Catholic lay organizations and organizations chartered by Catholic churches serve the church and provide direct services to our community.
Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Scouts USA Troop 649
Troop 649 provides boys (ages 11-17) from diverse backgrounds with opportunities to do, learn and grow. Activities range from hiking and camping, to campfire cooking; from contributing to community service projects to participating in sports and fitness activities; from learning to be leaders and learning to protect our environment to better understanding the role of faith in their lives.
Our Catholic scouts earn the Ad Altare Dei Catholic religious emblem for scouting under the guidance of St. John’s Youth Ministry. Troop 649 brings the International Peace Light from the Grotto of the Nativity in Jerusalem to share the flame and the message of peace in the Advent season.
Troop 649 and St. John’s celebrate Scout Sunday with our scouts demonstrating their commitment to the church by serving as lectors, ushers and bearers of the gifts at a Mass in February. The scouts recite the Boy Scout Oath at weekly Troop meetings, promising “To do my duty to God and my country….” And during monthly camping weekends, the scouts give thanks and say grace before eating dinner together. Scouts help with the Our Daily Bread Casserole Project and Green Team rain garden restoration.
Troop 649 received BSA’s Gold Award for Journey to Excellence, recognition for delivering a high-quality program, including scout activities, community service, and governance. Troop 649 meets Mondays at 7:30pm at WLIFC.
Knights of Columbus Columbia Council 7559
The Knights of Columbus is a charitable, religious, fraternal organization that supports the parish, our priests, community members, and our members and their families. During the pandemic, we assisted the parish with outdoor Masses, including attendance/registration, parking, donation collection, and social distancing. We perform similar assistance with reconciliation/confession services for the parish. The Columbia Council’s other activities include:
- Assistance with annual picnics, the 40th and 50th parish anniversary celebrations, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Good Friday Stations of the Cross, Pentecost Sunday Diversity Mass and Reception, and the NAMI Thanksgiving Supper.
- Support for other ministries’ and organizations’ fundraisers such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society (Soup Dinner); the Tanzanian Children’s Project, a non-profit charitable organization founded by the Columbia Council (St. Patrick’s Day Celebration); Knight’s Coats for Kids Program; the Clermont Foundation Wine Tasting Event; Columbia Pregnancy Center (annual Baby Bottle Drive); and Special Olympics Maryland of Howard County and the Arc of Howard County (annual Tootsie Roll Drive).
The Knights of Columbus depends on its many member volunteers, and is eager to welcome men, 18 and older, who are interested in joining us for fun, fellowship, and devoted dedication to our many good works.
Contact: Dr. Frank A. Attard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LOAH)
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, a nation-wide sisterhood of Irish and Irish-American Catholic women, is a Catholic Action organization pledged to God, Country, and fostering our Irish Heritage. Saint Brigid is the Patroness of the organization and its motto is “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.” Howard County Division 1 of the Maryland LAOH was established in 2000. The division chaplain is Deacon Paul Gifford.
We support the Knights of Columbus, the Columban Fathers and Sisters, Catholic Charities, the Columbia Pregnancy Center, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center as well as other local and national charitable organizations. LOAH meets monthly on the third Monday at 6:30pm from September through June at WLIFC.
Contact: Sharon Strobel, email@example.com
Legion of Mary
The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church in which members seek to sanctify themselves and others through a program of prayer, study, service, and spiritual works. Active members and auxiliary members work to console the sick, the lonely, and the bereaved. Another area of focus is bringing the faith to others. There are three local units of this group, called praesidium.
Mary Seat of Wisdom – Contact: Valentina Ukwuoma, firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-430-5220
Our Lady of Good Remedy – Contact: Elizabeth Dennis, 443-864-1653
Maria Reina de la Familia (Spanish) – Contact: Hilda Luna, email@example.com or 443-255-9295
Society of St. Vincent de Paul – St. John’s Conference
The St. Vincent de Paul Society builds a more just world through personal relations with and service to people in need. This network of friends gathers together in prayer, spiritual reflection, and mutual support to assist neighbors who are experiencing financial hardship. Our network provides financial assistance to parishioners and non-parishioners who are residents of Howard County. Examples of assistance include rent eviction prevention assistance, utility cut-offs, emergency gas and food, and other needs.
Funding is made possible through the generous donations of parishioners at St. John’s as well as fundraisers, such as ice cream socials, bake sales, and an annual community soup dinner. Annually, an average of 250-300 phone calls for assistance are received and nearly $25,000 in financial assistance is distributed. In addition to financial assistance, we also provide our neighbors with referrals to other organizations that may offer additional resources. Our goal is to end poverty through systemic change.
Contact: Alan Pultyniewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: The Archdiocese of Baltimore requires all parish volunteers to be VIRTUS certified. This can all be done online, or by arrangement with the parish office.