Peace & Justice

Respecting the Dignity of All Human Life

St. Stephen’s Peace and Justice Committee typically meets the third Wednesday evening of each month at 7:00 p.m. to discuss various justice issues and plan events/activities to put our faith into practice.

Subcommittees have developed under the umbrella of peace and justice. These subcommittees are devoted to more specific issues.  The current subcommittees include Life Matters and Solidarity.

Contact  Sister Mary Anne Schaenzer, Pastoral Care Director, at 763-712-7441.

Mission:  Promote respect for human life from conception to natural death.

How:  Through prayer, education, and participation in activities that promote reverence for ALL life

Meetings:  Second Monday of the month (except June, July, and December) at 6:30 p.m.

Come share your knowledge, skills, and ideas to help promote the Gospel of Life and enlighten others!

 

 

In March and April of 2019, St. Stephen’s parish hosted an informative series called What to Do: A Conversation on Life and Death Issues.  On March 12, Monsignor Steven Rohlfs was our guest speaker and his topic was Respecting Life at its End: Principles and Problems. Monsignor Rohlfs his doctorate in moral theology and shared with us Catholic moral teaching on the meaning of life, the meaning of death, and examined real-world cases when cases were not so clear-cut. We invite you to watch this engaging and informative presentation that we posted on Facebook.

 

 

2019 Events

January 14-22 – Novena for Life – Sign up at 9daysforlife.com.

January 22 – Cathedral Prayer Service and Minnesota March for Life at the State Capitol

February 19Catholics at the Capitol – RiverCentre/State Capitol in St. Paul
Our local bishops and thousands of Catholics joined together in St. Paul on Tuesday, February 19 to learn how to build relationships with our newly elected officials and advocate for life and human dignity.  There were also many excellent guest speakers.  You can learn more at www.CatholicsAtTheCapitol.org .

March 6 – April 14 Lenten 40 Days for Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood, St. Paul

March 31 – “Unplanned” movie premiere – amazing story of Abby Johnson who worked at Planned Parenthood and quit. She later joined the pro-life movement and wrote her story.  The movie is rated “R.”  Approximately 50  St. Stephen parishioners saw the new movie Unplanned on March 31!  The movie began running in theaters at the end of March.  Check your local theater for show times.  BRING A FRIEND!


April 19 – Good Friday Prayer Vigil
This prayer vigil is sponsored by Pro-Life Action Ministries at Planned Parenthood 671 Vandalia Street St. Paul from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  There is no parking near the Planned Parenthood on Good Friday! There are three options to get to the vigil:

(1) St. Stephen’s has been invited to share a bus with St. Patrick’s, Oak Grove, and Church of St. Paul, Ham Lake. Bus leaves St. Pat’s at 9:00 a.m. and leaves St. Paul’s at 9:15 a.m. with return departure time at 12:10 p.m. Reserve a seat by emailing cospcherishlife@gmail.com, or call Judy 763-777-8601.

(2) Epiphany is also sponsoring a bus to take prayer supporters to the Vigil. The bus will depart Epiphany at 11:00 a.m.  At 1:00 p.m. all riders will board the bus to depart from Planned Parenthood to return in time for Epiphany’s Good Friday Service at 2:00 p.m.  Sign up on the Good Friday form at the Information Desk in the foyer or call Epiphany Parish Office 763-755-1020.

(3) If you want to drive on your own, there is free parking at the University of St. Thomas parking ramp at Grand and Cretin AND they shuttle you back and forth to PP. For more info call 651-771-1500 or get map and directions at http://plam.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/GoodFridayMapFlyer.pdf.

 

June 15/16 – Honor fathers on Father’s Day!  Fathers matter!  Let’s thank our dads for life on Father’s Day weekend.  Before and after Masses on Father’s Day weekend, pick up a Father acronym magnet for dad and coloring sheets for the children to do at home.  Tables will be in the Gathering Place, near FCC 10, and near the parish office.  This “Thanks, Dad, for Life!” event is sponsored by St. Stephen’s Life Matters ministry.  Free will offering.

 

 

October 2019 – Respect Life Weekend

 

Prayer Chain for Life Set for October 5 – This Is Our Main Event for Respect Life Weekend

“A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world…. from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer…”  – St. Pope John Paul II

Let’s unite our prayers in a  Prayer Chain for Life Saturday, October 5, on the Main Street sidewalks by St. Stephen’s Church! We will have a peaceful, prayerful pro-life witness to end abortion with each person holding an “approved” pro-life sign. Children ages 12 and older are welcome with a responsible adult. If you need assistance, please indicate at registration.  Participants must sign up by Monday, September 16! Sign up after Masses September 14-15 OR call the Parish Office (763-421-2471) with name, phone number, email address, number of people, and number of signs needed.  This event will take place rain or shine!
We are requesting prayer warriors to cover this event in prayer prior to October 5 and including prayer in the Adoration Chapel from 3-4:00 p.m. October 5.
Schedule:
2:00-2:30 p.m.        Meet in FCC 1 to check in and pick up signs/rules
2:30-2:40 p.m.        Code of Conduct Review
2:40-2:45 p.m.        Gather for opening prayer and blessing
3:00-4:00 p.m.        Silent prayer on Main St. sidewalk (bring water and a chair if needed)
4:00-4:45 p.m.        Hospitality and share experiences (FCC 1)
5:00 p.m.                    Mass in the Church
You will be a light in a darkened world as you help put an end to abortion through prayer!
Sponsored by Life Matters and Faith for Life ministries.

