SPIRITUAL LIFE

Prayerfully and attentively celebrate our liturgies


There are many ways for people of all ages to help make our liturgies prayerful and beautiful!

Explore the descriptions below, then contact the Parish Office with any questions and to get involved!

Sacraments

Our understanding and celebration of the seven sacraments is a very important part of community life at St. Stephen Parish. 


These sources of spiritual vitality are intimately bound up with our humanness and employ the most common things of earth (water, bread, wine, oil, words of commitment and forgiveness). 


At the same time, we never lose sight of the reality that sacraments say more about our God than they do about us.  Through the sacraments, we encounter a God who:


•  cares for us from the cradle to the grave;
•  binds our faith family together, despite our many flaws;
•  teaches us the sacredness of the created universe, which is the first “sacrament” of God’s existence and presence to us.

The Seven Sacraments

Baptism

In Baptism we receive new life in Christ.  Baptism takes away original sin and gives us a new birth in the Holy Spirit.  Its sign is the pouring of water.


Reconciliation (Confession)

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance) we receive God’s forgiveness.  Forgiveness requires being sorry for our sins.  In Penance we receive Jesus’ healing grace through absolution by the priest.  The signs of this sacrament are our confession of sins and the words of absolution.


Eucharist (Communion)

The Eucharist nourishes our life of faith.  Its signs are the bread and wine we receive — the Body and Blood of Christ.


Confirmation

Confirmation seals our life of faith in Jesus.  Its signs are the laying on of hands on a person’s head, most often by a bishop, and the anointing with oil.  Like Baptism, Confirmation is received only once.


Matrimony

In Matrimony a baptized man and woman are united with each other as a sign of the unity between Jesus and his Church.  Matrimony requires the consent of the couple, as expressed in the marriage promises.  The couple and their wedding rings are the signs of this sacrament.


Holy Orders

In Holy Orders men are ordained as priests, deacons, or bishops.  Priests serve as spiritual leaders of their communities, and deacons serve to remind us of our baptismal call to help others.  Bishops carry on the teachings of the apostles.  The signs of this sacrament are the laying on of hands and anointing with oil by the bishop.


Annointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, unites a sick person’s suffering with that of Jesus and brings forgiveness of sins.  Oil, a symbol of strength, is the sign of this sacrament.  A person is anointed with oil and receives the laying on of hands from a priest.

Pastoral Care

Hospitality

Individuals try to make newcomers, guests and other parishioners feel at home in our parish community.

 

Parish Growth

Outreach through word and deed to encourage membership in our parish.

 

Pastoral Care to the Sick

Ministers bring Holy Communion and comfort to those who cannot be with us at Mass.

 

Social Action Committee

Creates awareness about important issues in the Church community and in the world. A social action table is maintained in the back of the Church.

 

Sunday Fellowship

Pick up donuts and make coffee before the 9:30 AM Mass; serve and clean up, once every 6 weeks. 

 

Liturgical

Altar Servers

Assist at the altar during Mass.  Altar servers need to be fourth grade or older and have made their First Communion, or when no youth available, a confirmed adult.

 

Choir / Music Ministry / Cantors

Encourages parish singing in worship through music and song. 

 

Extraordinary Ministers of Communion

Assist the priest in the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass. A brief training session is provided in advance.

 

Gift Bearers

Carry bread and wine to the altar during the Offertory Procession at Mass.  Families, groups, or individuals are welcome to volunteer to serve as gift bearers.

 

Greeters

Welcome parishioners and visitors as they arrive for weekend Mass.

 

Lectors

To study and prepare a clear, faith-filled and vibrant proclamation of the Word

 

Sacristans

Prepare the sacred vessels and other details essential to the weekend Mass.

 

Ushers

Help at weekend Masses by finding people to take up the gifts, taking up the collection and distributing Sunday bulletins after Mass.

Liturgical Support

Altar Linens Committee

Volunteers care for the linens used in liturgies; linens are picked up weekly and returned washed and ironed to the sacristy at the end of the same week. Linens used with the Eucharist are first hand-washed and the water poured on the ground in respect for any drops of the Sacrament that were in the linens.

 

Arts & Environment Ministry

Members plan the environment for liturgies and set up the changing displays, purchase flowers or items to create the desired environment.

 

Bulletin Boards

Updated weekly by a committee member who posts new items on the three bulletin boards in the church.

 

Collection Counting

Counter the weekly collection with a counter partner.

 

Liturgy Committee

Plans and prepares liturgical celebrations.

Faith Formation

Faith Formation for both St. Stephen and Christ the King are combined as one with the few exceptions listed below.  Deacon John Ashmore is our Director of Faith Formation.

C.L.O.W.


Our Children's Liturgy of the Word (C.L.O.W.) has been ongoing during Sunday Mass at St. Stephen for over 30 years.  Our school age children gather during the Liturgy of the Word to get a better understanding of the Gospel for their level.

Adult Faith Formation

 

St. Stephen provides speakers to enhance your spiritual growth at different times of the year, especially during Lent and Advent.  When events are scheduled they will appear on our event page.

Small Groups

Adult Enrichment

Adult Enrichment meets the first and third Thursday morning each month. Activities are diversified: excursions, plays, retreats.

 

Card & Game Party

Monthly daytime social of Bridge, Rummikub, Dominos, etc., with a quarterly Holy Spirit luncheon.

 

Scripture Study Group

We have an active and long running Scripture Study lead by Jeannette Holmes.  The group is currently studying Galatians.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

 

St. Vincent de Paul Society

The purpose of our St. Vincent de Paul Society is to assist the needy on a person-to-person basis.  Emergency food, clothing and other services are provided.  Parishioners make this emergency financial aid possible through their generous contributions to a special collection taken up four times a year (on the fifth Sunday of the month).

Pastoral Support

Email Alerts

Emails are sent out to parishioners to advise them of upcoming events and special notifications.


Maintenance Work

Sharing one’s expertise in the upkeep of parish facilities.


Photographer / Website Maintenance

Takes photos and videos of special occasions. Updates parish website weekly.


Social Action Committee

Creates awareness about important issues in the Church community and in the world. A social action table is maintained in the back of the Church.


Stewardship / Fundraising Committee

Provides opportunities through spiritual or social events for parishioners to share their time, talent and treasures.


Telephone Care Ministry

Calls are made to homebound parishioners to keep in touch. Calls are also made to alert parishioners not on our email notification about upcoming events or special notifications.