Care ministries at St. Francis are based on our parish vision — to foster the feeling of family for each Ecclesial community, demonstrating mutual support, sharing and caring. One of newer care ministries is Stephen Ministry.
Stephen Ministry equips lay parishioners to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care, to reach out with God’s love to people who are hurting, who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
A Stephen Minister is a caring, Christian friend who walks alongside a person who is going through a difficult time. A Stephen Minister listens, prays, supports and encourages, with unconditional acceptance. They are not counselors or therapists. They do not intervene, give advice or tell people how to solve problems or try to solve them for them. They are not social workers or spiritual healers. Stephen Ministers commit to “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as they are needed — from a few weeks, to several months.
Our original Stephen Leaders ( Joyce Harper, Susan Bega and Elaine Swyt, along with Father John) welcomed our new Stephen Ministers for the first training in November 2005. Stephen Ministers are prepared for ministry, during 50 hours of in-class training, spread over 6 months — learning the limits of confidentiality, how to pray with others, how to refer people with serious problems to professional help. On Holy Thursday, 2006 we commissioned our first 15 Stephen Ministers who over the months since have been connected through a careful process of referral to those in crisis.
If you are interested in receiving care from a Stephen Minister, want to be a Stephen Minister or have questions about this ministry, please call us at 223-1562 x345 or email us. We’ll discuss with you how this can happen for you.
You can see more about what is happening worldwide with Stephen Ministry by checking out their website: http://www.stephenministries.org.
Apply to be a Stephen Minister:
Stephen Minister Applicant Information Package