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Ministry of the Word

St. Thomas More Pastoral Council

The Pastoral Council of St. Thomas More Church is a representative body made up of members chosen from each of the clusters of ministries present in our parish (Word, Worship, Community, and Service).  Through prayer, scripture reflections, study and discernment, the Pastoral Council, assists the Pastor in assessing the needs for the parish and articulating a vision for the future as we strive to build the Kingdom of God. The Council, in communication with parishioners and parish ministries, establishes priorities for the parish (e.g. evangelization) and helps the parish to achieve its goals within these priorities.

Baptismal Team

The Baptismal Team helps to welcome young parents and prepare them for the baptism of their children through support, presence and continued outreach. The Team takes part in the preparation class required of all first time parents before the baptism of their children. This class, which takes place monthly, helps parents to learn more about the Sacrament of Baptism as well as exploring how the addition of children to a family changes a marriage relationship. The Baptismal Team is also present during the celebration of baptisms (usually once a month except during Lent) to welcome new families, assist with hospitality and represent the parish community.


Deacon Aidan King- 973-227-5786

New Energies Initiative

STM parish has been taking part in the Archdiocesan program entitled “New Energies.” The program has put STM in greater communication with our neighboring parishes to see how we can develop a new energy for evangelization and parish life together. Representatives from St. Thomas More have been meeting with those from Notre Dame in North Caldwell, St. Aloysius in Caldwell, and Blessed Sacrament in Roseland to determine how our four parishes can work together to build up the Kingdom of God here in our corner of West Essex. We have determined there are several ways we can share our common mission and ministry: through shared Adult Education opportunities, through shared Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, through a coordinated Youth Adult Ministry, through shared Social Action efforts, through a collaboration among parishes for other ministries, and through combined efforts for out reach among our own Catholic community.


Peggy Johnston 973-575-0529

Evangelization Committee

is currently a function of the Pastoral Council. It is the goal of St. Thomas More parish to create a separate Evangelization Committee whose job it will be to provide opportunities for parish outreach to those members of our community who are not practicing their faith and to welcome and encourage them to take a more active role. This committee will also develop ways of encouraging all parishioners to deepen their faith lives and relationship to Jesus Christ. Those interested in learning more about this committee should contact the Pastoral Council.


Gail Bottone 201-953-1259

Bible Study

Read, discuss and reflect on the books of the Bible in our Catholic tradition in a friendly, casual setting every Tuesday evening 6:45-8:00PM in Sr. Agnes Faith Gathering Room


Fr. Juan Pablo Esteban, Parochial Vicar- 973-227-0055

Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group

This group meets every Thursday at 7:00 pm in the Mary Room to pray the Rosary. Join us as we pray for our Church, our priests, peace in our world and for the sick and suffering.


Evelyn Juiliano 201-937-9332

RCIA: (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

This process is for welcoming and preparing those who are joining the Catholic Church and for baptized Catholics who have not yet completed the Sacraments of Initiation. It is open to all parishioners as a means to grow in appreciation and knowledge of the truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. Sessions are conducted by a group of parishioners (RCIA Team) who commit themselves to share their experience of faith with catechumens and candidates by discussing faith related issues and preparing assigned topics for the instruction of those in the RCIA process. 


Fr. Juan Pablo Esteban - 973-227-0055


An annual 26 hour parish retreat for men and women, Cornerstone provides adult members of the parish time to examine their relationship with God. It is an invitation to engage in quiet reflection and to become actively involved in one’s own spiritual development. There is also the opportunity to develop new relationships with fellow parishioners. Men’s Cornerstone is held in the fall and Women’s Cornerstone is held in the spring. The retreat begins on a Friday evening and concludes on a Saturday evening with a closing Mass. Family and friends are encouraged to attend this closing liturgy.


Maryann Durantino 973-439-9890
Lenny Russo 973-244-5755

Adult Choir

Leads and inspires the congregation to join in participating in the Eucharistic Celebrations for Christmas Eve and Easter Vigil. Rehearsals are Thursday evenings at 7:00 to 8:00PM in Church.

Eucharistic Ministry

Those who desire to serve in this ministry should be active practicing Catholics who have completed the Sacraments of Initiation. The ministers assist the priests with the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at weekend Masses, holy days, special liturgies and sacramental celebrations throughout the year.  Ministers are required to assist at Mass about two times a month.


