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Note: The success of any parish depends on the involvement of the parishioners. Following is a list of the many ministries in which you are invited to take part. Please note, however, that according to guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese of Detroit, all adults who wish to work with youth, must take part in the “Protecting God’s Children” child safety program and submit to a criminal history check. Please contact the Parish Office for details.

Click HERE for Ministry Schedule Dec 1, 2014 to Mar 1, 2015 
Click HERE for Current EM Procedures

Christian Service Commission

The Christian Service Commission serves the parish and local community by addressing, primarily, the Corporal Works of Mercy:

Linked Hearts Food Bank

  • PO Box 171 – 5595 E. Main St., Dryden
    HOURS: Mon, noon – 4 PM, Wed & Fri, 10 AM – 2 PM
  • Linked Hearts is a cooperative ministry of Dryden area churches. Non-perishable food items, cleaning products, and toiletries are collected and provided for those in need. The You may bring your donations to Mass and leave in the Narthex.

Dryden Area Food for Families

  • On the second Tuesday of every month, a FREE home cooked meal is available at St. Cornelius Church from 5 – 6:30 p.m. If you or someone you know is in need of a hot meal please join us.

Giving Tree

  • The Giving Tree provides assistance to needy families in our community at Christmas. During Advent, parishioners may select a tag from the tree and purchase the gift(s) indicated on it. Volunteers sort and deliver the gifts about a week prior to Christmas.

Helping Hands Ministry

  • Volunteer parishioners provide meals and other services (housecleaning, childcare, errands etc.) on a temporary basis to those faced with extraordinary circumstances, such as hospitalizations, loss of a home or job etc.

Parish Health Ministry (Parish Nurse)

  • A volunteer qualified medical professional is needed to organize this ministry, which will provide blood pressure checks, seminars on health topics and other health services.

Widowed Friends

  • A bereavement ministry for those who suffer loss of a spouse through death. This is an opportunity for caring companionship, healing, spiritual development and new growth. This service facilitates the journey from grief to a new sense of joy and purpose.

Divorce and Beyond

  • A parish-based self-help program for newly divorced people based upon the premise that sharing thoughts, feelings, faith and experiences with others in the same situation is one of the most helpful ways to move beyond the pain of divorce.

Senior Adult Parishioners Society (SAPS)

  • This lively senior group meets regularly for fellowship, prayer and fun. Come join us at our monthly meetings.

Society of St. Vincent dePaul

  • This international volunteer organization of lay Catholics helps those in need. When called upon, our representative assists others with rent, utility bills, medicine etc. with funds from the poor boxes at the Church entrances and from the Thanksgiving Day and Good Friday collections.

Prison and Jail Ministry

  • The Thumb Regional Correctional Facility in Lapeer and the Lapeer County Jail have pastoral ministries. Contact: Su Vaughn, Immaculate Conception Church, Lapeer, at 810-664-8594 or Sacred Heart Church, Imlay City, at 810-724-1135.

Project Rachel

  • This program, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Detroit, provides support, healing, and Reconciliation for post-abortive women. 1-888-722-4355

The Refuge

  • This non-profit organization provides temporary shelter to the homeless with the support of Lapeer County churches. Dryden Wesleyan Church is a host site one week each year. St. Cornelius parishioners are encouraged to help.

Family Faith Formation (Religious Education for 1st through 8th grade)

2014 Student Registration — click HERE
2013 Volunteer Form

Traditional Classroom Educational Program

Our First through Seventh grade classes use textbooks and hands-on work, in weekly lessons that meet our bishops’ requirements for Religious Education. Students learn how to live a Christian life; the importance of Sacraments; holy days, feast days and patron saints; and how to be a missionary witness in daily life. 1st – 5th grades and a combined 6/7th meet on Wednesdays, from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. Registration usually begins in the spring and continues until classes begin in September.
There are many opportunitities for parents and young adults to be involved as volunteers in the religious education program. Lots of help and a textbook is provided to help you teach the faith to the students.

WINGS – Weaving IN God’s Stories (Sunday Family Program)

This program is designed for middle-school children (grades five through seven) and their parents. They meet one Sunday each month in the church. By involving families, we foster spiritual growth and responsible participation in the life of the Church. Families follow a lesson outline at home then discuss the material at a monthly meeting. The group rotates among four textbooks over the three-year course. Team facilitators provide suggestions and extra information. The time for the WINGS class has not been determined for the 2013/14 year.

Sunday Confirmation Program

This program has been created for all 8th grade students. We will meet once a month on a Sunday. The program begins with Mass at 9:00 am and runs until 1:00 pm. All Confirmation students and a parent or sponsor will participate in this class. Confirmation candidates are also required to attend a retreat in the fall, and choose a Confirmation name in preparation for receiving the Sacrament in the spring.

Sacrament Preparation Workshops

Sacrament workshops are scheduled through the year for all second grade students (and a parent). At these workshops, we work with families to continue their faith formation. Second-graders receive their First Reconciliation in winter and First Communion in spring. Children older than second grade who have not received First Reconciliation should contact the Family Faith Formation Office.

