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Ministries

Haiti Mission

Haiti Mission

Dear Parishioners,

It has been a while since we have updated you on the status of our Haiti mission.  I apologize for that but there has been a lot of upheaval in our sister parish over the past year and a half so not much has been accomplished.

First, our pastor of 12 years, Father Prophete, was re-assigned.  For a while after he left there was no priest.  Then we had a new pastor from Miami for a few months but he was given a new assignment as well.  We finally have a new permanent (we hope) pastor, Father Ronel Vildor.  He was moved from another parish in our diocese.  I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting him but we have communicated by email.  I hope to go to Haiti after the holidays to meet him and make plans for the future.

I’m sure you are aware of Hurricane Matthew and the damage suffered by the southern and western parts of Haiti.  Fortunately our parish is in the north and did not suffer much damage.  However, I was made aware this week that one of our remote chapels has collapsed due to the heavy rain.  The chapel is a complete loss and will need to be re-built.  It also served as a school.

We hope to begin our annual medical trips again next March.  It will be a difficult trip since there are no longer flights from Port-au-Prince to the nearby city of Port-de-Paix.  We will have to make an 8-hour trip by bus or car to reach Chansolme and the roads are very bad, but the blessings received from this trip are more than worth it.

We had a lot of interest in our mission during the ministry fair and hope to welcome many new members as we gear up for our next trip.  If you are interested in joining us and helping support our ministry please email Patty (my wife) or me at .  We can also be reached by phone at 615-210-5226 (Patty) or 615-913-7773 (Greg).


“AMEN I SAY TO YOU, AS LONG AS YOU DID IT TO ONE OF THESE MY LEAST BRETHREN, YOU DID IT TO ME.” MATTHEW 25:40

 

 

 
   

Parish Health

Parish Health

 

What is your personal attitude toward wellness goals?

If you've already decided that "nothing works,"change will be difficult.

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Prison Ministry

Prison MinistryTo The Least, Last, Lost, and Lonely…

Our service at St. Joseph is directed to the Trousdale Turner Correctional Complex (TTCC) in Hartsville, Tennessee and the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility (DNSF) here in Nashville, which although the word "prison" is not in its' title, is a prison.  It is a medium to high security hospital for ailing inmates that are sent there from any of the other Tennessee state prisons. They are all felons who are in need of treatment for many different types of illnesses. I continue to maintain a correspondence with about seven inmates at this institution. Deacon Rock Hasenberg is at the helm in at this institution, since I retired from service at that prison after almost 20 years of service. 

TTCC  in Hartsville, Trousdale County, Tennessee is about 45 miles from St. Joseph Church. It is the newest prison we serve. The “we” is Deacon James Booth and myself, Deacon ted Welsh. Deacon James serves several other prisons, but at Trousdale-Turner it’s a partnership. TTCC is the newest prison in the Tennesse Department of Corrections (TDOC) system and is run by contractor Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The prison took in its first inmates on January 7th this year and has a capacity for 2100 inmates which will make it the largest state institution when filled.

We began planning in August this year for our first religious services which were held on August 30th. We decided to make the services ecumenical so that many of the non-Catholic inmates could attend. Our intention was and is to expose these men to various articles of the Catholic Faith as we explore the Scripture readings with the hope that upon presenting the truths of the Faith and seeing its simplicity, symmetry, and beauty, they might want to dig deeper and explore these many mysteries which would be presented during our service.

And so our communion service, which is essentially a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of the pre-consecrated hosts (Holy Communion which was taken by the deacon from the tabernacle and brought to the prison) is probably the closest thing to a Catholic Mass that most of them ever may attend. We use the preceding Sunday readings of the Mass, and then, distribute the Holy Eucharist to the Catholics in attendance. 

The very important change we made a few years ago at DSNF was to allow for 30 minutes of fellowship before the service so that the inmates get a chance to form a community (assembly). Here, they have the chance to get to know other inmates and learn a little bit about their struggles in the journey to holiness. We also try to have a bit of fellowship at the end of the service. A lot of times the men will want to talk privately with one of the ministers about any number of varying concerns, and many times we’re able to help. The problems may range from finding a halfway (transitional) house for them to stay upon parole, or making sure the paperwork for the parole hearing has in its file a letter of recommendation. It may also have something to do with the guilt or shame that accompanies incarceration, or maybe helping someone find a loved one whose whereabouts are no longer known. It may be they may need some help with some funds for things like toiletries or just some new socks. If they don’t have a job, and they have no help from relatives or friends, this is where we can provide some aid. 

Our fund for this help that we offer and the books and instructional materials that we provide come from the generous donations our benefactors provide. Much of the money goes to help the inmates with program fees to get into a transitional house after they are paroled. So many of them – almost 85% - have no jobs while in prison, and so they have no funds to use for their sustenance once they are released into the free world. This problem can be compounded when they have been deserted by family, friends, relatives, wives, and children. Some do get help from other sources, but the majority do not. 

Several of the books we use are:

1) The Missionary’s Catechism by Russell Ford, a convert to Catholicism and a former 20-year inmate in the Alabama prison system. Russell’s book explains the Faith in a very understandable fashion, especially for inmates;
2) Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankyl, M.D., who survived a 4-year stint in a concentration camp. Among many things, his hardships make the men realize how easy today’s inmates have it compared to what he went through; 
3) When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner, whose 5 year old son was diagnosed with progeria, which “is an extremely rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly (Mayo Clinic). It helps many to understand “why stuff happens” and what we can do about it.
In an effort, as futile and grandiose as it may appear, to make prisons into monasteries, we have instituted a religious order for the inmates who are Christians. The order is the Order of St. Moses the Black (O.S.M.B.). St. Moses (c. A.D. 405) was a thief, a marauder, and a gangster who became a monk.

The order is purely voluntary, but the requirements are these

RULE

1) Obedience: Monks must be first of all obedient to the Rule. 
2) Obedient to all lawful authority. 
3) A Monk’s prayer life is supremely rooted in the practice of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (Divine Office). This is the prayer life of the Church, and all of us are tied to the Church, The Body of Christ.
3a) It is strongly encouraged that the Monks pray the Holy Rosary once a day and the Jesus Prayer as private devotions which tune the Christian psyche to the promptings of God’s Holy Spirit. This helps pave the road to holiness. These prayers can be prayed at any time.
4) To serve God by serving others in need.


That’s it. Pretty simple.

The Corporal Works of Mercy 

· Feed the hungry 
· Give drink to the thirsty 
· Clothe the naked 
· Shelter the homeless 
· Visit the sick 
· Visit the imprisoned 
· Bury the dead 


The Spiritual Works of Mercy

· Admonish the sinner 
· Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.) 
· Counsel the doubtful 
· Comfort the sorrowful 
· Bear wrongs patiently 
· Forgive all injuries 
· Pray for the living and the dead 


We have about 4 men studying to become Catholics at this time – 2 at Northwest Correctional Complex, 1 at DeBerry, and 1 at Trousdale. We maintain a correspondence with them and see to it that their needs for instruction materials are met.

The order’s size at this point is very small; we have about 3 members total at this time in two different prisons, but we have about 3 novices in formation. And now, we have new mission territory opening up at TTCC.

The whole thing is in the hands of the Holy Spirit under the patronage of St. Moses the Black. We ask for your prayers. St. Moses the Black, pray for us, and Mary, you who are highly favored and Mother of my Lord, pray for us
.

Contact Deacon Ted for more information or if you would would like to help in some way!

 
 
 

Women's Club

Women's ClubThe Saint Joseph Women's Club has been in existence since the beginning of the church.

The main function of the Women's Club is to fill the needs of the Priests and the Altar, as well as supporting charitable organizations and endeavors. Aside from our membership dues, which is $5 collected annually in October, our main fundraisers are the two bake sales which are held each year.

 

From these funds, donations have been made to our Parish Health Ministry, to SJS Tuition Assistance, to the Social Action Committee and to help fund the church landscaping, just to name a few. The Womens' Club is open to all women of our Parish and all members, living and deceased are remembered at the Mass the 2nd Tuesday of each month, which is also the day of the Women's Club regular meeting and our Monthly Potluck Luncheon.

We are a social group, so please come and "check us out". New members are a blessing!

For information call Carole Mick (615)868-9871 or email:

 
   

Neighbors in Christ

Neighbors In ChristThe Neighbors in Christ committee ministers to members of our parish community by providing meals in the event of a funeral. Both the immediate bereaved and the larger social community can benefit from a funeral meal which functions as a group experience that focuses on the needs of the living. It can be a shared experience in a familiar structured setting which enables the living to celebrate the life of the deceased. Any contributions to this ministry are greatly appreciated.

Neighbors in Christ is in need of someone to coordinate the funeral luncheons provided for the families of deceased members of our parish.  Duties include organizing volunteers to provide covered dishes and serving during the meal.  This ministry is such a blessing to the families in their time of need. If you are interested, please call the church office or Fr. Tomy directly.

 
   

Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus

Bishop Alphonse J. Smith Council 3763
c/o B. C. Hatchett
1020 Windsong Trail
Greenbriar, TN 37073-5428
Phone: (615) 358-0020

The Knights of Columbus is a 1.7 million member fraternal organization of Catholic men dedicated to Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Of the four principals of the Order, Charity is by far the most important.