Rev. Marek Chachlowski, Pastor 973-227-0055
Colleen Volanti (Scheduling) 973-227-0055


Art & Environment Committee

This Committee helps in planning all of the celebrations that take place in our church including Sunday Mass, holidays feasts and special celebrations. We plan and carry out the decoration of our worship space to give full meaning to the signs and symbols of our faith in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Worship Office of the Archdiocese of Newark. We work with the parish music ministry and other liturgical ministries to insure that our community prayer together is as beautiful as possible. If you are creative, enjoy decorating, have a flair for the artistic, and desire to learn more about our church and its celebrations, we would welcome your gifts and talents. This Committee meets several times during the year for education and planning, and also to decorate the church before each liturgical season.


Sharon Laner - 973-227-0055


Ministers of the Word proclaim the Word of Sacred Scripture at Mass and at special liturgies. To prepare for this ministry lectors are asked to pray, read and reflect upon the readings in advance and to take time to learn the proper pronunciation of words. Mass assignments are on rotational schedule.


Rev. Marek Chachlowski, Pastor  973-227-0055
Colleen Volanti (Scheduling) 973-227-0055

Liturgy of the Word for Children

Liturgy of the Word for children Pr-K through Grade 5, takes place during the 10:00 am Sunday Mass. This program enables the children to hear the Sunday readings and the Gospel interpreted at their level of understanding. Before the Rite of the Liturgy of the Word the children are invited to process to a separate area of the building to hear the readings from the Children’s Lectionary and to participate in group discussions, directed activities and music. The children return to join the congregation after the Homily.


Cabrina Kinslow- 973-227-3607

Altar Servers

Boys and girls from Grade 4 and up are invited to train as Altar servers for Sunday, Holy Day Masses and other rites. Group and individual training take place as needed.


Fr. Juan Pablo Esteban - 973-227-0055
Colleen Volanti (Scheduling)  - 973-227-0055

Vacation Bible School

Children’s Vacation Bible School is held for one week during the summer for children Pre-K (age 4) through Grade 4. Many moms, dads, grandparents and young people (Grades 5 through 8) are needed to volunteer each year to help with various activities based on the theme for the year. If you enjoy working with children and would like to help them grow spiritually while having fun, consider volunteering your time and talents in this ministry.


Cabrina Kinslow 973-227-3607

Youth Ministry for Junior High School and Senior High School

In the first letter to Timothy Paul writes," Let no one look down on you because of your youth, but be a continuing example of love, faith and purity to believers." The St. Thomas More Youth Group continues to grow and offer fellowship to teenagers in our parish. Each year our Core Team plans an exciting calendar of events such as Youth Retreats, Living Stations of the Cross, and the Homeless Box Village.

Our primary focus is Jesus and to have the teenagers experience His presence in the Church and in one another, through faith, friendship, and fun. Jesus cherished intimate moments and good times with friends. He invites all of us to have those same kinds of experiences. Students in grades 7 through 12 are welcome to attend our meetings each Wednesday at 7pm in Room #5.

Hope to see you there!


Fred Giordano 973-227-0055
Assistants to Youth Ministry:
Dana Bartello

Ministry of Community Building

Ministry of Hospitality

Hospitality is vital to our parish community. From welcoming parishioners at Mass, to a reception for new parishioners, Scramble Sunday breakfasts, Lenten lunches and other parish celebrations, the Hospitality Committee reaches out beyond our Church to touch and enrich other lives. In answering the call of Jesus Christ this committee fosters a spirit of togetherness and community building. New members are always welcome.


Joan Doud 973-227-2837

Renew/SFSG: Small Faith Sharing Groups

This ministry consists of small groups who meet to read, reflect upon and discuss the upcoming Sunday readings. If you have a desire for a deeper understanding and appreciation of Sacred Scripture please consider joining one of the SFSG groups. Each group has a designated time and place to meet decided by the members of that group.

Legion of Mary

The Roman Legion, from which the Legion of Mary takes its name, has come down through the centuries illustrious for loyalty, courage, discipline, endurance, and success. Mary’s Legion must put on the whole armor of God. Its members strive to live the Gospel. Loyalty to God’s commandments and His Church; Courage to stand up for one’s faith; Discipline to battle the forces of evil; Endurance to stand up to the pressures of the world; Success in works which encompass daily recitation of the rosary, and visitation to the Nursing Homes to bring God’s Word and comfort. The Legion also brings the Fatima Statue to families in the parish and encourages auxiliary members to also pray the Rosary daily.  The Legion of Mary meets every Wednesday at 9:30am in the Mary Room.  


Sandy McNally- 973-227-8517


Held annually in the spring, the Carnival has rides for the children, plenty of food, entertainment, and lots of prizes. The Carnival is a fun way for families to spend time together while helping to support their parish. Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success.


Tony Polifonte 973-227-6274
Scott Gemma 973-575-9447

Ministry of Service

Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is one way our parish can share with those less fortunate at Christmas. After Thanksgiving, gift tags are put on a tree in the vestibule of the Church. Parishioners select a tag, purchase and wrap the gift requested and return it by a specified date. Members of the committee help to identify needy individuals and coordinate this outreach.  Volunteers are needed to help with the collecting, sorting and delivery of the gifts.


