If you or anyone you know is interested in membership in the Catholic Church, or to complete the Sacraments of initiation please contact the parish office.

INFANT BAPTISM: Parents are to call parish office after the birth of their child, to begin the baptismal preparation program.

SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY: Arrangements must be made with a parish priest at least one year before the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

ANOINTING OF THE SICK: Please call the Rectory to have a priest administer this Sacrament to one who is seriously ill. Also, please call the Rectory to have a priest visit you or a sick relative in the hospital.

CONFIRMATION: Confirmation will be conferred in the 10th grade after a two year preparation.

SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS: Contact the Vocations Office of the Archdiocese of Newark at 973-497-4365, or speak to one of the priests or sisters.

Adult Education

Process of Adult on-going formation in the Faith which provides workshops, lectures and study groups.

You could: Look for announcements in the bulletin with sign-up instructions.

Altar Servers

School aged children (grades 3 and up) serve at Sunday and Holy Day Masses in Church. Training is provided. Adults are welcome to serve at the Sunday, 8:00a.m. Mass.

You could: Join the team!

Contact: Deacon Walter Wiggins:

Baptism Preparation of Parents

Baptism is a special time in the faith life of parents and families. The Church asks that parents are prepared for the commitment they are making on behalf of their children by attending a parent meeting.

You could: Join the team – volunteer couples take turns assisting the celebrant and Pastoral Associate at the meeting and day of Baptism, two or three times per year. Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Bible Study

Study and reflect on a specific book of the Bible once a week for one hour and a half. Deepen your knowledge and love of God’s Word.

You could: Come Saturday mornings after the 8:30a.m. Mass with your Bible. All are welcome!


Catechesis for Children: The Religious Education Program at OLS

Our catechetical program is designed to support parents in their role as the primary religious educators of their children. Our goal is to teach the essentials of Christ’s message, communicating the language, tradition, doctrine, heritage, and personalities of the Catholic faith.

You could: Volunteer as a catechist, aide, substitute, service project coordinator or Epiphany pageant helper.

The catechists are dedicated volunteers, who share the Ministry of the Word by offering their time and talents as faith sharers. They are committed to the Church and want to share their faith with young people. They are supported by a Religious Education Office, with orientation sessions, workshops, and resource materials.

Contact: Jennifer Noll at 973-763-5454 ext. 235 or:

or Colleen McDonald at 973-763-5454 ext. 285 or:

First Reconciliation / First Eucharist

At OLS, preparation of children for these sacraments is a cooperative effort between their parents and pastoral staff. Each candidate’s family is actively involved in a home-based program supplemented with parent meetings, Prayer Services, and a half-day retreat.


Liturgy for Children

At special times of the year children volunteer to proclaim God’s Word, as Greeters, Altar Servers, Ushers, Etc. at the 10:00a.m. Mass. Volunteers help the help the Catechetical Coordinator with this Mass.

You could: Encourage your child to volunteer.

Contact: Jennifer Noll at 973-763-5454 ext. 235 or:

or Colleen McDonald at 973-763-5454 ext. 285 or:


Children’s Liturgy of the Word Ministry

Serves elementary age children at the 10:00a.m. Mass on the first Sunday of the month. The children leave the adult assembly to listen to and celebrate the day’s Gospel story, rejoining their families and community for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.


Youth Confirmation Ministry

Open to all high school students in our community. The Youth Group offers a whole range of social, athletic, and spiritual activities. Anyone interested in finding out more about our Youth Group is invited to attend the weekly meeting on Sunday nights from 7:30-9:00p.m. in the lower Church. This meeting provides an opportunity to make new friends while discussing topics of interest in an open and honest atmosphere.

Teens who have celebrated Confirmation and who exhibit leadership qualities are asked to consider serving as Junior/Senior Leaders in the Phase I and Phase II Confirmation Program. Leaders meet Wednesday evenings for planning sessions and attend Sunday evenings with high school freshmen and sophomores. These Peer Ministers receive leadership and group dynamic skills training.

