Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Jim Sutton

Jim Sutton says he was fortunate to have the opportunity to explore his faith deeply as a teenager. “We were blessed to have a priest in my small hometown who started a youth center and was also responsible for developing the altar server ministry,” he recalls. “I was involved in the youth center, first as a member, then as a leader, and as a server at daily and Sunday masses, weddings, and funerals, and especially the feasts of Christmas and Easter, where I was a Master of Ceremonies.” 

These experiences led him to where he finds himself now at St. Francis. “It was there that I developed a deeper understanding of liturgy,” he says, “and that led me to music ministry as a guitarist and singer.” He strongly advocates ‘Full, Conscious, and Active Participation.’ Jim believes,” This is never more evident than in music ministry as it is an integral part of the liturgy that invites people into a more active engagement in the Mass.”  He also embraces the giving of ‘time, talent, and treasure.’ “If God gives you a decent voice and an ability to play guitar,” he says, “shouldn’t those gifts be used to fulfill the call to full, conscious, and active participation?”

When asked what has been the most personally rewarding aspect of his service, Jim sees two benefits: “First is the sense of community that has developed amongst the members of the many choirs we have at St. Francis. I’m blessed to have developed many great friendships as a result. The second is to hear the congregation’s response as they raise their voices in song.”  “Our mission,” he emphasizes, “is not just to provide the music for Mass, but moreover to lead the people themselves to sing. It’s a challenge in most Catholic communities; we’re not especially known for being eager congregational singers.” At St. Francis, though, he says, “I count my blessings after every Mass because of how wonderful it is to be part of the music ministry due to the level of participation.”

When thinking about how the St. Francis community reaches out to the larger Raleigh community, he says, “There’s no doubt that we are intimately involved in the community, and our mission not only invites the community in but extends well beyond the campus.” “Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, caring for those in prison, and participating in justice and peace initiatives are all part of what makes us tick.” The music ministry is intimately involved in that outreach, giving concerts in several churches in eastern North Carolina at Christmas.

If you want to get involved at St. Francis, Jim suggests you “Stop thinking about it and do it. You won’t regret it. I’m also a curler, and volunteers run our club entirely. I’ve always said we’re not just a club but a community. I remind club members that you are truly missing out on a much fuller experience of that community if you don’t get involved as a volunteer. The same is true at St. Francis.” Join Jim and all our volunteers in building our St. Francis community as a volunteer!

Author: Mike Watson