Cheryl Prager 973-439-0351
Lena Hayek 973-202-5466

Food Pantry

Thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of St. Thomas More, our parish food pantry is a registered pantry in Essex County. Those who are served by the pantry are from the Fairfield area. Non-perishable items are left in the vestibule of the church and are collected daily. Monetary gifts can be left at the rectory.

All those being served by the food pantry appreciate your generosity and the privacy of this pantry.


Eleanor Culnen- 973-227-2052
Paul O'Brien 973-227-0398

Homebound Ministry

If you are lonely, elderly, confined to home or just unable to go to church, the St. Thomas More parish family offers you someone who cares. Sr. Mary Faith will visit you in your home. She will pray with you and bring you Holy Communion. If you would like to be part of this Ministry or if you are in need of service of this ministry please contact the Rectory.


Sr. Mary Faith Chanda, C.S.JB, Pastoral Associate 973-227-0055


The St. Thomas More Bereavement Support Group presents a six week workshop on the grief process. Anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one through death is invited. Support groups offer for the grieving person a structured approach to facing the death of a loved one along with an opportunity to be listened to, understood, and nurtured. This ministry takes place in the Fall and is held in Sr. Agnes Faith Gathering Room from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm.

Ministry contact

Donna Cifelli 973-809-1938

Ministry of Praise

The Ministry of Praise is dedicated to helping the elderly, sick and handicapped to grow in personal holiness. Their prayers, works, joys and sufferings are offered to God to enable the Church to grow in holiness. The members are encouraged to offer spiritual communications each day and intercessory prayers for the parish and the universal Church. They are also asked to pray for the spread of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.


Gail Bottone 201-953-1259

Soup Kitchen

This ministry conducts an outreach program to serve the needs through Our Lady’s Soup Kitchen at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Orange, N.J. The Soup Kitchen takes place on the third Saturday of the month from September through June. A full meal is served at 11:15 am. The volunteer sign up sheet is posted each month in the vestibule of the Church for those who want to help in obtaining, preparing and serving the food. 


Paul O'Brien 973-227-0398

Finance Committee

The committee is appointed by the Pastor and is responsible for assisting and advising the Pastor concerning the administration of the parish, especially as it pertains to financial matters. The Finance Committee helps to oversee the parish budget, and works within the framework of the Archdiocese of Newark policies regarding church finance and administration. This Committee consists of those skilled in financial and business matters and meets quarterly (and other times as needed).


Rev. Marek Chachlowski 973-227-0055

Social Justice Issues

Immigration Reform

Border To Border - Human Rights
Click here for the Powerpoint Presentation
Click here for the PDF Version

Border To Border - Immigration Reform
Click here for the Powerpoint Presentation
Click here for the PDF Version

Public Discipleship

Public Discipleship is an opportunity for our parishioners to address specific, targeted, social justice issues such as hunger, poverty, and human rights. Public Discipleship is: Our parishioners writing letters to our representatives in congress as part of a grassroots effort to end world hunger.
  • It is various STM ministries working together with other interfaith communities by Crop Walking to end hunger.
  • It is learning more about the root causes of poverty and other issues that affect the human condition, in order to bring about corrective action.
  • It is addressing ad hoc issues that require our attention as they arise.
  • It is sponsoring or participating in special programs for our youth and families to take meaningful social action.
  • It is STM ministry heads working together to address specific, targeted social issues.
At St. Thomas More, the Public Discipleship Ministry is a social justice group that provides an opportunity to deepen appreciation for Catholic social teaching through education, action and reflection (prayer). Ministry members engage in social analysis and support taking action that brings faith to life in the world. Our goal is to raise awareness by concentrating on specific, targeted social justice issues as advanced by the Newark Archdiocesan Human Concerns Office, namely world hunger, poverty and a variety of related human rights issues.

Ministry contact

Meg Balter 973-228-6282
Cira Graceffo 973-227-2248

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic men's fraternal benefit society. Here at St. Thomas More Parish the Knights of Columbus, council # 6380, are visibly involved in the life of the parish. They sponsor many spiritual, social, charitable and community programs. The Parish Picnic, St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Dinner, Parish Dinner Dances, clothing drives, blood drives, collecting for the disabled, the unborn, and supporting individuals in our community in need of assistance are some of the areas where the Knights can be seen. We work closely with our Pastor and priests to support them, our parish and community. The Fairfield council is open to new members. Any gentleman over 18 years of age interested please give us a call. We meet the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month in the K of C Room.  


Steve Filipow