Immaculate Conception Parish adopts the “Commission form” of Pastoral Council-
All areas of Parish life fall under one of these Commissions:
Pastoral Council-The Pastoral Council is composed of parishioners who serve as an advisory body to the pastor. Nominations are accepted in October, with elections being in November of each year. Members serve on the Council for a term of three (3) years.
Parish Finance Council-The Finance Council advises the pastor in overseeing the budgeting process and monitoring its progress throughout the year. Members serve on the Finance Council for staggered three-year terms.
IC Prayer Network- If you have a serious illness or know of someone who does, there are over 100 people in our parish and others who will pray for your needs. Contact the parish office for more information.
-The Cursillo movement strives for Christ to be the prime influence in society. Cursillo is a simple method to develop Christian spirituality, mentality, activity and community. The prime objectives of the Cursillo movement in Arkansas are to develop in adult Christians a consciousness of their power and mission to become leaders in the work of Christian renewal, and to sustain them as they provide a Christian leaven in civic, social and economic life.
Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament- The Adoration Chapel is located in the rectory of St. Boniface Church-1820 North “B” Street, and offers quiet time in prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This chapel is a combined effort of Immaculate Conception, Christ the King, St. Boniface and Sacred Heart of Mary Parishes. Please call Rudy and Dorothy Gramlich at 479-452-7595 or John and Joyce Becker at 479-783-8569 if you are interested in joining the adorers group.
Heart of Jesus Prayer Group- This prayer group meets on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm in the Parish Hall at St. Boniface Church. It is a Charismatic Renewal prayer group that focuses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Immaculate Conception Adult Choir-is open to anyone who would like to participate. Contact the Church Office for more information.
The Immaculate Conception School Choir-sings at the 10:00 am Sunday liturgy the third Sunday of every month during the school year and Christmas Eve services.
The Funeral Choir-Volunteers who sing at parish funerals.
Hispanic choir-Practices on Monday evenings for the 12:00 noon service on Sunday and on Thursday evenings for the 2:00 pm service. Contact the Church Office for more information.
Lectors- Proclaim the Word of God at our Celebration of the Eucharist. Each lector is assigned a liturgy at which to read.
Extraordinary Ministers of Communion- At our Eucharistic Celebrations, the Ministers of the Eucharist distribute Holy Communion to the faithful. The Ministers also bring the Holy Eucharist to those who are homebound.
Altar Servers assist the Celebrant at our Liturgical Celebrations. Altar server training is offered to boys and girls, 4th grade and up.
Our ushers assist the assembly within our worship space. They greet those attending Mass, gather our gifts, coordinate the Communion procession and are helpful in many other ways.
For more information and to sign up to participate in these Liturgical Ministries, please contact the Church Office.
Religious Education and Formation
Parish Religious Education (PRE)- Immaculate Conception offers a comprehensive religious education program for students in grades 1-12 who attend public schools. This program meets diocesan guidelines and is staffed by catechists who are either diocesan certified or working towards diocesan certification. These classes are offered on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, August-May.
Vacation Bible School- VBS is offered to children ages 4-10 for one week during the month of July and is staffed by volunteers. Check church bulletin or office for information and dates.
Youth Ministry- Immaculate Conception Church offers a comprehensive youth ministry program that includes social and community building activities, catechesis, service projects, youth Masses and prayer and worship services called Life Teen. This program is open to all youth in grades 9-12 regardless of Church or religious affiliation. Life Teen Mass is every Sunday at 5:00 pm followed by a Life Night from 6:30-8:00 pm. For more information, contact the Life Teen coordinator.
Virtus- The “Protecting God’s Children” awareness program is a diocesan required seminar for all church and school employees and volunteers who have any contact with children in the parish. Check the weekly bulletin or call the Church Office for dates and times of training.
This program is an extension of the Virtus Safety program. All children in PRE and our Parish Elementary School are required to participate. The program is intended to help our parish children become aware of things they can do to stay safe.
There are a variety of opportunities for Adult Formation and Spiritual Growth at Immaculate Conception. We regularly offer Adult Scripture Study Groups, Catechetical Training Sessions, Sacramental parent meetings, Lecture Series, Keynote speakers, Prayer Groups, Parish Missions, Seasonal Days of Recollection and Reflection, etc.
Our Parish Library is located in the parish office building. Books are available on a wide range of subjects related to spiritual life and the Church. The library accepts donations of books and tapes that are appropriate for a church library. All parishioners are invited to enjoy the parish library during the hours of 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Mon. thru Thurs.
Immaculate Conception School (K-6)-
Immaculate Conception Elementary School is located at 223 South 14th Street. The grade school building was opened in 1930 under the guidance of Monsignor Patrick F. Horan. A preschool, 18 months – 4 years, is located across from the elementary building at 300 Lexington Avenue.
Immaculate Conception School exists for the spiritual, moral, and academic education of the children of Immaculate Conception Church. With God’s help and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Conception School seeks to prepare its students to be productive Christian citizens of tomorrow.