You could: Volunteer – young adults are always needed to help and support the Youth Group.

Contact: Chris Kaiser or Colleen McDonald at:



Christian Initiation – RCIA

The rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the Church’s way for adults who desire to put on the fullness of Christ through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist and for non-Catholics to become Catholics, and for Catholic adults who have not received their Eucharist and/or Confirmation to prepare for receipt of these sacraments. The RCIA is a process of faith which also involves the witness and support of catechists and sponsors from our parish community.

RCIC: RCIA adapted for children age 7 years into high school.

You could: Be a co-catechist every 4/5 weeks.

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Collection Counters

These are volunteers who faithfully assume the responsibility of counting and banking the collections of each Lord’s Day and Holy Day.

You could: Volunteer your time.

Contact: Fr. Brian:


Food Pantry

The OLS Food Pantry is a volunteer-led effort supported by the parish.  Our volunteer team comes from the parish and surrounding community and our pantry receives food and monetary donations from many individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations in South Orange, Maplewood and beyond. The OLS Food Pantry is a member of MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity), a support network of 21 interfaith food pantries across Essex County.

Twice a month, individuals and families in need are provided with a full bag of non-perishable grocery items intended to supplement their food supply and alleviate food insecurity. Basic groceries include cereal/oatmeal, pasta, sauce, mac & cheese, tuna, canned fruits, vegetables, and beans, peanut butter & jelly, soup, and shelf-stable milk. We also provide fresh milk and produce whenever possible.

Food donations can be dropped off in the front vestibule of the church 7am-3pm Monday-Friday or Saturday 8:30 am-3pm and at the front porch of the rectory 3-5pm Monday-Saturday. Monetary donations are also accepted by check (payable to ‘OLS Food Pantry’ and mailed to the church at 217 Prospect Street) or online at

In order to ensure our shelves remain full, we rely on a team of dedicated volunteers as well as food and monetary donations and food drives. Our volunteers shop, transport and shelve food, monitor food levels and client volume, schedule volunteers, pack bags and distribute groceries to patrons.

PANTRY SCHEDULE: Beginning in January 2021, pantry distribution will take place from 8:00 to 10:00 am on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month as follows:
January 9 and 23
February 13 and 27
March 13 and 27
April 10 and 24
May 8 and 22
June 12 and 26

Contact: Eileen Mahony or Kate Schmidt, or call (973) 370-0458.

OLS Garden Club

Do you have a green thumb? Or do you simply like to work out in the garden? Do you love our parish grounds? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then the Garden Club is for you. We help to maintain the flower beds around the 5 buildings of our parish property. Children welcome to join the effort!

You could: Volunteer a few hours a month.

Contact: Fr. Brian Needles:

Giving Tree

Starting in mid-November, and running through mid-December, committee members perform the following tasks: writing gift tags with name, age, gift request (mid- November); setting up the Giving Tree in the church vestibule; putting out written gift tags on the Giving Tree before Sunday Mass (both of these tasks are done the first Sunday of Advent); and collecting returned gifts after Sunday Mass (third Sunday of Advent). Giving Tree volunteers share in that true Christmas feeling of love, and embody the spirit of our parish community. Parishioners share their Christmas spirit with local children and seniors in need by purchasing the items listed on the gift tags. You could: Become a committee member (Time Commitment: 2-4 hours once per year). Purchase gifts.

Contact: Parish Office: 973-763-5454


Habitat for Humanity

OLS parishioners volunteer to build/rehabilitate homes with Habitat for Humanity, Newark (HHN). HHN is an affiliate of Humanity International, an ecumenical housing ministry. We build/rehab homes in partnership with families working to amass “sweat equity” hours as a down payment to buy their own homes.

You could: Lend a helping hand.



Healing Mass Committee

Once a year plan the Liturgy Celebration with the anointing of the sick. Be of service to those who come to Mass.