 

 

40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul – October 26

 

St. Stephen’s Life Matters Committee and the Anoka Knights of Columbus invite you to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign, which is a peaceful grassroots community-based campaign to draw attention to the injustice of abortion through prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach.  This is a national campaign and not a protest.  Since the first campaign in 2007, over 16,004 lives have been saved, 191 abortion workers have quit and 106 abortion clinics have been closed.

Those who participate will gather on the sidewalk in front of the St. Paul Planned Parenthood clinic (where abortions are performed) to pray and be a peaceful presence.  We are encouraged to arrive in prayer and leave in prayer.  We will have no contact with sidewalk counselors or clinic patients.  If you are personally addressed, politely say you are praying.  We will have a few signs that say “Pray for an End to Abortion.”  For more information on 40 Days for Life, visit https://40daysforlife.com/.

Parishioners from St. Stephen’s Church will be at Planned Parenthood from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 26.  To sign up to ride the bus, please call the parish office at 763-421-2471. On Saturday, October 26, we will gather OUTSIDE in the east church parking lot (by the office) at 8:30 a.m. to board the bus.  The bus will leave promptly at 8:45 a.m.  We will leave the site as soon as we can load the bus after 11:30 a.m.  For those who cannot participate on October 26, we encourage you to pray and fast at home for an end to abortion.

 

October is Respect Life Month and the Culture of Life Studies Program website has a toolkit of ideas to help celebrate this month.

 

November 28-30 – Christopher West presents Theology of the Body “Made for More” – purchase tickets now at http://corproject.com/madeformore . Christopher West released a booklet, Eclipse of the Body, in conjunction with the anniversary of Humanae Vitae and it’s already gone into a second printing.

 

 

Respect for life requires that science and technology should always be at the service of man and his integral development. Society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life. (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae)

 

Below are some websites to learn more about life issues.

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – Beginning of Life, Respect Life Outreach, Persons with Disabilities, End of Life, Biomedical Ethics, Faithful Citizenship. https://www.archspm.org/life-human-dignity/

Be Not Afraid at www.benotafraid.net   A private non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide comprehensive, practical and peer-based support to parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.

Catholic Vote at www.catholicvote.org   A lay-led movement of committed Catholics seeking the common good that is universal to all men and women of good will.  To receive their weekday publication (The Loop from Catholic Vote) on the big issues of the day from a Catholic perspective, click “join” at the top to sign up.

Human Life Alliance www.humanlife.org   651-484-1040 (Minneapolis, MN)
Promotes awareness of the inherent dignity and personhood of human life, born and preborn, without exception or compromise.  Great resource for brochures and information!

Minnesota Catholic Conference (public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota) https://www.mncatholic.org/

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life at https://www.mccl.org /  (MCCL) MN Citizens working to secure protection of all innocent human life from conception until natural death through education, legislation and political action.  Sponsors MN March for Life at the State Capitol on January 22nd every year.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center www.ncbcenter.org   (215) 877-2660 conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. The NCBC offers a free consultation service by a credentialed bioethicist who can share with you the Catholic principles for addressing an ethical dilemma involving health care or the life sciences.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) – The Couple to Couple League gives an overview of simply knowledge of a couple’s fertility.  They teach classes for sympto-thermal method. There are multiple other methods as well.  https://ccli.org/what-is-nfp/

Prenatal Partners for Life www.prenatalpartnersforlife.org Mary Kellett – Support, information and encouragement for families carrying to term with an adverse prenatal diagnosis. (Maple Grove, MN 763-772-3868)

Priests for Life at www.priestsforlife.org   an ecumenical pro-life organization that is a family of ministries reaching out to every aspect of the pro-life movement, for both clergy and laity to end abortion and euthanasia.

Pro-Life Action Ministries https://plam.org/   (PLAM) an interdenominational Christian organization dedicate to publically defending the sanctity of human life and saving lives from abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia through peaceful and direct action and education.  They also organize the 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigils at Planned Parenthood, St. Paul.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Twin Cities (healing after abortion):  https://rvineyardmn.org/

Students for Life at https://studentsforlife.org/   the nation’s largest youth, pro-life organization, dedicated to equipping college, high school, middle school, medical and law school students to abolish abortion.  We exist to transform culture by helping young people make abortion unthinkable and obsolete on their campus, in their community and in our nation.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Life issues: https://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/pastoral-plan-prolife-activities.cfm

WomenSource (pregnancy center in Anoka):  https://www.womensource.org/

Listening to each other with a spirit of Charity helps bring us to a common communion with others.

This took place when people from our Spanish speaking community who were struggling in difficult economic and emotional situations had an opportunity to share their reality with St. Stephen’s English speaking community’s Peace and Justice Committee.

One person was an immigrant from Central America and the other was a single mother. They knocked on the doors of our church and the Holy Spirit opened all of our hearts.

Out of this encounter in our community, and moved by faith, a Solidarity Group has been formed. The Solidarity Group offers moral, spiritual, and material support to those in need. We are convinced that encounters such as the one described above, help transform our community and give us an opportunity to live together in Faith. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:5.