Spiritual growth

for life’s journey

Programs for the journey

We now have online access to bible studies, sacramental information, youth ministry and understanding of the faith resources, some Fr. Michael Gaitley retreats, some Bishop Robert Barron videos and much more! There are also Catholic movies, ebooks and cds (from Catholic Lighthouse). Please go to: www.formed.org .  You will need to sign in and create your own password. You must use the Parish Code: 8NGBP9 in order to access these resources. They are available 24/7 from anywhere with internet/wifi. Questions? Please contact Katie Gebhard at 763-712-7439 or kgebhard@ststephenchurch.org .

A special thank you to the Knights of Columbus for their generous donation of $280 to help support this new online adult formation resource for our parishioners.

All are invited to participate in our parish mission with Bishop Cozzens as our presenter.

Sunday, April 2

Talk given by Bishop Cozzens at 9:35-10:15 a.m.

Bishop Cozzens celebrates the 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Bishop Cozzens celebrates the Mass in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.

Talk given in Spanish at 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon talk: 4:45-5:40 p.m. – perhaps the same talk as the morning, but for those who couldn’t come in the morning.

Monday, April 3

Evening talk: 6:30-7:30 p.m. with hospitality afterwards.

Watch for further details as they become available.

If you feel called to make a donation, Bishop Cozzens requests that donations be given to the Institute for Priestly Formation.  Cards/envelopes will be available.

Prepare for Lent between Sunday Morning Masses with Bishop Robert Barron’s study program on a life long journey of conversion.

All are welcome to participate in the “Conversion” Adult Formation Series

9:40 – 10:20 a.m. in FCC 10

Sunday, January 29 – The Rich Young Man
Sunday, February 12 – Matthew
Sunday, February 19 – Jonah
Sunday, March 5 – The Woman at the Well
Sunday, March 12 – The Journey of the Magi

• 20 minute video presentation and small group discussion
• Regular attendance is not required
• No costs and no reservations

Refreshments provided by the Knights of Columbus.

Bishop Robert Barron illuminates five biblical stories of conversion, demonstrating how five ordinary people, just like you, were met by Jesus where they were and called to a better life through him.

The common theme in each story is the turning of all one’s attention and energy toward an ever deeper, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

In his characteristically energetic style, Bishop Barron explains how conversion is not so much a one time event, but a life-long process. “Jesus Christ calls us in thousands of different ways to follow Him, as we strive on the path for spiritual excellence,” explains Bishop Barron.

For questions contact Katie Gebhard or 763-712-7439.

Looking for an uplifting way to learn and celebrate our faith?

OUR MISSION: Build up our parish community as siblings in Christ by fostering a deeper faith experience that focuses on the JOY and RICHNESS of our faith through study sessions using today’s top Christian Music selections.

WHAT IS A STUDY SESSION LIKE? Each session includes two songs, the first contains the primary Christian messages and themes that we’ll study, celebrate and grow from. We’ll use the lyrics, a copy of which will be provided to reference throughout, to draw us deeper into the artist’s intended experience and into the Bible and other teaching tools.
Lively discussions are also a big part of the experience so we can learn from each other’s experiences and foster a stronger, tighter faith community. Listening only is also very fine.
The second song will be a “can’t miss, uplifting and encouraging selection” to inspire us as St. Paul writes, “…to do the good works that God has prepared in advance…” (Eph. 2:10) with joyful hearts full of gratitude!

MEETING TIMES: Wednesday evenings when Faith Formation sessions are in session, 6:15-7:30 p.m.  February 1, 8, 15, March 1, 8, 22, 29, April 5, 19, 26, May 3.

MEETING PLACE: Typically FCC 10, but check the TV monitors around the church campus to confirm the location.

Northwest Metro Young Adults are once again hosting Theology on the Rocks! Join us at 7:00 p.m. on:

Tuesday, February 21 – Father Michael Barsness from St. Vincent De Paul will be speaking

Thursday, March 9 – Father Paul Treacy from St. Vincent De Paul will be speaking

Where: Billy’s Bar and Grill in Anoka.  (214 Jackson Street Anoka, MN  55303, 763-421-3570)

All are welcome, bring your friends!!

Contact Steve or Jamie Tucker with any questions: 651-528-4554.

Men of the parish, you are invited to Catholic Man Night February 21 at 6:30 p.m.! Invite family and friends for an evening of faith, fellowship and food. Join us for Fr. Joe Kuharski’s presentation about becoming men of prayer.