You could: Be an usher, help serve the luncheon, be a door greeter, or assist with the celebrant.

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Helping Hands

A volunteer program in which parishioners drive seniors to medical appointments whenever there is a need, regardless of age. Deliver flowers to homebound at Christmas and Easter. Time commitment is flexible.

You could: Be a driver for appointments and/or make deliveries at Christmas and Easter.



Interfaith Network for the Homeless (IHN) of Essex County

An interfaith ministry of volunteers that provide temporary overnight shelter, meals, and assistance to homeless families in Essex County. OLS is a host congregation for 3 weeks during the year. OLS is part of a network of congregations in Essex County that host families, under the direction of staff at the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County headquartered in Montclair, NJ.

You could: Volunteer to: Help setup and breakdown St. Joseph’s Hall as a living space for the week (2 hours on the Sunday families arrive and depart); Prepare meals (time for preparation and delivery); Spend time with families in evenings or on weekends

(2 hour time slots on evenings and weekends); Stay overnight with families (8:30p.m.- 7:30a.m.); Daily shopping (time to go to store and deliver items to Church); Do laundry at the end of week (wash 1-2 loads pick-up and delivery at Church)

To volunteer sign-up sheets are available in the vestibule of Church several weeks prior to each stay.


 Men’s Prayer Breakfast

A group of men who meet every Wednesday morning 6:00- 6:45a.m., to pray and reflect on the following Sunday’s Gospel. There is a sharing of insights and/or experiences on the meaning of the Gospel. This time gives men the opportunity to place their lives in the context of the Gospel message and thus to grow spiritually. You could: Join!

Contact:  LenMrozack:  973-763-2045  Frank Franzonia:  973-378-9039

Ministers of Hospitality (Ushers)

Parishioners who welcome and greet others coming to celebrate the Liturgy. They are the community’s delegated hosts at the Eucharistic Assembly. They are responsible for seating the congregation, guiding them at times of movement, preparing the Offertory procession, taking up the collection, and distributing the church bulletins. This is open to women and men.

You could: Become an usher.

Contact: Fr.Richard Pfannenstiel: 973-763-5454


Music Ministry:

The Holy Mass is the source and summit of our faith. Music gives meaning to the texts we sing in a way that words cannot alone. We invite all parishioners to be part of music ministry either by your participation from the pew, in one of choirs or volunteering behind the scenes.

The Parish Choir is the principal liturgical choir. We have an ensemble of professional and volunteer musicians. The choir is open to adults and also high school students.

Rehearsals are Thursdays 7:30p.m.– 9:30p.m. in Church.

The Canticum Novum Choir is open to men and women of high school age and above. They are mainly at the 9:30 Mass but will periodically join the Parish choir for special liturgical celebrations. Rehearsals take place Thursdays at 6:30 -7:30p.m. in Church.

Saint Cecelia Singers is open to children in grades 3 through 8. They rehearse on Thursdays from 3:45-5:00. They sing at the 10:00AM Mass approximately twice per month and at other special events throughout the year.

You could: Join the choir!

Contact: Preston Dibble at 973-763-5454 ext: 244 or:


Parish School Ministry (Pre-K to Grade 8)

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish School is a Catholic community of faith committed to proclaiming and living the Good News of Jesus. We strive for the development of programs of excellence, which prepare the students for life. With a well-integrated curriculum we offer classes in religion, mathematics, reading, science, language arts and social studies, together with computers, foreign language, music, art, gym etc. We have a very fine sports program and a variety of extracurricular activities. OLS is a Middle States Accredited School, from pre-school 3 through grade 8. An aftercare program is provided.

For further information call 973-762-5169 or online at:


Peace and Justice

OLS Peace Committee was formed in 1983 to study the American Bishops’ Peace

Pastoral. Our main purpose is to bring Christ’s message of peace to the signs of our time through prayer, study, and presentation of programs for discussion. The committee participates in hunger relief efforts, including walks to fight hunger and sponsors letter writing campaigns on social justice legislation. Committee members write weekly “Think About It” articles in the Church bulletin, which focus on peace & justice issues, including Catholic Social Teaching. We hope to change weapons into ploughshares.

