- Cullman, Alabama

June 14, 2012

Altar Society at Sacred Heart celebrates 100 years of service

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Cullman

CULLMAN — Altar Society members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Cullman, celebrated their 100th anniversary during recent Church services. Following footsteps of earlier women, this group is devoted to the upkeep of the Church and its’altars.

Back in 1912 the Young Ladies Sodality and the Mother’s Club merged to form the Sacred Heart Altar Society. Dues were $0.10 per month. All women of the Parish are considered members of the organization, whether they help with physical tasks such as cleaning the Church, taking care of floral arrangements, pitching in to prepare spaghetti and Oktoberfest dinners, to praying at home for the group's efforts.   

The major aim of the Altar Society these 100 years always has been to supply the Communion hosts, wine, candles, altar cloths, and priests and servers vestments, including their replacements and any upkeep needed for the Celebration of the Liturgy.

Back in the early days during the building of the current Church the Altar Society provided for the Blessed Mother’s altar on the left side of the Church as well as paying for a large part of the main altar. 

Special bequeaths in recent years helped provide cherry wood furniture and new carpet for the sanctuary. Last April the Church’s Adoration Chapel came to fruition with the aid of the Altar Society. It is used daily for visitation and prayers.

This year the Sacred Heart of Jesus stained glass window centered above the altar was refurbished from funds donated by the Altar Society and the Knights of Columbus, the men’s group of the Church.

St. Boniface Church, Hanceville, Sacred Heart's mission church, is under our care.  In recent times, refurbishing of a monstrance to hold the Blessed Sacrament during adoration services and laying of new carpet in the small rural church have been accomplished.

The group has 12 Masses offered each year for all living and deceased members as well.

In order for the organization to stay solvent over these many years, the group has sponsored activities such as weekly quilting bees and quilt raffles, Bingo and card parties, bazaars and bake sales. November 17 is the date set for the upcoming Spaghetti Supper and Turkey Raffle which is held in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus each year. 

A recent addition to our ministry is the Lenten Scripture Luncheon which has become very successful in a short time. This year’s program, part of our building’s Centennial celebration,  is scheduled for April 6 and will feature EWTN’s Father Mitch Pacwa as guest speaker. 

The largest current fundraiser is the annual Oktoberfest German Dinner. The menu of authentic German bratwurst, warm German potato salad and homemade coleslaw brings people back to the table year after year! All funds collected go toward upkeep of the Church.

Women of the organization are quick to mention and thank the ‘honorary members’ of their group: Those husbands, sons and male helpers who pitch in to set up and take down tables, wash dishes and take out the garbage at each function. 

Sacred Heart Altar Society is a member of the larger organization known as the

Catholic Women of the Birmingham Diocese, previously called the Northwest Deanery.