Council information Bishop Alphonse J. Smith Council 3763 serves Madison and east Nashville including the parishes of St. Joseph and St. Pius.

Our Grand Knight is Al Fleck and you may contact him by phone at (615) 868-5650 Email:
Our Financial Secretary is BC Hatchet and you may contact him by phone at (615) 358-0020 Email:
Membership Chairman is Joe Fricault and you may contact him by phone at (615) 868-6456 Email:

Please visit our website

Council Meeting Place and Times:
Our Council meets at Saint Joseph Church in the Parish Life Center on the second Tuesday of each month starting with a social hour at 6:30 PM followed by our business meeting in the Large Meeting Room in the Parish Life Center. All men of the parish are invited. Officer's meeting is on the 4th Tuesday every other month.

About our Council:
Our Council is a very active Council. Our mission is to support St. Joseph Parish, The Diocese of Nashville, and the Catholic Church. We are active in all Knights of Columbus activities including the M. R. Drive that helps people with special needs, support of seminarians, pro-life, and Morality in the Media. Local programs include support for our Church, youth activities and scholarships, family activities such as Family Fishing Day, Community Programs such as Adopt-A-Highway, and support of our Clergy.

Membership:
Membership in the Knights requires only that you be a Practicing Catholic, Male and over 18 years of age. We invite all men in the Parish to consider being a member and participate in our many charitable efforts. Please contact our Membership Chairman, Mr. Joe Fricault at 868-6456 or check with a member at Mass wearing a red name badge.

 
   

Shepherd's Center

Shepherds CenterThe Shepherd’s Center program was started in 1996 to help folks in the Madison, Inglewood, Old Hickory and Goodlettsville areas.  It endeavors to provide support and services to older adults who are homebound, but are able to remain in their own surroundings with some assistance from volunteers.

Many seniors face serious health problems, hunger, financial difficulties, insecurity and the despair that comes from loneliness and isolation.  Many have to deal with the loss of their home, spouse and their sense of purpose in life. The work of The Shepherd’s Center of Madison is to fill in the gap of other services available to the elderly.
 Click for more information

 

"Take care of My Sheep"  If you can help contact Barbara Harnishfeger #615-851-9930

Wedding Guild

Wedding GuildThe Wedding Guild at St. Joseph Parish consists of several parishioners who assist the clergy, staff, and bridal parties with preparations for rehearsals and weddings. One or more members of this ministry meets with each bride several times to ensure things are being done according to church guidelines and the bride's wishes.

Please click here to read more about weddings at St. Joseph.

Members of the Wedding Guild:

Rachel Spence
Patricia Kelley
Carol Mick
Kathy Duer

 
   

International Ministry

International MinistryThis group promotes a variety of multi-cultural events ranging from exhibits to dinners to foster sharing and appreciation of our diverse parish community.

We are a diversified community and a community like this should involve all in church ministries. Love thy neighbor as you love yourself but how can you love your neighbor if you do not know them. Our community is from a diverse background and we desire to grow strong friendships in loving acceptance of all people.

Our mission is to bring all together by sharing, learning and understanding the cultures and traditions that exist on our community. With this, we can build one community, promote respect and trust in one another, peace, harmony to all and most of all to better serve our church and God Almighty.

To accomplish this goal, we strive to initiate a program where we all can participate by sharing, learning and understanding different cultures and traditions. Our plan is to develop a program on how to know our neighbor. One of the events we host is with International Dinner where all can see, learn and taste different food from another country. We also sponsor a Heritage Day where different groups of people from another country will have exhibits about their country focusing on geography, history, cultures and traditions. We will also post general information on the display board and publish articles in the church bulletin and on the parish website about the different countries and their people.

Membership to this ministry is open to everybody.
 

MISSION:  To promote peace and harmony in our community, by sharing, learning and fully understanding of the different cultures and traditions of the different ethnic origins in our community.  In doing so, we can develop respect to one another.  Living in harmony also promotes cooperastion, helping others and getting involved ib community affairs and especially in church activities and lastly in the safety of our neighborhood.

GOAL: 

  • Promoting a peaceful community
  • Living in harmony
  • Promoting involvement in community living
  • Provide a safe environment
 

Welcome Home Catholics

Welcome Home

 

 

If you are a Catholic who has been away from the Church or know of someone who has been away, know that we are thinking of you!

We offer a safe and confidential place to find understanding and healing.  We hope to begin our 10 week sessions during Easter Season.  If you or another are interested and would like to register or want more information, please contact Deacon Mike @