Special Needs Program

A special-needs program is offered for elementary age children on two Saturday mornings each month from 9:00 – 10:00 AM. This program is offered by a qualified teacher and an experienced aide in a small group setting. The materials are designed to help the students learn the essentials of the faith and to receive the Sacraments when they are ready.

Vacation Bible School (VBS)

Vacation Bible School takes place the third week of July, 9:00 AM – noon. It is a week-long Bible-based program for student ages four years old through sixth grade. VBS takes a lot of organization and many helpers in front of and behind the scenes. Students from any denomination are welcome to join us!


Youth Ministry

The youth ministry team consists of ministers, young adult leaders and parent volunteers. All youth ministers have Youth Ministry Certification from a nationally accepted program.

Jr. High “Salt of the Earth” Youth Group

This youth group is open to all 6th – 8th graders. They meet every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Marian Hall throughout the year. The youth gather to strengthen their relationship with Jesus and to reinforce their Catholic faith through teachings, prayer and other activities. They build skills in acceptance, trust, prayer, respect and family unity. The evening is filled with fun games, prayer and discussion.

The Jr. High program also works with the High School program on a weekly basis.

High School “Light of the World” Youth Group

This youth group is open to all 9th-12th graders. Meetings are every Wednesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Dunn Hall throughout the year.

This evening provides a weekly feeding of the Catholic teachings through many different forms of media. Throughout the year we also focus on topics of “Engaging Youth Culture” and “Theology of the Body for Teens”. Our goal is to have each teen build his/her own relationship with Jesus and to share his/her gifts and talents with the parish and community. The teens are continuously encouraged to be active in all aspects of the Church and Community. Each year the teens are able to attend a Catholic Summer Youth Conference and a Retreat in the Fall.

The YOUTH GROUP has a Facebook page where you can check out what’s happening! (Search for St. Cornelius Youth Group.)

Parish Pastoral Council

The Parish Council is the leadership body in our parish, serving in a consulting capacity to our Pastor in the coordination of parish activities. Positions are filled through an annual process of prayer and selection by lot, so that all parishioners are given a chance to serve. All council members serve staggered three-year terms. All parishioners are encouraged to attend council meetings. The meetings take place on the 2nd Thursday of the month from September to May. The location rotates between St. Cornelius, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Nicholas. Each parish maintains its own Council yet works with the Clustered Parishes as well.

Parish Finance Council

The Parish Finance Council also acts in a consulting capacity to the Pastor. The Finance Council helps the pastor to be a good administrator of the parish goods and to accomplish the parish goals. Members of the Parish Finance Council are appointed by the Pastor and assist with matters pertaining to the budget and long range financial planning.

Worship Commission

The Worship Commission promotes and strengthens the programs of continuing liturgical renewal. Since liturgy is the “source and summit” of Christian life, the Worship Commission is actively connected with all aspects of parish life.

Altar Servers

Boys and girls in the third grade and older who have received First Communion are invited to this ministry, to assist the priest during Mass and other liturgies. Training is provided.

Decorating Committee

This group of talented parishioners decorates the Church for daily and weekend Masses for all liturgical seasons throughout the year.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

These ministers assist the priest with the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass as well as to the homebound and those who are hospitalized or imprisoned.

Gift Bearers

Families may participate in Mass by bringing up the offertory gifts. If interested call the parish office. Volunteers are always encouraged.


Our greeters welcome people as they arrive for Mass, reflecting the hospitality of St. Cornelius.


Readers proclaim the Word of God at daily and weekend Masses and at other special liturgies.

Music Ministry

All parishioners are invited to share their musical gifts by joining as a cantor, musician, or as a member of the Adult Choir.


The Sacristans prepare the Church for Mass. This person is responsible for making sure that the sacristy and altar are ready for the celebration of the Eucharist and other liturgical services. Sacristans are also responsible for opening and closing the Church.


Men, women, high school age or older, are welcome to assist at Mass. Ushers guide and assist people with seating and other needs as they enter and leave the Church, organize the collection and distribute bulletins.

Women of St. Cornelius

All women of the parish are invited to join in fellowship and prayer for our parish community and beyond. Everyone is welcome to volunteer in the many ministries:

    • The care of altar linens and candles
    • The Women of St. Cornelius serve funeral luncheons following Mass for the family and friends of the deceased. Donations of side dishes and desserts are furnished by parishioners while the Women provide the main entrée.
    • Provision of hospitality and serving refreshments for sacramental events.
    • The Prayer Chain Ministry is a “tree” of parishioners who pray for those with special needs. Emails can be sent to:
    • The religious articles cabinet offers Catholic books, gifts and other items for sale.
    • The Fall Bazaar is the major fundraising endeavor. The annual October event features our famous roast beef dinner, a raffle, a silent auction and family fun and games.
    • Prayer cards are sent to those in difficult times as a sign of compassion.