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About Us


Let the Light of Christ Lead You Here
The Church of the Holy Spirit is a Roman Catholic church serving East Greenbush and the surrounding community.  At present, Holy Spirit Church shares Christ’s Light with approximately 1,200 families. All are welcome!

History  |  Community Service and Outreach  |  Prayer Opportunities   |  Volunteer Opportunities

History
The Church of the Holy Spirit was founded in 1923—the first East Greenbush parish. Beginning with 50 founding parishioners, today Holy Spirit Church includes more than 1,200 families residing in East Greenbush. Our beginning was modest—starting in the Hysermann family living room to rented quarters in the Grange Hall, the parish grew to enable the purchase of property from the Elliott farm and the building of our church in the early Romanesque style. Bishop Gibbons  approved the petition for the Holy Spirit Church and named Fr. John Fox as pastor. Rev. Fox, previously assistant at St. Peter’s Church in Saratoga Springs, NY, made an immediate impact and grew the parish from 50 to 455 in 15 years. According to a local historian, Rev. Fox’s “outlook and activities recognize no barrier of color, creed or racial origin.” Today, Holy Spirit continues Rev. Fox’s tradition of welcoming all to the church.

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Our Windows
The church’s original arched and leaded windows were replaced in 1937 with six stained glass windows created by Francesco Ruocco Studies in Haverill, MA, to celebrate the church’s 15th year anniversary. The windows were created in a 13th Century medieval design. In 1992, the church was renovated and expanded and more windows were added. The windows guide parishioners in prayer and meditation—and help people of all ages learn about our faith.

Symbolized throughout the windows are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The main window panels reflect scenes of Christ’s and Mary’s lives while the lower portion reflects the apostles. In the square borders, the lily and rose are both emblems of the Blessed Virgin.

Church Tour Guide Including Interior Map with Windows Numbered.

Windows Key

*Windows that were added in 1937.
1. The Annunciation*
2. The Nativity*
3. The Baptism of the Lord*
4. The Agony in the Garden*
5. Pentecost/The Upper Room
6. & 7. Holy Spirit Descending and Ascending
8. The Resurrection of Christ from the Dead*
9. The Good Shepherd and the Light of the World
10. The Lamb of God and Wheat
11. The Precious Blood and Casting Lots for His Garments
12. Christ Blesses the Children*
13. Jesus Preaches
14. Jesus Heals
15. Alpha & Omega (Door Inserts)
16. Holy Spirit Dove
17. The Eucharist—Then & Now
  E. Ambry
  G. Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

Our Cross: The Holy Spirit Church cross is in the San Damiano Cross tradition. Take a look—it hangs in the church’s tabernacle. With its origins in the 12th Century, the San Damiano cross reflects striking iconology. Most stunning of which is the figure of Christ—not the body of a corpse, but of God Himself, radiating the hope of the Resurrection. Chris does not hang on the cross, but seems to be supporting it. This iconographic Crucifix does not express the brute horror of death by crucifixion, but the nobility and gentleness of eternal life. (Read more about our cross and its San Damiano tradition.)

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Community Service and Outreach: There are many opportunities at Holy Spirit Church in which you may help us share the Light of Christ, using your gifts of time and talent.
 


Active Seniors Ministry: for seniors who would like to plan and organize service and social activities for the senior members of the Holy Spirit community. (Contact Karen and John Ennis at [518] 732-2036.)

Bereavement Ministry: assists with funeral liturgies on behalf of parish families and is present at funerals. (Contact Mary Blevins at [518] 477-8368.)

Eucharistic Ministry to the Homebound: confirmed parishioners bring and share the Body of Christ with homebound parishioners. (Contact Jerry Lopez at [518] 477-4123.)

Evangelization-Amazing God:  Are you a seeker? This Ministry seeks to promote outreach and welcome to people who are searching for faith, to help people who wish to return to Church, and provide enrichment to people currently involved in Church who seek to explore and deepen their faith more fully. (Contact the Parish Office at [518] 477-7925, ext 202.)

