Meet Alejandro and Laura Sanchez. They are Stephen Ministers. They are Stewards Among Us.
Alejandro and Laura will be celebrating 20 years of marriage in May. Alejandro say,”my two children and my wife are the loves of my life and what give me strength to carry on every day.” Laura calls her husband her “best friend, charming prince and hero.” The family has called the state of Washington home for six years. They are a military family. Alejandro was stationed in Joint Base Lewis McChord. On August 31, 2016, Alejandro retired from the Department of the Army after 20 years of active duty service. He currently works for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) providing a variety of services to Service members, veterans, and their families.
Welcomed and Invited
The Sanchez family— Alejandro, Laura and their two children Andrew and Ariana, who Laura describes as “amazing and vigorous young adults” have been members of Saint Patrick Catholic Church for sixteen months. Both Alejandro and Laura believe that Saint Patrick Catholic Church choose them instead of them choosing the parish. In the summer of 2015, they we were on a mission to find a church and they found themselves on the steps of the doors of Saint Patrick Catholic Church.
Planting Deep Spiritual Roots
Laura recalls that, “after just one visit during a beautiful summer day in July 2015, we knew this was home. We have felt welcomed, loved and appreciated since the first day we walk-in. Saint Patrick Catholic Church has given us a sense of belonging and an amazing sense of fulfillment.” Alejandro seconds her feelings adding, “we fell in love automatically and were welcomed right away by everyone we met. We knew right away that we belonged at Saint Patrick Church and we wanted to be involved right away.”
Leading a Stewardship Way of Life
Laura and Alejandro were not kidding when they said they wanted to be involved right away! They jumped right in where the need was greatest. They joined the Usher and Greeter Ministry. They have re-started and are leading the Military Ministry with a kick-off meeting on February 11, 2017. They were recently commissioned as Stephen Ministers. Alejandro is also member of the Knights of Columbus Tacoma Council 809 and Laura volunteers her time at Saint Patrick Catholic School.
Giving Back to God
Alejandro notes that his family has been blessed so much in recent years that they, “as a family wanted to make sure to continue to give back to the church.” He adds, that he “became a Stephen Minister to continue sharing those blessing with others and continue Christ caring for people through people.” Alejandro believes that prayer, caring and communication are the spiritual gifts that will help him be an effective Stephen Minister, along with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Called to Share the Spiritual Fruits
Laura believes that her work as a case manager and ABA Behavior Technician will be an asset in her work as a Stephen Minister. She tells us, “I became a part of the Stephen Ministry because I wanted to render the gifts that our Lord has bless me with to help those in need. I want to be a tool for hope, encouragement and empowerment for anyone that can find my listening skills and power of prayer helpful. I believe that the Lord has bless me with the right amount of kindness, thoughtfulness, fortitude, patience, perseverance and servant leadership skills to help others gain hope, faith and charity. I believe the warm fire of our Lord’s Sacred Heart will always lead my path and allow me to be a meaningful servant leader and Stephen ministry caregiver.”
What is a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers are lay people trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 12,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.
Need A Care Provider?
Do you need a Stephen Minister in your life? Know of someone who could benefit from the support a Stephen Minister? Watch for more information in the coming weeks about how to become a care receiver or how to refer a care receiver.
Do You Know a Steward Among Us?
Do you know someone who is doing great things for others and living the stewardship way of life. Help us profile the everyday stewards among us.
Stewardship lifts up our parish and our communities. We want to give thanks for the gifts of people living the stewardship way of life. Send us an email and let us know about the stewards among us.
Stay tuned for Stewards Among Us features on the each Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader on the team! Until the next edition, search the news archives for more stories on the stewards among us.
Are You Called to Serve as a Stephen Minister?
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
I want to learn more about Stephen Ministry!
Laura Dougherty, Pastoral Assistant for Pastoral Care
Penny Melton, Stephen Ministry Leader