Liturgy & Spirituality

Altar Servers

The primary role of an Altar Server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the Mass. The Altar Server fulfills many roles during the liturgy including, carrying the processional cross and candles, holding the missal for the celebrant as needed, assisting the priest as he receives the offertory gifts, washing the hands of the priest before the prayer over the gifts, carrying the incense and thurible, and removing items from the altar during communion.

  • The ministry of Altar Server is open to both boys and girls who have celebrated their First Communion. Adults are also welcome to serve.
  • Training is provided upon joining as well as throughout the year.

See the bulletin for updates and training announcements, or contact the Parish Office.

Arts and Environment Committee

This committee was started in June 2012 to mark and enhance our parish church environment for celebrations of the seasons and feasts of the Liturgical Year through the use of flowers, plants, banners, and pieces of art.

The committee is open to all parishioners. Our committee members typically commit no more than 6 hours a year.

Help is very much needed by the entire committee for 2 activities a year.
  • Decorating for Christmastide: Christmas Eve from 9 AM–noon. During this time we hang wreaths and garland and place candles and 50 poinsettias and then water them. Families are welcomed.
  • Decorating for Eastertide: Holy Saturday from 9 AM – noon. During this time we hang wreaths, banners, and bunting and place 50 potted plants and water them. Again families are welcomed.
Other activities require only 1, 2 or 3 volunteers not the entire committee.
  • Putting up Advent trees and banners
  • Putting up Lenten banners
  • Watering plants throughout Christmas and Easter Times
  • Decorating for Ash Wednesday
  • Decorating for Palm Sunday

Meetings of the entire committee are rare to none.

For more information contact Sue Melhorn at the Parish office.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion are properly trained and commissioned lay persons who serve renewable three-year terms. They are 18+ male and female parishioners who have been Confirmed. For each Mass several Ministers are needed, so that Holy Communion can be distributed in an orderly and timely manner. For more information, contact the church office.


The primary role of a Lector is to proclaim the Word of God from the Holy Scriptures. Lectors assist the priest by reading the First Reading, the Second Reading, and the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass. Not only should Lectors be effective communicators comfortable with public speaking, they should be conscious of their role in expressing God’s Word to the rest of the parish community present at the liturgy.

  • Lectors must be in full Communion with the Catholic Church. We highly encourage our high school students to join this ministry as well.
  • Training is provided upon joining as well as periodically throughout the year.
  • Lectors must be willing to prepare ahead of time in order to study the meaning and pronunciation of their assigned readings.
  • Lectors must also be present at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the Mass.
  1. Before Mass, be seated on the left side of the church or in the left transept. (The left side refers to the side nearest the ambo and the statue of Our Lady.) You may walk to the sanctuary using the main aisle, the left aisle, or from the left transept. However, please enter the sanctuary from behind the ambo, using the left side steps of the sanctuary, not from in front of the altar.
  2. Make a single, slight bow toward the altar before you climb the sanctuary steps.
  3. Proclaim the First and/or Second Reading(s).
  4. When there is a choice between a long version and short version of a reading, ask the celebrant before Mass whether he needs you to read the long or the short version.
  5. When there is an option of several readings, ask the celebrant before Mass which option he needs you to read.
  6. If you are doing both the First and the Second Readings, take a seat between the readings, while the Responsorial Psalm is sung. You may sit in the sanctuary next to the cantor’s chair. If you are not reading the Second Reading, leave the sanctuary and return to your place in the pews.
  7. After you have read the Second Reading, leave the sanctuary and return to your pew.
  8. Always return to your pew the same way you approached, remembering to make a bow toward the altar once you have gone down the sanctuary steps and are on the main floor of the nave.
  9. See the additional notes at the bottom of this page.
  1. Before Mass, please look over the white Mass binder and familiarize yourself with the titles and numbers of the hymns, the Prayer of the Faithful, and the announcements. Please make sure that you are preparing for the correct Mass. (Hymns will be usually be different for the Sunday 6 p.m. Mass. Announcements will sometimes differ among the weekend Masses.) If you have any questions, please check with the celebrant for that Mass before he goes to the back of the church for the Entrance Procession.
  2. When announcing the Mass intention, if there is a cross next to the person’s name, you should say, “The intention for this Mass is the repose of the soul of [the person(s) indicated].” Otherwise, you should say, “The intention for this Mass is [the person(s) indicated].”
  3. Prior to Mass, take your seat in the sanctuary next to the cantor’s seat.
  4. Watch for a signal from the celebrant. Then go to the ambo and read the opening greeting as written in the Mass binder. After you have read the welcome, read the invitation to a moment of sacred silence. Please be sure to pause for a full 10 seconds of silence. Then read the name of the celebrant for that Mass and invite the congregation to stand and sing the Opening Hymn.
  5. When announcing hymn numbers, pronounce each digit. For example, Hymn 132 is pronounced “ONE THREE TWO”, not “ONE THIRTY TWO” or “ONE HUNDRED THIRTY TWO.” Take care to announce the hymn name correctly.
  6. Remain at the ambo during the Entrance Hymn until the celebrant kisses the altar. Once he has kissed the altar, leave the sanctuary and take your seat in a pew. Please sit near an aisle in either the left side of the nave or in the left transept. (If you are the first reader as well as the commentator, you may take a seat next to the cantor at this point, if you wish, rather than returning to a seat in the nave.)
  7. If there is no deacon at that Mass, you will read the Prayer of the Faithful. As the congregation recites the Creed, slowly approach the ambo as the congregation begins the last part of the Creed (“I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”). Enter the sanctuary from behind the ambo using the left side of the sanctuary, remembering to bow before entering the sanctuary. Find the appropriate page in the Mass binder and read each petition exactly as it is written.
  8. After the celebrant concludes the Prayer of the Faithful, you will announce the Offertory Hymn. Then leave the sanctuary and return to your place in the pews. Do not remain in the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer.
  9. When the celebrant and congregation stand for the Prayer after Communion, slowly return to the ambo, approaching from behind the ambo using the left side of the sanctuary. You should be at the ambo by the time this prayer is concluded.
  10. Read each announcement exactly as it is written. Before reading the announcements, simply say “Our Announcements” or “Today’s Announcements.” Please do not make comments such as “We have a lot of announcements today,” “We only have one announcement this morning,” or “Our final announcement.” Remember that the celebrant may have additional announcements after you have read the one(s) in the binder. Do not agree to make announcements that are not in the binder without first asking the celebrant for that Mass.
  11. After announcing the Recessional Hymn, remain at the ambo until the celebrant goes down the steps of the sanctuary. Then leave the sanctuary, making the customary reverence, and return to your pew.
ADDITIONAL NOTES (January 2016):
  1. If you are serving as a reader or commentator, please do not sign up to also serve as a communion minister for that Mass. Allow others to participate as ministers at that Mass. However, if it is clear that more communion ministers are needed when they have lined up in the sanctuary, then you may come forward if no one else is volunteering to serve as a communion minister.
  2. Readers and commentators do not process out with the celebrant and servers.
  3. These guidelines are for Masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Readers for weekday Masses may enter the sanctuary from in front of the altar, remembering to make a bow before entering and upon leaving the sanctuary. Please leave the sanctuary the way you approached. Readers at daily Masses will also lead the spoken Responsorial Psalm.

Music Ministry

The SJN Adult Choir is comprised of SJN parishoners who seek to worship and glorify God with sincere hearts through music.  Emphasis is placed on four-part singing (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass).

This group rehearses every week on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the SJN choir loft.  Additionally, this group meets consistently at 9:45 a.m. in the choir loft on Sunday mornings to prepare for the 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Please leave a detailed message for Jonathan Leichman by calling (865) 966-4540 or emailing if you are interested in joining the choir.

Saints Martha and Mary Society

We are but simple women performing simple tasks, all for the love of God. We ask nothing in return, only that God bless our families and our church.

The Saints Martha and Mary Society is for females from high school age to adult and is a ministry to St. John Neumann Church.

  • The Saint Martha part of the Society cleans the interior of St. John Neumann church building on Saturday mornings from 9 am – 11 am.
  • The Saint Mary part of the Society cleans vestments, linens, purificators, and replaces candles.

Members of the Saint Mary society perform their tasks as needed on a prearranged schedule. You may join either part separately or you may join the Society as a whole.

To join or for further details, please contact Michelle Johnson.


Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to Mass. All ushers are to wear nametags.

USHER ATTIRE SHOULD REFLECT THE DIGNITY OF THE MINISTRY. A coat and tie for men and similarly appropriate attire for women is recommended but not required.

There should be three (3) ushers per Mass, with four (4) required for Sunday’s 10:30 Mass. One usher should assume the role of Lead Usher to ensure the following duties are completed.

Ushers should greet parishioners before Mass standing outside of doors of the sanctuary. Assist parishioners as necessary before, during, and after mass to ensure they may fully celebrate the mass. Ushers should familiarize themselves with the Emergency Handbook on the wall in the narthex across from the elevator

The Lead Usher should meet with the priest celebrating Mass to determine if he has any special needs or special instructions.

THE CENTER DOORS SHOULD BE KEPT CLOSED DURING MASS. They should be closed when the liturgical procession begins and should be re-opened as the procession starts up the center aisle at the recessional.

Two Center Aisle Ushers should take up the collection in the front center sections and transepts of the church. While the third usher should take up the collection in the two rear sections. At the 10:30 mass two ushers should take up the collection in the transepts and the two Center Aisle Ushers should take
up the collection from the center front and rear sections.

The Lead Usher should solicit gift bearers prior to Mass. The collection basket should go first, as it is liturgically least important. We would prefer that the gift bearers not genuflect, as the focus at this point in the liturgy should be on the altar and not on the tabernacle. One usher should then go down the side aisle to retrieve the collection basket once the gifts have been presented. Two ushers should then take the gift basket to the working sacristy and put the money in a bag to then be put in the safe.

The Lead usher should ensure a count of parishioners attending mass is completed and recorded. Please make sure to include people in the choir loft, on the altar, in the cry room, and in the Narthex. The count must be recorded in attendance book.

At communion time the Lead Usher should ensure that the celebrant is escorted to those parishioners requiring special communion then escorted back to the altar. One usher should escort a Eucharistic Minister to the Choir loft via the elevator and back to the altar.

After Mass, the ushers should pass out the weekly bulletin. Two ushers should pass out bulletins at the transept exits at the 10:30 Mass.

All ushers are to straighten up the church for the next Mass and ensure the hearing aids are turned off.

Please sign in on the Usher lines in the narthex when you work as an usher.

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

The act of Enthronement to the Sacred Heart is an act which takes an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and places this image at the heart of a home, a business, or even a school. The prayers of the Enthronement place the individual, the family, or a community at the feet of our merciful King asking Him to become present in that place as not only our King but also our friend, our brother, and finally our loving Saviour.

The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home is an act of adoration that publicly declares Him as “Lord of the Household.” It is more than setting aside a dwelling place for Him in a building; it is the welcoming of the Reign of Christ into the heart of the family who dwells within that place. He becomes the central focus. He promises great blessings for families and individuals who honor Him with the installation of a blessed image of His Sacred Heart, proclaim His Kingship over them and make a covenant of love with Him.

This action of enthroning the Sacred Heart has an impact on families and individuals that carries over to society and becomes the basis for spreading the Social Reign of our King and Savior. In this sense, the Enthronement is very much in line with the mind of the Church who wishes to see acts of charity, peace and justice move from the family circle to all society.

If you are interested in this ministry, please contact Richard at

Extraordinary Ministers for the Sick/Homebound

Extraordinary Ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion to the sick and homebound are properly trained and commissioned lay persons who serve renewable three-year terms. They are male and female parishioners who have been Confirmed. For more information, contact the parish office.

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

“Could you not watch with me one hour?” Matthew 26:40

Jesus asked his apostles to keep watch with him the night that he began his Passion for us. He invites us now to keep him company in Eucharistic Adoration.

In July 2001 the Parish invited Fr. Joseph De Luca, MSS, to assist in beginning Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at the Parish. He preached at all weekend Masses on October 19 and 20, 2001, regarding its meaning and great value. Within a week, 600 parishioners under the leadership of Bill and Louise Costello, Lynn Fitzgerald, Howard and Sue Hendershott, and Phyllis Ide, committed to at least one hour a week to the 24-hour, 7 days-per-week adoration. A chapel with separate controlled access was constructed in what had been the northwestern most classroom of the Jamestowne Blvd building. The chapel was graced by a marble altar that was donated by the Augustinian Fathers’ novitiate in Washington, D.C. On the Feast Day of St. John Neumann, January 5, 2002, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration began. Since then the adorers have celebrated the chapel’s anniversary with a potluck dinner on or close to the Feast Day of St. John Neumann. Today the adoration chapel and its graceful marble altar are located in the second floor of the St. John Court church.

If you would like to sign up for a weekly hour, or need further information, please call the church office at 966-4540. Substitutes provide a valuable support for our Chapel. If you are unable to make a weekly hour, but would like to occasionally fill in for someone regularly scheduled, please call the church office or Greg Larson at 386-4314. Our night adorers could use help. Would you be able to spend one hour a month (or more) as a support?

A reminder for Adorers.

Security is turned on after all functions in the church are over and turned off before the first morning mass. All doors, except the one you are to use for visiting the Adoration Chapel have security on them. This includes all narthex (atrium) doors going into the main body of the church. Motion sensors are also located throughout the church. Do not look over the choir rail or you will set off the alarm. If the alarm goes off, a policeman and dog will come to the church to check out the alarm. We have to pay for any calls made to the police from the campus.

Prayer Chain

The SJN email Prayer Chain is a group of individuals who are willing to pray for prayer intentions submitted to the facilitator via the email address: Anyone can join us in prayer simply by emailing a request that you would like to be involved in praying with the prayer chain to the above address.

Operating Guidelines: the Prayer Chain provides first name & last initial for prayer requests, unless otherwise advised. I do use priest’s whole names in prayer requests, unless otherwise instructed. I do ask that information that is sensitive not be added to the prayer request–please keep it general if the item is too sensitive for the individual to speak about. The Prayer Chain does not forward chain emails, and does not pass on any sort of advertisements.

Traveling Mary Statue

For over 30 years, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatimá has been visiting the homes of St. John Neumann parishioners which has resulted in countless favors and graces through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God.

If you would like to invite the Virgin Mother statue into your home, sign up via Google Form: or by email:
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