Photos courtesy of Maria di Paolo

Altar Server

Q: What is the purpose?

A: The Altar Servers assist the members of the liturgical assembly by presenting or arranging vessels and other items used in the celebrations and their reverent and efficient service enables other ministers to attend to their own roles while the liturgical actions unfold with calm, order and appropriate decorum. As members of the assembly who are often visible to all, the Altar Servers also model good liturgical participation.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Altar Servers usually commit to assisting with one of the regular Sunday masses, including the 5:00 p.m. Vigil Mass on Saturday.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: Altar Servers must be fully initiated Roman Catholics.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: If you would like to serve as an Altar Server contact the Parish Office by email or by calling 416-926-7110.

Basil’s Brigade

Q. What is the purpose?

A. There is always work to be done around St Basil’s… As a response to the constant need for extra hands, we have assembled our finest on-the-go helpers. By signing up, you will be receiving an occasional email that lists various events, activities, and needs that require a little extra elbow grease. This could include setting-up or tearing-down an event, carrying heavy equipment, stuffing bulletins, selling or baking items for bake sales, cleaning parts of the building, setting up the altar for a new season, etc. The opportunities are as varied as the activities at the parish. Many hands make light work!

Q. How often do you gather?

A. This is a noncommittal, occasional volunteer team. Upon receiving an email, you may reply with which tasks you can assist with, based upon your availability. There are no obligatory meeting times, only the listed opportunities that will vary with each season.

Q. Are there any requirements or restrictions for volunteering?

A. Good candidates will have elbow grease, a joyful attitude, and a good work ethic!

Q. How do I get more information?

A. To join the mailing list, email Leanna at lcappiello@stbasiltoronto.orgQ. I want to volunteer, what do I do next?

A. Upon receiving an email, just show up at the designated time and place and be ready to work!

Basilian Lay Associates

Q: What is the purpose?

A: To respond more fully to our Baptismal call to holiness and service, and to offer support to the Basilian Fathers through prayer, ministry and communal sharing. Each BLA is committed to the Basilian charisms of education and evangelization and share a special relationship with the Basilian community through their prayer and support.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Once a month for regular gathering of prayer, fellowship and faith development with the Basilian Fathers of the Toronto region. Most often, this occurs on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm near St. Basil’s Church.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: Initially, it is only necessary that a prospective BLA be a committed Catholic to attend gatherings. After attending a few gatherings, an initial interview proceeds a “come and see” period to get to know the group better.

Since membership requires public commitment to the Basilian Way of Life, individuals are asked to pray the Divine Office, meet with a spiritual director on a regular basis and attend a retreat once a year. While these requirements may seem formidable at first, they form the basis for a formal, and official, relationship with the Basilian Fathers.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: You can contact Anastasia Oehlert through the parish office at office@stbasiltoronto.org or 416-926-7110.

Choir

The role of the choir is to support the singing of the assembly, as well as to enhance the assembly’s prayer with other chants and musical settings fitting for liturgy.

The St. Basil’s choirs sing for the 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday Eucharists (September-June) and for major feasts of the Church year. Their repertoire encompasses a broad spectrum of musical periods and styles, including Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and traditional and contemporary hymnody.

For more information on the choir and music at St. Basil’s, please click here.

Christian Meditation Group

Q: What is the purpose?

A: Meditation is a way of simplicity, silence and stillness. It can be practised by anyone from wherever you are on your life’s journey. In Christianity this tradition became marginalised and even forgotten or suspect. But in recent times a great recovery of the contemplative dimension of Christian faith has been happening. Central to this now is the rediscovery of a practice of meditation in the Christian tradition that comes to us from the early Christian monks (the Desert Fathers and Mothers) and allows us to put into practice the teaching of Jesus on prayer in a radical and simple way. John Main has a major role in this contemporary renewal of the contemplative tradition. His teaching of this ancient tradition of prayer is rooted in the Gospels and the early Christian monastic tradition of the Desert.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: We gather two days a week in the St. Basil Parish Meeting Room (Basement Room 006):
• Wednesday – 5:30 pm (co-leaders: Marie Dyach and Elaine Mills)
• Saturday – 3:30 pm (leader Rob Bedolfe)

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: It is only necessary to be clear about the practice and then to begin – and keep on beginning.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Elaine Mills is the contact person and may be reached through the Parish Office by email or by calling 416-926-7110.

Contemplative Women of St. Anne

Q: What is the purpose?

A: To offer mutual and stable support for deepening contemplation.

  • To access the wisdom of women saints, writers and Doctors of the Church to best guide the difficult journey of the soul towards interior union with God through a loving, intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • To share and bear together the burden of
    contemplative life in the modern world and in
    each member’s reality.
  • To uncover and bequeath the legacies of
    contemplative women saints, who would
    otherwise be lost to history, or remain in
    obscurity.
  • To be a daily carrier of contemplative love and
    prayer in the world.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: We meet once a month for 2.5 hours and every two weeks for an hour of “Common Prayer” in the crypt chapel of St. Michael’s under St. Basil’s.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to involvement?

A: We have been together for just under two years (since foundation) and are still “finding our way” – we have been accorded Ad experimentum status as by the Archdiocese of Toronto, under Bishop William McGrattan, and this period ends September 2014. We anticipate opening up to welcoming new interested members starting January 2014.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Lucinda M. Vardey is the contact person and may be reached through the parish office at office@stbasiltoronto.org or 416-926-7110.

Eucharistic Minister

Q: What is the purpose?

A: Extraordinary Ministers of Communion serve the Eucharistic life of the community. They are acknowledged by the bishop at the request of the Pastor to assist the celebrant and other Ordinary Ministers during the liturgy in sharing the Eucharistic body and blood of Christ.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Extraordinary Ministers of Communion assist with serving the eucharistic at all of our masses. Ministers for our Sunday masses, including the 5:00 p.m. Vigil mass on Saturday, serve according to a schedule. Typically ministers serve two to three times in every two month period.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: All Extraordinary Ministers of Communion must be fully initiated Roman Catholics. Previous experience is not necessary and training is provided.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: If you would like to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion, please contact the Parish Office by email or by calling 416-926-7110.

First Sunday Food Drive

Q. What is the purpose?

A. To gather food and monetary donations for The Daily Bread Food Bank.

Q. How often do you gather?

A. On the first Sunday of each month, two volunteers will stand in the vestibule and collect food and donations. There are also two volunteers who pick up the donations and deliver the non-parishables to the food bank on the following Monday.

Q. Are there any requirements or restrictions for volunteering?

A.  A willingness to be here on a Sunday for certain Mass times to collect donations.

Q. How do I get more information?

A. Call Barbara Bobb at the parish office:  416-926-7110

Q. I want to volunteer, what do I do next?

A. Call Barbara and set up a time to be present on the next first Sunday!

Flower Guild

Q: What is the purpose?

A: The flower ministry is one of giving glory to God through beauty. We beautify our altar and church with flower arrangements and/or plants using our various talents in creativity and practicality as well as our availability.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: We alternate from meeting weekly on Saturdays for the arrangement and/or during the week for watering and maintenance. We have a schedule which allows anyone to contribute as much as s/he feels called to do.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: There are no specific requirements needed for to partake in the flower ministry other than a willingness to contribute time and care.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: We welcome anyone who enjoys working with flowers and creating arrangements or watering them to keep them fresh. Please join us – the more the merrier! You can contact Mario Manza through the parish office at office@stbasiltoronto.org or 416-926-7110.

John Ford First Sunday Food Drive

Q. What is the purpose?

A. To gather food and monetary donations for the social justice ministries at St. Basil’s.  This includes:  St. Vincent de Paul, Out of the Cold, and The Miller Group.

Inspired by the voice of the founder, John Ford, the ministry also gives a voice to the needs of the local community and good work of parishioners as they respond to those needs.  This is done by capturing and sharing stories (as they are appropriate) and conveying those to the parish community.

Q. How often do you gather?

A. On the first Sunday of each month, two volunteers will stand in the vestibule and collect food and donations. There are also two volunteers who pick up the donations and deliver the non-parishables to the food bank on the following Monday.

Q. Are there any requirements or restrictions for volunteering?

A.  A willingness to be here on a Sunday for certain Mass times to collect donations.

Q. How do I get more information?

A. Call Leanna at the parish office:  416-926-7110

Q. I want to volunteer, what do I do next?

A. Call Leanna and set up a time to be present on the next first Sunday!

Magdala

Magdala is a conciliary (a place to gather and listen to God’s word from the lips of God’s people). Its mission is to foster, promote and share feminine sanctity and wisdom through the love of Jesus Christ.

Magdala is formed in response to Pope Francis’ invitation –

1.  to develop a profound theology of women,

2.  to interpret and understand the feminine dimension of the Church,

3.  to advance participation of women in all levels of Church and society.

Magdala offers discussion, education, relationship and community. Meeting once a month, subjects and themes to be shared include awareness and knowledge of feminine principles, influences from scripture and culture, defining feminine genius and natural/spiritual maternity.

Future subjects will explore feminine virtues and the wisdom and work of female saints along with participants’ individual life and faith experiences.

Magdala is a Toronto-based initiative for complementing and contributing to a series of seminars scheduled for 2016-2018 in Rome entitled Towards an Intrinsic Feminine Theology.

Magdala offers a place for women in the Church to recognize and embrace who they are in God.

For more information contact:

Emily VanBerkum: emily.vankerbum@utoronto.ca

Leanna Cappiello: leanna.cappiello@utoronto.ca

Marriage & Family Life Prayer Ministry

Q: What is the purpose?

A: To ask God to open the hearts of individuals, married couples and families to live in a way that would bring joy, peace, hope and love to their lives. There will be prayers for marriage and family every day of the month.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Members are encouraged to pray on their own on their designated day of the month. Once a year on or around the feast of St. Joseph, Patron of Families. During that time, we celebrate Mass, have light refreshments, and invited speaker leads a session on prayer or topic of their choice.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: None except, an openness to prayer for marriage and family in their own way or using guide book

Q: How do I get more information?

A: The coordinators are Dane and Ann McCarthy, who may be reached through the parish office at 416-926-7110 or at office@stbasiltoronto.org.

Miller Group

Q: What is the purpose?

A: As an important community outreach initiative, the Miller Group provides simple, but nutritious, packed lunches for those in need. Members help to shop for supplies, prepare sandwiches and pack and distribute the lunches.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Within each activity (Purchasing, Preparing sandwiches, and Distribution), members rotate on a scheduled basis every 4 weeks. Purchasing happens according to the schedule of the shopper. Sandwiches are prepared on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm in the Parish Kitchen. Distribution occurs on the same day, between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. Volunteers are always welcome to join on a regular (weekly) or occasional basis.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: There are no volunteer requirements to work with the Miller Group, except for friendliness and reliability. You are also welcome to come by and simply have a cup of coffee/tea with the patrons anytime. Many of them are excellent conversationalists.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Emily VanBerkum and Bess Jarvis are the cocoordinators. They may be reached through the Parish Office by email or 416-926-7110.

Ministry of Visitation

Q: What is the purpose?

A: There are many in our community who are not able to come to the church, so we go to visit them.  Some of these are sick and others are elderly, or perhaps they have difficulty walking outside during the harsh winter months.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: There is no one gathering, but ministers go out as they are needed.  Many ministers are sent at the end of Mass on Sunday to visit once a week, those who have requested a visit.  Other ministers are also family or friends of those receiving a visit. In the end, it is up to the minister and recipient to arrange a schedule or a one-time visit.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: Those who would like a visit by a minister need to live within the St. Basil’s Parish boundaries.  All visitors need to be trained, also serve as a Eucharistic Minister and complete the necessary background checks.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: If you would like to receive a visitor, you can contact the parish office at office@stbasiltoronto.org or 416-926-7110.

Out of the Cold

Q: What is the purpose?

A: The Out of the Cold program was initiated in 1987 by the students of St. Michael’s School with the support and guidance of Sister Susan Moran of the order of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow. The program was established after a group of students befriended a homeless man who had frequented the area near the school. Within a couple of weeks the relationship between the Students and the homeless man, he unfortunately died. This impacted the Students deeply and with Sr. Susan they began discussing what they could do to alleviate homelessness. The plan was simply that the faith group volunteers would open their doors one day a week for a period of approximately 23 weeks as well as provide food and hospitality to the homeless which are considered Guests of the program. Today there are 19 different programs – all with the same simple purpose: to provide food and hospitality for those who need it most.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Every Tuesday from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: All we ask is that you bring a generous heart, and be willing to serve, learn and listen to those who are our guests! You can come one week and miss the next or for the whole time or just for what you can give.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Simply call the parish office at 416-926-7110 or at office@stbasiltoronto.org.

Seniors Gentle Fitness Classes

Q: What is the purpose?

A: No matter how old you are, it is important to stay in shape, but it helps when you are in a nice environment with people you like.