Knitting and Crocheting: members knit and crochet clothing and blankets for people in need at Joseph’s House, Circle of Mercies and CoNSERNS-U. (Contact Linda Carey at [518] 479-4123.)

Knights of Columbus: for parish men aged 18+, Knights of Columbus supports the church and works to better the community. Guided by charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, Knights live their faith in service through a variety of projects. (Contact Rich Dacey at [518] 477-2530.)

Parish Caregivers: offers short-term, hourly relief for caregivers of chronically ill family members in their homes. (Contact Rosemary Horan at [518] 477-7925, ext. 205.)

Renaissance Ministry: (Rebirth and Renewal of Senior Ministry) offers the "gift of God" through prayer, worship, reflection and giving. Open to adults ages 40+. (Contact Rosmary Horan [518] 477-7928 ext. 205)

Social Action Committee: comprised of members of the Southern Rensselaer County Local Planning Group, the committee collects food, clothing and other items for those in need while working within the Church and the larger community for social justice. (Contact Marilyn Fortin at [518] 477-4181.)

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Prayer Opportunities
 


Altar Rosary Society:
prays the rosary for world peace. Meeting the second Wednesday of each month at 11 am in church (Parish Chapel in the winter months), the society also makes Baptismal robes and rosaries for First Eucharist candidates, launders small church linens and visits Rosewood Gardens twice a month to pray the Rosary. All are welcome. (Contact Diane Kellogg at [518] 279-5401.)

Sisters’ Prayer Group: a Scripture-based group for people of all ages, the group meets the second Monday of each month April-June and September-November in the church and explores a different theme each month. (Contact Rosemary Horan at [518] 477-7925, ext. 205.)

Women’s Spirituality Group: for women of all ages to share faith. (Contact Nancy Jordan at [518] 479-0294.)


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Volunteer Opportunities

Help us share the Light of Christ through volunteering in church activities and liturgical ministries.
  Altar Services: assists at weekend Eucharistic celebrations on special occasions. All adults are welcome. Children participating must be at least in the 3rd grade.( Contact Deacon William Dringus at [518] 477-4803.)

Children’s Liturgy of the Word: presents Sunday’s Scriptures to children for 20 minutes during the 11a.m. Mass. Open to adults and youth in middle and high school. (Contact Maria Collins at [518] 477-7925, ext. 206.)

Eucharistic Ministers: are confirmed parishioners who share the Body and Blood of Christ at our weekend and holy day Eucharistic celebrations. (Contact Al White at [518] 477-7094.)

Lectors: proclaim the Word of God during weekend Eucharistic celebrations. Open to adults and youth in middle and high school. (Contact Laura Fisk at [518] 477-2521.)

Music Ministry: cantors, choir and instrumentalists accompany weekend Eucharistic celebrations and perform on special occasions. All are welcome to participate. Rehearsals are on most Thursdays at 7p.m. in the church in the school during the winter months. (Contact Cylon George at [518] 477-7925, ext 207.)

Children’s Choir: children perform in a choir as an accompaniment for weekend Eucharistic celebrations and perform on special occasions. (Contact Amy Isenhart at [518] 320-8686.)

Prayer and Worship Ministry: plans Eucharistic and liturgical celebrations from arranging and scheduling special celebrations to the seasonal appearance of the church. All are welcome. (Contact Fr. Joe O’Brien at [518] 477-7925, ext. 203.)

Ushers and Hospitality Ministers: greet and offer assistance to all worshippers at weekend Eucharistic and other liturgical celebrations. Open to all adults and teens. (Contact Frank Graziano at [518] 477-8168.)

For more information on volunteer activities or to initiate a service, contact Fr. Joe O’Brien.
Virtus Training
People volunteering with Holy Spirit who will have contact with children must take Virtus training. The Diocese of Albany and Holy Spirit Church are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone, especially children. We believe in education that: raises awareness of sexual abuse; identifies the signs of sexual abuse; explains how to control access to our children and vulnerable adults; and, encourages responsible reporting of abuse. Many Virtus presentations have been scheduled for the coming months and new sessions are added regularly. For schedule information and to register online, go to Virtus.

While Virtus training is required for any one working in the church with children, it is recommended for everyone.