The ministry of lector, once reserved to clerics, is now more commonly filled by lay people. Lector reads (proclaims) the first two readings at weekend Masses and makes announcements when necessary. If the responsorial psalm is not sung, the lector reads it. Two lectors are usually scheduled for each Mass on a more or less rotating schedule every four - six weeks.
Requirements: Lectors must be a minimum of high school age, has the ability to project one's voice and have stage presence. Male and female parishioners are eligible. A short training session is available to those who want it. Proper dress is a requirement. During the week, volunteers lector at the 8:00 AM daily Mass.
The ministry of altar server for the most part is reserved to school age children. The servers assist the priest at weekend Masses and other occasions such as weddings and funerals. Adults who attend Mass daily serve Mass on weekdays.
Requirements: Boys and girls of the parish from the fifth grade on up, including high school students, are eligible. There is a training period of about four weeks. Candidates must be ready to serve whatever Mass they are scheduled for on a weekend. They also must have their parent's permission.
The ministry of Eucharistic Minister, once reserved to deacons and priests, is the ministry of assisting with-the distribution of Communion at Mass and to the sick. The Eucharistic Ministers assist at all weekend Masses and some assist at daily Mass. Ordinarily three are scheduled for each weekend Mass on a rotating schedule basis. They are scheduled as far as possible according to the Mass they usually attend. Besides assisting with Communion at weekend Masses, some Eucharistic Ministers take Communion to patients at Medical College Hospital (formerly Rolling Hill) on Sunday mornings usually after the 9:30 Mass. Some take Communion to shut-ins in the parish on a weekly or monthly basis. Eucharistic Ministers are appointed for a three-year term.
Requirements: Men and women, eighteen years of age and older are eligible candidates, they must be practicing Catholic parishioners. They must be able to meet the schedule of assisting with Communion about every four to six weeks. Proper dress is required.
This ministry is similar to the Altar and Rosary Society of old. It is the ministry of taking care of the entire Church building which includes the altars, the appointments, the vestments, altar linens, flowers, decorations, etc.
Requirements: A desire to help keep the Church building looking clean and a willingness to help with the seasonal change of appointments and decorations. Any parishioner fourteen years of age, male or female is eligible. The work can be done at one's own leisure, except at Christmas and Easter when you would be expected to help the interior decorator.
The ministry of music encompasses the various forms of singing and instrumental accompaniment for weekend liturgies as well as special occasions. Cantors (leaders of song), organists, pianists, guitarists and other instrumentalists assist in congregational singing. On special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter, parishioners are invited to sing in the choir to make these celebrations more festive.
Requirements: A desire to praise God musically. Instrumentalists should have reasonable skill with their instrument. Cantors should have reasonably strong voices of good quality. An ability to read music is most desirable. Choir members need a respectable singing voice and a willingness to attend practices.

The role of the Parish Pastoral Council is to assist the Pastor in fostering full participation of the entire parish in the pastoral life and mission of the parish. Normally the pastor recruits members for three-year terms. However, those interested in participating should make themselves known. Typically the Council meets once a month. Much of recent business has consisted of studying the Parish's spiritual needs and in the formulation of plans to better fulfill them. The Pastoral Council produces the St. James Newsletter, a quarterly sent to all registered parishioners. Its articles are selected to communicate to all our members' ideas of importance for accomplishing the mission of our parish. Article writers and items of interest are sought.
Requirements: Mature parishioner, actively involved in the parish, familiar with its operation and history, and interested in the spiritual welfare of the parish, individually and collectively.
The St. James Women's Guild conducts social affairs to bring together all the women of the parish to provide programs of interest to the children in cooperation with the school principal and staff. Regular fund raisers such as the Christmas Bazaar, Christmas Wreath Sale, the annual Covered Dish Luncheon, the Election Day Bake Sale, enable the Women's Guild to supplement funds for the school and to provide for special purchases of equipment.
Requirements: Any ladies with an interest and willingness to work to make these activities successful.

This ministry provides nourishing meals and companionship to frail, elderly or homebound individuals in the Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Abington and Glenside communities. Participants either prepare meals at home, or join the scheduled "group cooks." The meals are delivered to those in need on a weekly basis. All parishioners can share in this ministry by cooking an extra portion of their family meals or by volunteering to deliver meals. Special trays for this purpose are in the vestibule of the Church.
Requirements: All mature youths and adults may participate in roles appropriate to their capabilities.
Members of this ministry call on newly registered members of the parish. They welcome them into the parish family and explain parish activities. This visitor becomes the contact person for the new parishioners and assists in the initiation of this person or family into parish and community life.
Requirements: Men and women of the parish willing to share the "good news" of St. James with others.
All members of St. James Parish participate in the activities of this committee when they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and perfon-n good works directed toward others. A small core of individuals gives direction to Respect Life activities via announcements in the church bulletin. They inform the parish about the pro-life positions of legislators and also encourage the parishioners to contact their legislators regarding enactment of policies, which affect the pro-life position. The Respect Life Committee is responsible for encouraging Respect Life Week activities; for promoting participation in the March for Life in Washington, D.C.; for the on-going collection of layettes items for Birthright and clothing and furniture for Cora Social Services, for financial support of major Respect Life Organizations through donations made for the Pro-life Dedication Rose and lapel roses and for planning special devotions of prayer for life.
Requirements: Men and women who respect all stages and conditions of human life.
Originally started just before the Gulf War, this ministry continues to pray the Rosary just before the. eight o'clock Mass - still seeking peace. On Saturdays, the Miraculous Medal Novena, the novena to Blessed Faustina Kowalska, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in her honor are also included. Faustina is a saint of and for our own times. Participants feel greatly helped personally from these group prayers.
Requirements: Any parishioner may join in even if you cannot be present physically. Just note the meeting times and join in from home, on the way to work or school, from sick bed, or wherever. It would be nice to know who you are. And if you have some really important intention to pray for, let the group know that too.
St. James School is a loving Christian community-serving students from Kindergarten through Grade Eight. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and consistent with the Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Our students are called upon to live the gospel message daily, and to develop an active faith life. Our curriculum stresses academic excellence based on Catholic values. In this way Saint James School reaches out to students, parishioners, and community alike through prayer and service. Parishioners are invited to participate in this Christocentric setting by volunteering their skills or services to the school, thus accepting the challenge to witness for Christ.
Requirements: Make application with your thoughts and availability to the school principal.
The Nursery School is a value-centered, caring environment providing for children ages 3 to 5. Three half-day programs are available: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings; Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Requirements: If you would like to help out as an aide contact the director.
The CCD program constitutes the Parish's formal religious education program for children attending public and private schools. In conjunction with parents, the religious education program nurtures the faith of our young people so that they may become mature, all-educated Catholic adults.
Students in Grades K-7 attend classes on Monday. Middle-high school programs are under development. The curriculum includes a variety of service projects to be carried out by the students in the upper grades.
Requirements: The religious education program needs teachers, substitute teachers, aides, office assistants and service project monitors. Catechists ideally have received degrees in Theology or religious studies, or have completed the Diocesan certificate program in religious education. Teachers are given orientation sessions, informed of training courses and are given teacher's edi-tions and supplements to the textbooks used by the students.
The CYO provides opportunities for the parish youth to grow in faith and understanding of their Church through involvement in parish, regional and Archdiocesan life. The CYO's five-phase approach to youth ministry - athletic, social, cultural, service, spiritual - is a model of youth ministry which involves youth from first grade through twelfth in youth related activities and programs. The emphasis of the CYO is to enable youth to become responsible participants in their faith community.
The emphasis on the CYO athletic phase is on sportsmanship and the development of skills and healthy positive attitudes of the individual participants. Our CYO program fields athletic teams in soccer, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and track and field. We compete with parishes within our area (Area C) and our region (Region 10) with hopes of getting to the Archdiocesan championships.
The children in the grade school program have an opportunity to participate in an annual evening of one-act plays. The children perform as actors and actresses, stage crews and set designers.
The high school youth meet monthly throughout the school year to socialize and perform works of community service. Their projects include: preparing meals for the Aid For Friends program, and the wrap-ping of toys for disadvantaged children at Christmas To help in developing their social sense we play games at our meetings, and, annually, try to take a trip to a place of interest to the young people.
Requirements: Lots of energy, and a love of working with youth. The success of the CYO programs depends on the volunteer service of dedicated parents and adults from the parish who come out and work with the young people.
The Association provides a forum for members of the St. James Community to communicate with, and to support, the pastor, principal, and other members on matters of religious education. The Association sup-ports the philosophy and ministry of Catholic education in accordance with the guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The objectives of the Association are: To promote the educational, spiritual, and financial growth of our school and parish; To meet the needs of the growing and changing community through adult education and enrichment classes; To enhance the curriculum enabling students to achieve their full poten-tial; To keep the members informed concerning the policies and procedures of St. James School; To fully utilize the professional skills and expertise of the members of the community.
Requirements: All adult members of the parish may participate.