Build up your faith muscle! Join us Saturdays at 7 a.m. in The Refuge during Lent (except March 18) for spiritual workouts with presentations on five habits of virtue. Sessions include video, talk and prayer. Breakfast and coffee provided. (Free will offering.)

Be disciplined – consistency will deliver healthy results!

Devotional ‘Little Black Books’ for Lent or ‘Little Blue Books’ for Advent are available in the Parish Office or Gathering Place just prior to the beginning of those liturgical seasons.

The ‘Little Black Books’ are available in the parish office.

The cost is only $1.  The books provide a scripture passage and brief reflection for each day of Lent and Advent.

Each year, Catholic Relief Services asks parishes to participate in their ‘Rice Bowl’ program. You can pick up a ‘Rice Bowl’ in the parish office.  Children in the faith formation and school programs will be receiving them during class.

Donations may be brought to the parish office.  Please do so by April 9.  Thank you!

Questions can be directed to Katie Gebhard at either kgebhard@ststephenchurch.org or 763-712-7439.

Invite some friends and get together during Lent (March 1 – April 12) to reflect on ways to ‘Rediscover Jesus’. We’ll be using this book by Matthew Kelly (author of Rediscover Catholicism). The chapters are short and feature scripture verses, questions to consider and prayer. Cost is: $5.00.  Please order by Monday, February 13. Questions? Contact Katie Gebhard via email or call 763-712-7439.

Please fill out this form and return to the office with payment.

Get away from the noise and encounter God.  Enjoy a blessed opportunity to retreat in the silence and solitude of a hermitage environment, nestled in the beauty of God’s creation. Includes daily Mass, prayer, discussions, spiritual direction and Confession. RSVP to the parish office (763-421-2471) by February 27.

Bible study shines light upon every one of God’s words and creates rich discussions about faith and how to apply it to our daily lives and is completely FREE!


Why study the Bible?

When we meditate on the Word of God, it brings us closer to God. To study scripture as a group leads to a greater understanding of God on a personal level. This process also helps us explore how the Bible applies to everyday life and explores the question, “What does Jesus want from us?”


When do we meet?

We gather Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m., typically in Faith Community Center Room 4.  Check the TV monitors in the church for location. This Bible Study is NOT a consecutive series, so come when you can. The group gathers weekly September through December and February through May.

Fall 2016 sessions begin September 8.  There will not be any session November 24, December 29, 2016 nor April 13 (Holy Thursday), 2017.

Sessions will resume February 2, 2017.  Check the TV monitors in the church for location.

What’s the process?

The format is set up as Lectio Divina, meaning “Divine Reading,” where we focus upon God’s word and meditate on what caught our attention and why. Our facilitator leads small and large group discussions, where people feel open to share what God has put upon their hearts. Participation is encouraged but just listening is also acceptable.  Our program is lectionary based, which means we study the Sunday readings for the upcoming Sunday.  There are often slide shows and video clips incorporated into the sessions.  Materials are provided. Bible study notes have been written by our former pastor, Fr. Mike Van Sloun, and a parishioner facilitates the sessions.  Bring your Bible if you wish.


Who is this Bible Study for?

All are welcome!  We are all called to know God better though his word. Everyone can benefit from this study, from young adults to seniors, from regular Bible readers to people who have never read the Bible. If you feel the hunger to know more about God and learn more about the Bible, this is the study for you!


Please contact Katie Gebhard or 763-712-7439 for questions.

Church Flyer WOW- 2016 #5Who are Women of Wonder?

Download a printable 2016-17 calendar (PDF) .

We are a group of women of all ages and stages of life who gather for faith sharing, service projects, and the enjoyment of getting to know other women in the parish.

When and where do Women of Wonder meet?

We typically meet the second Tuesday of the month, September to May, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. in The Refuge. Each meeting has a particular topic for discussion as well as social time. Childcare is available: $3.00 for 1 child, $5.00 for 2 or more children.

We have added an evening social the third Tuesday of each month at 6:oo p.m.  Some of the events will be held at St. Stephen, while others will be held at various venues.  Check the bulletin or parish calendar on the website for locations each month.

What is a Women of Wonder meeting like?

While the topics change throughout the year, we usually have some socialization with other members at the beginning of the meeting and then we have a guest speaker or an activity that corresponds with the topic of the day.

What are the Women of Wonder service projects?

We run the For Kids Only Christmas Gift Shop in December. In the fall, we have held Respect Life Baby Showers and we have also collected personal care items for Alexandra House.  We have helped package meals at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids.  We are always exploring other ways to serve our community, and ideas are welcome.

What do I need to do to join Women of Wonder?

All you need to do to join is come to any meeting during the year; we welcome women of all ages as often and at any time they wish to join us!

NEW THIS YEAR: A social opportunity every month!  Join us the third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.!  For additional information, please email the group at womenofwonder.ststephen@gmail.com.

Please contact Katie Gebhard or 763-712-7439 for questions.

Our mission is to foster a deeper faith experience. We meet weekly in small groups to share, encourage and build a brotherhood. The discussions are spirited and straight shooting, focusing on daily challenges and what God calls us to be. Participation is optional – listening is perfectly acceptable. The commitment is flexible, come when you can.

MEETING TIMES: Mondays 5:30-7:00 p.m., Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 p.m., or Sundays 7:00-8:30 p.m. in various locations (check the electronic monitors for specific locations any given day).  For more information, contact the parish office at 763-421-2471.

As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man. Proverbs 27:17

As always, shaving is optional!

Please contact Katie Gebhard or 763-712-7439 for questions.

Fr. Joe is excited about two Catholic podcasts started up by some friends and would like share them.


Catholic bytes logoOne podcast was just launched in Rome the summer of 2015, called “Catholic Bytes”.  It consists of 7-9 minute segments in which a seminarian or student priest is interviewed about a topic of faith related to their specialized field of study.  Perfect for busy Catholics who want solid Catholic content on the go.   http://catholicbytespodcast.com/




The other podcast is done by priests in Denver, and has been very successful: “Catholic Stuff You Should Know.”  It covers a wide-range of both prominent and obscure Catholic topics in a light-hearted manner.  These ones are usually at least half an hour, but are often very funny and have gotten very high ratings on iTunes.  http://catholicstuffpodcast.com/

For Married Couples in Need of a Retreat

Marriage Encounter weekends provide a safe environment for spouses to examine their lives together — their weaknesses and strengths, their attitudes towards each other and toward their families, their hurts, desires, ambitions, disappointments, joys and frustrations — and to do so openly and honestly in a face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounter with the one person on this earth who means more than any other and upon whom happiness here and hereafter depends.


For more information on these weekends, please visit:



Just Faith Ministries provides parishes with opportunities for discussion/ faith sharing process to help participants deepen their understanding of the social justice principles of the Catholic Church.


Just Matters empowers ordinary people and their communities to become agents of God’s compassion and healing in a wounded world.  Parishioners spend 8 to 10 weeks reading and discussing the Catholic Church’s Social Teaching.

Previous topics covered in-depth included immigration and pro-life issues.


You may also want to visit www.justfaith.org or call the parish office at 763-421-2471 to leave your name and number for our local representative, Brian Taaffe.

ACTS is a ministry which includes college aged adults who are forming a group to discuss their faith and how to live it out while at school and away from home. It has been a wonderful support network for young adults.  Several events are planned each summer.  Please contact Troy Bauer or 763-712-7456 for more information.

Rediscover:is an invitation to find meaning and purpose in life, a sense of belonging, inner peace and strength and true freedom through the depth and beauty of our Catholic faith. It is a pre-evangelization, evangelization and catechesis initiative that supports outreach to all Catholics and provides formation opportunities to deepen our faith and help bring us together to celebrate the gift of our faith. Rediscover: complements the good work being done in this parish and in parishes throughout his local Church.

Visit rediscover.archspm.org to learn more.

Want to Rediscover Catholicism?

There’s an App for That!

All App Versions Available Now!

The FREE Rediscover app versions for iPhone and iPad are available

on the iTunes App Store. The FREE app for Android devices is available
at Google Play OR you can simply go to www.rediscoverapp.com to download.

Some of the features of the app:
• Over 400 short articles and videos on everything from God to culture
• A resource center for prayer, including over 150 prayers
• A calendar with events, daily Mass readings and reflections, and more
• Find parishes, Masses, and times for Confession and Eucharistic Adoration in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
• Customize with My Faith Life to journal thoughts, record questions, and set and track personal goals

additional spiritual resources

For your journey

The Catholic Spirit – official publication of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Visit thecatholicspirit.com

Preparing for Sunday Liturgy, Visit liturgy.slu.edu for this weeks liturgy.

For links to additional spiritual, social justice and retreat resources on the web, please visit our Links page