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.

Ongoing Ministries:

Food Pantry Collections
St. Stephen, Martyr provides food to families needing temporary assistance.  Collections are given to Prince of Peace Food Pantry and Southeastern Food Bank.  Volunteer sorters and drivers are needed to make deliveries to this Parish.
Point of contact: E-mail:  Mel and Mary Gutermuth.

Haiti Orphanage
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.
Parish Health Ministry – Blood DrivesPoint of contact: E-mail:  Sharon VanZandt.

Prison Ministry
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 Or E-mail:  Dave Stroud. Phone: 757-410-4411
Prison Ministry – KairosPoint of contact:  E-mail:  John Birckbichler.  Phone: 757-759-2286

Respect Life
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 contacts: E-mail:  Maria Jacob. Phone: 757-635-7244  Or  E-mail:  Marianna Romens.

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 contacts: E-mail:  Joe Zagame Or E-mail:  Earl Lienemann.  Phone: 757-482-1991

Fentress Giving Garden 

A collaborative, interdenominational food ministry, the garden was developed to help relieve food insecurity in the community by growing and donating fresh produce to food pantries (including Prince of Peace) and the Plant a Row for the Hungry Program operating in Chesapeake.  All volunteers welcome, no experience needed.
Point of contact: E-mail:  Jan Douglas. Phone:  757-630-7834

SSM Difference Makers 

St. Stephen, Martyr Difference Makers is an organization of teens that serves the needy and homeless in our local communities. Our mission is to help those in need and make a difference by engaging in service activities such as:
-Serving in local soup kitchens
-Running the Christmas Stocking Stuffer Program for the Salvation Army
-Working at homeless shelters for the Chesapeake Area Shelter Team (CAST) and the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST)
-Helping support the All Nations Church homeless outreach program in Newport News
-Serving at Haiti Orphanage Fundraising Events
Point of contact: Email:  Debbie Egress.

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:

Advent Outreach
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:  Kellie O’Reilly.

Chesapeake 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:  Robyn Hilbert Or E-mail:  George Hilbert.

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:  Stacie Yocum.

Helping Hands/Adopt A Senior Christmas Outreach
Jewish Family Service (JFS) is guardian and conservator for over 1,100 incapacitated adults ranging in age from 18-104. St. Stephen has assisted JFS in providing gifts to its residents who have no family or friends to remember them during the Holidays. Only a small percentage of their clients are Jewish, so during the Advent season, we provide important necessities, gift cards, etc. to these residents in the Hampton Roads community.
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 contacts: E-mail:  Joe Zagame Or E-mail: AJ Kelleher. Phone: 804-839-5235

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