You could: Join with us in our efforts to make a more peaceful world. Monthly meeting 1.5 hours on Sunday morning. Help 15-20 minutes after Mass for food pantry collection once a year and occasional letter writing campaigns.

Contact: Anna Nelson:


Our parish follows the marriage policy for the Archdiocese of Newark, and so an engaged couple meets with a parish priest over a year-long period to prepare for this Sacrament. At the request of the Diocese OLS sponsors a pre-cana workshop once a year, in March.

You could: Volunteer to help to facilitate the day by giving talks in the areas of Communication, Everyday family life, Spirituality, and Sexuality. Team couples must be married at least 5 years.

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Proclaimers of the Word of God

Proclaim the Word of God at the Sunday Liturgy and Holy Days of Obligation and read announcements. When a Deacon is not present lead us in our prayer intentions. You could: Become a proclaimer!

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Pro-Life Ministry of OLS

Our mission is to promote the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.  We advocate for babies in the womb, the elderly, people with disabilities, and those otherwise disadvantaged.  Members of our ministry develop programs and events to educate the parish on the compelling principle of respect for human life.  Educational and pastoral aims are carried out through bulletin articles, Holy Hours for Life, pro-life talks, movie screenings, and service projects to help women in crisis pregnancies.  We promote a culture of life as promulgated by St. Pope John Paul II in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life.

You could: Volunteer to help support their projects.

Contact: Elena Santoliquido: Katharine Townsend:


Remembrance Mass Committee

Once a year plan the Liturgy Celebration of a Special Mass of Remembrance celebrated near All Souls Day commemorated on Nov.2nd. We pray for all who died and were buried from our church during the year as well as for all our loved ones who have died.

You could: Be an usher, help serve the coffee and cake, be a door greeter etc.

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Rosary Society

Women meet to pray the Rosary, grow confident in their Faith, and promote Marian Devotion through various projects. Collaborates with Evangelization Committee periodically.

You could: Become a Rosarian!

Contact: Danuta Kozlowski:

Fr.Richard Pfannenstiel (moderator) at 973-763-5454


Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Society is organized into basic units called “Conferences.” A Conference such as Our Lady of Sorrows Conference normally consists of six to ten parishioner-members, including President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The purpose of the Society is to bear witness to the love of Christ by acting as the group through which the Parish gives economic assistance to individuals and families temporarily unable to meet their current living expenses. Every effort is made to provide this assistance in ways which respect the dignity of the recipient and the confidentiality of the relationship between the recipient and the Society.

You could: Learn more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul on the web.

Email if you are in need of assistance.

Stewardship Committee

Meet about 3x a year to plan ways to further the mission of the parish to spread the kingdom of God by encouraging parishioners to share time, talent and treasure as a way of living out our faith.

You could: Be a part of planning the parish commitment program once a year.

Contact: Sister Mary Selina:


Thirteenth of the Month Club

A group dedicated to praying and studying about the Blessed Virgin Mary. We meet on the Saturday closest to the 13th every month in the lower Church at 10:30a.m. You could: Join and increase your devotion to Mary in group prayer, discussion and support.

Contact: Mary Jane Tannen at 973-763-3361 please leave a message.


Prepares for liturgical celebrations.

You could: Volunteer to care for the altar



Vocations Ministry

The purpose of the Vocations Ministry is to assist the parish community in fostering vocations, reminding parish members to respond to God’s call in their lives, especially to ordained ministry and consecrated life. The Vocation Ministry will take the lead in shepherding the entire parish through initiatives of prayer, promotion, mentoring and invitation.

You could: Volunteer to support their vocation initiatives.

Contact: Ana Santoliquido: