God Doesn’t Want Us To Walk Alone
There are times when every one of us experiences difficulties – loss of a loved one, illness, spiritual crisis, separation, loneliness, job loss, discouragement and many others. God never intended for us to go through these experiences alone. That is why we are brought together as a parish. It is why pastoral care is a vital part of who we are at Saint Patrick Catholic Church.
Pastoral Care is Essential
The purpose of pastoral care is to build community by the spread of the Gospel through acts of caring and mercy.
No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house where everyone is welcomed and no one is rejectedPope Francis’ Homily | March 13, 2015
When our church serves those in crisis, they tend to remain and find a home in our church. Conversely, we lose them and the grace of their presence if they do not find compassion here. We are diminished as a parish by the loss.
Stephen Ministry Helps Provide Christian Care
To increase Saint Patrick Catholic Church’s ability to provide this critical pastoral care, our Pastoral and Finance Councils adopted a highly successful, ecumenical pastoral care model called Stephen Ministry in early 2016. Stephen Ministry equips lay parishioners to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in our parish and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. The program equips God’s people for ministry by providing 50-65 hours of training and ongoing support.
Stephen Minister are the After People
The first step was to send two lay leaders to learn the Stephen Series system for pastoral care so that they can establish and maintain Stephen Ministry in our parish while teaming with existing ministries. Anne Chambers and Penny Melton represented Saint Patrick Catholic Church at a mid-April 2016 conference in St. Louis, Missouri. They returned with the tools needed to direct the training of Stephen Ministers. The parish prayed for travel mercies and a fruitful outcome for our parish. The first cohort of Stephen Ministers were trained starting August 2016 through the end of February 2017. The Stephen Ministers were commissioned and started to take care receivers in March 2017.
Do You Feel Called to be a Stephen Minister?
Does Stephen Ministry sound intriguing? Could this be a ministry that taps into your spiritual gifts and passions? Are you a caring and compassionate listener? Would you like to join others who have layed the groundwork for this amazing outreach?
Have you have been trained as a Stephen Minister, Cabrini Minister or similar calling in another church? Your Stephen Leadership Team— Penny Melton, Anne Chambers and Dan Skeldon are ready to answer all of your questions. Our next training cohort will be starting up soon.
Join Stephen Leaders for an informational meeting. All were welcome— whether discerning a call to be a Stephen Minister, or those who wanted to learn more about the ministry in general.
After all Masses the weekend of August 12-13, August 19-20 and September 9-10 Stephen Minsisters will be on hand to answer your questions about the upcoming information sessions. The sign-up table will be in the Gathering Space at Saint Patrick Catholic Church.
- Video clips explaining what Stephen Ministry is and showing Stephen Ministers in action
- Stephen Minister application process: if you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister
- Training requirements for Stephen Ministers: complete 54 hours of training over the course of 10 months. Meetings are planned for most Tuesday evenings and three Saturday morning retreats.
- In addition to training, ongoing continued education is needed and a two-year commitment to the ministry.
- Ongoing support and supervision
- Other nuts and bolts
- Opportunity for questions and discussion
I want to be a Stephen Minister!