Immaculate Conception School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education in the fall of 2013. Immaculate Conception School is the first Catholic school in Arkansas and the only elementary school, public or private, in Fort Smith to receive this recognition.
The Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (ANSAA) accredits Immaculate Conception School. By meeting the standards of this association, Immaculate Conception School pledges itself to provide its students with the best possible learning environment. For more information about IC School, please call the School Office 479-783-6798 or visit the website www.icschoolfs.org.
Pastoral Ministry-Interested parishioners volunteer to serve our homebound and elderly parishioners as well as Catholics in nursing homes. For further information, please call the parish office. If you need a visit from the priest for a loved one or friend, please contact the church office.
Prayer Network-Dedicated parishioners pray for those who are in need of prayer or would like to request prayer. If you would like to join this important ministry, are in need of prayer or would like to request prayer, please see the phone numbers in the church bulletin.
Prayer Shawl & Teddy Bear Ministry-The mission of the Prayer Shawl and the Teddy Bear Ministry is to bring comfort, joy and love to those who may be discouraged or sorrowful. Shawls are made by hand, threaded with Blessings, Love and Prayers by members of the Immaculate Conception Ladies Auxiliary and the Teddy Bears are part of the collection of one of the members. If you know of anyone who is in need, please call Barbara Bearden 479-785-2259 or Melanie Donaubauer at 479-769-4223. Click here for more information
Immaculate Conception Ladies’ Auxiliary- Membership is open to all women of the parish. Its membership provides fellowship and service to the parish and meets the first Tuesday of each month for a business meeting. The ladies also meet every Wednesday in the St. Anne’s Building to work on projects for their annual Fall Bazaar which is their main source of income for funding special projects throughout the year.
Monday Night Bingo- Every Monday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Parish Center. Doors open at 6:30 pm. All proceeds go to our Charity Fund to help the needy. Everybody is invited!
Men’s Club- Immaculate Conception Men’s Club is open to all men of the parish and meets monthly.
“Amistad” Multicultural Ladies Group- Open to all women of the parish, this is a multicultural and bilingual group where members share their talents (culinary, crafts, sewing, knitting, etc.) to raise funds destined to help families in need within our parish. The group meets on Mondays 6:00-8:00 pm in St. Anne’s Hall.
Men of Faith- Open to all men, this group meets at 6:00 am every Friday in St. Anne’s Hall for a Bible study.
Boy Scouts- Immaculate Conception Church has an active Boy Scout and Cub Scout program. Sign-ups take place in the summer. Watch the church bulletin for more information.
Girl Scouts- Immaculate Conception Parish sponsors Girl Scout Troops open to girls in grades K-6. Sign-ups take place in late August. Watch the church bulletin, school newsletter or call the Mount Magazine Girl Scout office at 479-452-1290 and they will assign you to the age-appropriate troop within our organization.
Church League Baseball- Immaculate Conception Church sponsors church league ball teams, grades K-9. Watch for sign-up dates in the Church bulletin in January.
Adult Softball- Immaculate Conception Parish also sponsors coed softball teams for ages 18 and older. Check weekly bulletin for sign-up dates.
Parish Picnic- Held annually on the last Sunday in September. Parish Life Commission of the Parish Council coordinates with the Men’s Club and Ladies’ Auxiliary for this event.
Special Receptions- Parish Life Commission is asked from time to time to coordinate receptions for special events. Some of these include-RCIA reception after Easter Vigil service, First Communion Reception, Confirmation Reception, and Reception for High School Graduates.
The justice and peace ministry and ministry of community outreach are very actively involved in a variety of services in the Fort Smith area. There are many opportunities to become aware of justice issues and ways to respond compassionately to the hungry, the homeless and the oppressed.
The Harris Project- Father Jack Harris (former IC associate pastor) initiated work with the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center that continues through the efforts of Immaculate Conception Parish. Every Friday, members from Immaculate Conception parish go to the juvenile section of the Sebastian County Jail to visit and counsel with the detained youth. One Friday a month, Immaculate Conception Parish sponsors what is known as a free world meal for the imprisoned boys and girls. Instead of the normal institutional food; the qualifying kids are fed a special meal. The food for this special meal is purchased by the church and prepared by parishioners. To learn more about the Harris Project, call Lucy Buergler at 479-452-8222.
Clothes Closet- Immaculate Conception parish is active in efforts to help support the responsible poor with clothing needs. Old, new, unused, unwanted or outgrown clothes are appreciated and accepted by The Clothes Closet. The Clothes Closet makes every effort to see that those without sufficient or suitable clothing have their basic clothing needs met. To learn more about the Clothes Closet, call Clyde or Betty Chaney at 479-783-8150.
Charity Fund- Donations to this fund go directly to help the homeless and the needy in our community. This Fund sustained with private donations, Monday Bingo Nights and donations to the Poor Box.
Poor Box-Located in the North Vestibule of our church. Donations to the poor box go directly to help the homeless and the needy in our community through the Charity Fund.
General Service- Many parishioners volunteer time and talent to local community organizations by serving on boards, committees, and work crews. For further information on how you may contribute to these efforts, contact the Church Office (479-783-7963) or your Parish Council.