, linens, vestments etc. Sacristan maintains the schedule and supplies of items used.

Social Justice

When we look at our current world, we can’t help but be appalled by the vast differences between our current reality and God’s dream for the world so beautifully expressed by the writers of the Genesis creation stories.

One is easily left disempowered by the need to do something about global poverty, war, hunger, unfair international trade, consumerism, environmental degradation or global warming. And yet this is the task of a follower of Christ.

St Vincent de Paul Society

Please see our Parish Outreach page.

Solo Parents Ministry (including Penrith Bereavement Group)

Please see our Parish Outreach page.


Assist with finding seating and be prepared to organise emergency evacuation if necessary, collect monetary offerings and tidy up church after Mass. An opportunity for men, women and older teens to greet and assist parishioners and visitors so they may feel comfortable during the Eucharistic celebration.

The ushers ensure that parishioners are selected and ready to present the offertory gifts.

Young At Heart

This group of senior parishioners, both men and women, enjoy sharing a cup of tea, some fellowship, the occasional bus trip and a sense of belonging.

All seniors are most welcome – just come along on the first Wednesday of each month at 10am in Parish Meeting Room 1.

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