Our Gentle Fitness Program is taught by a certified instructor, who has been teaching for more than 30 years. Her approach is designed for seniors, and can accomodate all fitness and mobility levels.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM on a weekly basis in the parish hall. Entrance to the hall is through Scollard Park on the West side of the building.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: Each class costs $7.00. No registration is necessary for your first visit – all you need to do is show up!

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Simply call the parish office at 416-926-7110 or drop by to check it out. You can also find more information on our websie at www.stbasiltoronto.org.

Singing Club

Q: What is the purpose?

A: Singing Club has been meeting at The University of St Michael’s College since fall 2009, coming together weekly in term time, just for the pleasure of singing. We sing songs people love to sing – covers of top 40 hits to the songs we grew up singing and still love to sing.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Thursdays from 1:00-2:00 PM in the Parish Hall.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to participating?

A: Only an enthusiasm for singing—there is no audition and no one is required to sing solo.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: On Facebook or from the group’s coordinator Michael O’Connor (michael.oconnor@utoronto.ca). Or just turn up!

Society of Sharing

Q: What is the purpose?

A: Our goal is to improve quality of life, and reduce social isolation and vulnerability, among seniors and adults with physical disabilities living in downtown Toronto. We accomplish this by recruiting, screening, and matching volunteers with clients to provide the following programs and services: Friendly Visiting, Medical/Shopping Escorts, Socialization Groups, and Telephone Reassurance.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: Our Friendly Visits, Telephone Reassurance, and Socialization Groups are offered weekly. Our Medical/Shopping Escorts are provided as needed.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteering?

A: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, must complete our training and screening requirements, and must be willing to commit 2-4 hours weekly, for at least 6 months to 1 year.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: To find out more about our client programs and services, please contact us at 416-413-0380 ext. 222 or info@societyofsharing.org. If you require services that are not offered by our agency, we can help connect you to additional community resources.

Q: I want to be a volunteer, what do I do next?

A: Please visit our website at www.societyofsharing.org to view our volunteer application process, or contact us at 416-413-0380 ext. 224 or info@societyofsharing.org.

St. Vincent De Paul

Q: What is the purpose?

A: Members are dedicated to helping the poor and disadvantaged in our area. Members visit Neighbours-in-Need in their homes and help with food and clothing vouchers. We also request beds and furniture from our warehouse which are delivered free of charge. From time to time, we are able to assist people to pay ultility bills. Most imporantly we listen to people when we visit.

Q: How often do you gather?

A: We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm in Room 006 (or the parish hall if it is free). Members go out on visits in pairs Monday to Friday.

Q: Are there any requirements or restrictions to involvement?

A: There is an application process to become a member, which includes an application form asking for the name and address of three refrences. In addition, there is a criminal record check which the conference pays for. Lastly, there is an interview and a covenent form. All paperwork is then sent to the Central office and then the member is invited to an Orientation session, after which he/she gets a pin and a certificate.

Q: How do I get more information?

A: Barbara Bobb is the contact person and may be reached through the Parish Office by email or 416-926-7110. St. Vincent de Paul also has a direct line at 416-926- 3100 ext. 3468.

Sunday Baking Company

Q. What is the purpose?

A. St. Basil’s hosts a Bake Sale on special days of the year. But these aren’t just your average Bake Sales… behind every cupcake and cookie, there’s a pair of hands and a heart with vision in tasty aesthetics. You could be one of those hard working hands who works closely with one of the best bakers in the city.

Q. How often do you gather?

A. Upon joining, there is a lesson with Irene Dale that lasts for one Sunday morning/afternoon. After that, you will independently produce baked goods for the Bake Sale. When there is an upcoming Bake Sale (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc), you will be contacted to see if you can contribute, what you can contribute, and if you are able to sell. If you are only interested in selling and not baking, you are most welcome to help sell at one or more Masses on Saturdays or Sundays.

Q. Are there any requirements or restrictions for volunteering?

A. This is an intimate and committed group with a passion for intricate baking tasks. If you are interested in learning, are already experienced and want to learn more, and are readily available for Sundays (when baking and selling goods happens) we’d be happy to have you!

Q. How do I get more information?

A. For more information, contact Leanna at leanna.cappiello@utoronto.ca

Q. I want to volunteer, what do I do next?

A. To check availability for baking lessons, or to volunteer to help sell baked goods, email Leanna at leanna.cappiello@utoronto.ca