Social Justice Ministries Information
Through our ministries, we, as Catholic Christians, share our beliefs with each other and the community. And we demonstrate our willingness to help others inside as well as outside the walls of St. Stephen, Martyr. Please look over these various ministries and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in choosing those that will serve your God and your community, and strengthen your faith in the best way possible. The Social Ministry reaches out to serve people throughout our community. Some activities are ongoing and others are one-time/annual events.
Email: AJ Kelleher, Chair Phone: 804-839-5235
Food Pantry Collections
St. Stephen, Martyr provides food to families needing temporary assistance. Collections are given to Prince of Peace Food Pantry and the Great Bridge Food Closet, an interdenominational service of local churches. Some of the most needed items are the following: Hormel Dinners, Hamburger Helper, Canned Meat (chicken), Ramen Noodles, Mac & Cheese, Pork & Beans (15 oz. – can), Minute Rice, Boxed instant potatoes, Pasta (1 lb.), Canned Pasta Sauce (24 oz.), Pancake Mix, Syrup, Juice, Cereal, Peanut Butter (16 oz.), Jelly ( NO Glass), Jello or Pudding, Can Fruit (15 oz.), Toilet Paper. Volunteer drivers are needed to make deliveries to each of these organizations.
Point of contact: E-mail: Dennis Hansen.
St. Stephen, Martyr parish, a member of Maison Fortuné Orphanage Foundation, supports the construction and operation of the orphanage in Hinche, Haiti. Volunteers coordinate with parish Foundation board members to provide orphanage information to the parish, assist in fundraising events and coordinate visits to the orphanage.
Point of contact: E-mail: Julie Thomas. Phone: 757-403-9383
Parish Health Ministry
This ministry is made up of adult parishioners who have a professional health focus and/or credentials. Current volunteers coordinate and staff the three annual parish blood drives. New volunteers are needed to continue other programs such as conduct blood pressure screenings and sponsor periodic outreach projects. New ideas are welcomed.
Point of Contact: Vacant
This program ministers to the religious needs of those confined in Chesapeake Correctional facilities. Volunteers may accompany a priest who administers the sacraments, or may conduct scripture study, and/or provide fellowship to the inmates. Visits are on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and include Masses for Christmas and Easter. Non-visitation activities include: “Study-Buddy” Bible and Faith Dismas correspondence courses, re-entry assistance, resume writing, “Gifts from the Heart” (Christmas gifts to children of the inmates), and monetary donations to “SSM Prison Ministry Program” to defray the cost of materials given to the inmates, e.g., Bibles, faith and Bible study material, etc.
Point of contact: E-mail: Mary Montero. Phone: 757-630-0790
Point of contact: E-mail: Dave Stroud. Phone: 757-410-4411
Prison Ministry – Kairos and Diocese Prison Ministry Commission
Serving correctional center and volunteer leader for Diocese.
Point of contact: E-mail: Mike Siedlecki. Phone: 757-650-9735
We are committed to building and sustaining the sanctity of life – upholding Christian conviction that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. We meet quarterly to pray, strategize raising awareness on life issues, and connect our parish with regional pro-life activities. Respect Life month in October provides various activities. One activity is arranging, in the shape of the American flag, 3300 pink, white and baby blue crosses; each representing one life aborted each day in the USA. Our prayer warriors provide support to the 40daysforlife organization each fall and spring. A “Baby Shower” helps struggling mothers who chose life for their baby over abortion, with donations and/or proceeds going to charitable organizations. Please join us for these and other worthwhile activities.
Point of contact: E-mail to Dolly Rosenbaum. Phone: 757-646-8726
Point of contact: E-mail to Maria Jacob. Phone: 757-635-7244
Faith Works Coalition
Faith Works Coalition (FWC) is a registered 501(c)(3) comprised of volunteers from faith-based congregations, the military and the public. FWC was established to eliminate poor living conditions in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and other communities by repairing homes for elderly, disabled, disadvantaged and low-income families. Jobs in Chesapeake are primarily Saturday mornings.
Point of Contact: Vacant
Virginia Catholic Conference
A political action coalition of the Richmond and Arlington dioceses. While active all year at the federal level, the main emphasis is on the Virginia General Assembly during January and February. Members try to promote Christian moral issues and bills to favor the marginalized of our state.
Please contact Virginia Catholic Conference directly here.
Annual One-Time Events:
Provides Christmas gifts to children and food for the Christmas dinner to Chesapeake families in need. It is conducted as a family-to-family activity. Volunteers organize the event, conduct sign-ups and assign recipient families to parish donating families. Some deliveries may be required.
Point of contact: E-mail to Jeanne Cushman. Phone: 757-470-6964
Catholic Area Shelter Team (CAST)
St. Stephen, Martyr parish, along with other CAST churches in Chesapeake, shelter approximately forty homeless people for one week during the cold weather season. Parish organizers plan the event, conduct sign-ups for food and service teams, and monitor the event daily throughout the shelter week.
Point of contact: E-mail: Rich Flink.
School Supply Drive
Parishioners are asked to purchase school supplies for underprivileged children in the community. The collected supplies are distributed by the CHIP / Healthy Family organization. This annual event is usually conducted in August in time for the beginning of the new school year.
Point of contact: E-mail: Patti Dominick. Phone: 757-536-9661
Thanksgiving Food Baskets
The food for a family Thanksgiving dinner is provided and delivered to needy families as a family-to-family program, in conjunction with C.H.I.P. Volunteers organize the event, conduct sign-ups after liturgies and assign recipient families to parish donating families.
Point of contact: E-mail: Lesley Sarver. Phone: 757-287-6856
Helping Hands/Adopt A Senior Christmas Outreach
Point of contact: E-mail: Carol Ehrbar.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) Adult Mission Trip
Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia. The ASP goal is to make homes: Warmer. Safer. Drier. St. Stephen, Martyr participated for the first time in October 2018 where over 70 parishioners (18 and older) worked side by side with families in Central Appalachia to meet this goal. Planning for this ministry takes 7-9 months. The ASP planning committee requires a commitment of participants to meet ASP requirements and to attend several informational meetings prior to a week-long trip which takes place in the fall.
Point of contact: E-mail: Carol Ehrbar.
Point of contact: E-mail: Ron Durand. Phone: 757-297-6932
Point of contact: E-mail: AJ Kelleher. Phone: 804-839-5235