ProLife

2019 Discipleship Guide Book

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Look in your mailbox for our new Discipleship Guide Book! Advertisers helped provide this service at no cost to our parish. We encourage you to think of them in the future as your needs arise. Contact amandavogt@guidebookpublishing.com for more information or if you are interested in advertising next year.

Please familiarize yourself with the OLG ministries and organizations located in the front of the book. An electronic PDF version of the Guide Book, which you can download to your computer, smartphone or tablet is available for your convenience.

Pastoral Care & Dignity of Life Ministry Fair

Saturday, May 18 – Sunday May 19, After all Masses, Commons

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PASTORAL CARE

My mom taught me a lot about hospitality. I’m guessing your mom, favorite aunt, or cool neighbor taught you a lot about hospitality too. Hospitality for my mom almost always involved food. A baked ham dinner for a new widow, cookies for church events, and an open door on Christmas Eve that fed homemade lasagna to anyone who arrived at our door. My firstborn arrived in the early morning; Mom flew cross country and arrived before lunch. When I got pneumonia with three kids under 5, Mom arrived. Mom was always in my corner.

My mom’s hospitality and pastoral care have plenty in common. They both are grounded in compassion—empathy to step in someone else’s shoes and a willingness to serve. And, of course, there is the food. Our Homebound Communion ministers and ministers for Long-Term Care facilities bring food—bread broken at our altar—to share with those in our community that are unable to be with us at Sunday Mass. Stephen Ministers reach out to people week in and week out, walking with those who need a listening ear. Our Funeral Hospitality team is literally all about food—cooking, serving and cleaning up over 5000 funeral meals a year.

Next weekend volunteers from the Pastoral Care Team will be on hand after every Mass to share ministry opportunities with you. We’d like to share something else with you as well - in honor of our mothers and other fabulous women who have modeled hospitality for us, we are baking our mothers’ favorite desserts to share with you. Stop by next weekend after Mass and check out my mom’s rum cake. Happy Mother’s Day!

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STEPHEN MINISTRY

Stephen Ministry is a quiet ministry. We work confidentially one-on-one with people who need a little listening support.

Each week our Stephen Minsters meet one-on one with their care receivers for about an hour. They listen. They encourage. They pray with and for their care receiver. We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Sometimes Stephen Ministry can stretch us, take us places we might not choose. We might worry that we have nothing to offer. We do. We have ourselves. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Our presence is our ministry. We simply show up. If we’re really good at Stephen Ministry, we show up and shut up. We let our care receiver talk. We let them tell their story. Without judgment. Without commentary. Ours is a listening presence. We honor another by listening to their stories, hearing their pain and their struggles and being with them in “it”, whatever “it” is.

Our job is not to fix. Most of life’s painful struggles are not fixable. We listen, pray and offer a compassionate, non-judgmental ear. We help. Jesus heals.

Time Commitment

A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Once a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education. Oh… and don’t forget the training. It’s fun. It will stretch you.

Training Dates

Thursday Nights, 6:00 - 9:00 PM November 7, 2019 - March 5, 2020

How Do I Find Out More?

Our Stephen Ministers are on deck after every Mass next weekend to answer your questions. To apply to become a Stephen Minister, talk to any of our Stephen Ministers or email Beryl Schewe, Director of Pastoral Care at berylschewe@olgparish.org.

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COMMUNION MINISTRIES

Homebound

Do you love Jesus and have a desire to bring Jesus to others? Our Homebound Communion Ministry team would love to meet you. Please consider joining us if you have a few hours once a month to bring Eucharist to our homebound. Typically you will visit 3-4 homebound once a month and bring Communion. You are the face of OLG to our homebound. You are the face of Jesus. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Long-Term Care

Thursday and Friday mornings, 10:00 AM
Did you know that OLG offers weekly Communion service to our area Long-Term Care/Assisted Living facilities? Members of the Long-Term Care Communion team offer a Communion service once a month. This is your chance to take your prayer to the next level.

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FUNERAL MINISTRIES

Hospitality

Did you know that OLG serves more than 5,000 funeral lunches each year? We serve a home-cooked hot meal of medallion-style pork roast and turkey roast with fresh green salad, fresh cut fruit, au gratin potatoes, dinner rolls, homemade sauces for the meats and an assortment of homemade desserts. The meal is gluten-free (except the rolls and desserts) and dairy-free (except the au gratin potatoes) – and we serve on real plates with real silverware. How do we do it? Well, with your help. We need desserts (cookies, brownies, bars or bundt cakes), a team to help with set up, as well as a team to serve and clean up. Basically, we need you!

Most funerals are weekdays at 10:30 AM. If you have an occasional free morning, we’d love to have you on the team.

Need one more reason to join the funeral hospitality team? In the Jewish tradition, assisting with funerals is considered a mitzvah, a good deed. Why a mitzvah? Because the person you serve is deceased and can never thank you. You serve as an act of love. Early Church Fathers believed that you would be welcomed to heaven by those you had served in your life, people you may have never met, but those you offered service and care to out of faith and love.

Contact Tom Butler at 952-540-7984.

Sacristan

Got time an occasional morning and love Mass? We need funeral sacristans to help with funerals. You would help set up Mass, work with our servers and help make sure the funeral liturgy runs smoothly.

Never been a sacristan? No problem. We’ll train you and you can shadow our current funeral sacristans until you are ready to fly solo!

Contact Beryl Schewe in the Parish Office (x9035) for more information or to sign up.

Burial and Committal Volunteer

We are looking for a few good people to lead prayer at the cemetery. Have you felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to step forward in a leadership role? Are you willing to be present to families in one of their most difficult days?

When you serve in this role, the ground you stand on will forever be holy ground for the family. You will serve someone who has walked in faith and followed the cross all the way to their grave. And we will train you and provide every single word spoken! Catholic prayers at the cemetery are short—we’re convinced they were written with Minnesota winters in mind!

Gathering family at the cemetery for prayer is not for everybody, but if you think it may be for you, contact Beryl Schewe in the Parish Office (x9035).

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DIGNITY OF LIFE

Something to Think About

This weekend we are highlighting ministries that support and enhance the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. Our Lady of Grace is truly a profoundly pro-life parish in many ways. We support several crisis pregnancy centers, make financial and in-kind donations to agencies that help victims of abuse start over, bring the Eucharist and God’s love to our homebound and hospitalized, cook and serve meals to our neighbors in need through Sharing and Caring Hands and Loaves and Fishes, bring homebound Meals on Wheels, and of course; we pray for all of you at Sunday and daily Masses. As you read through the descriptions of the ministries below, please think about whether you are being called to serve in one of them. I guarantee the time spent serving our sisters and brothers will enrich your life. Something to think about.

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Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels delivers healthy meals to seniors and those with challenges to mobility and allows the recipients to remain in their homes with dignity. In addition to the meal, the visit by a Meals on Wheels volunteer provides a warm smile and some conversation… Our Lady of Grace has teams that drive for Meals on Wheels once a month and the time commitment is low, between one and two hours each time. Volunteers receive all the instructions needed before delivering the meals on their route. We can always use more drivers, and this is a great ministry to participate with your children.

Sharing and Caring Hands

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Sharing and Caring Hands was founded by Mary Jo Copeland to provide a place where the poor and homeless could be fed, get clean and maintain their dignity. has always been a part of the mission.

The scope of Sharing and Caring Hands has expanded over the years to include Mary’s Place, a minute clinic, and dental clinic—all without any government funding. Mary Jo is involved in the operations of Sharing and Caring Hands, praying with both cooks and meal guests.

On the first Wednesday of each month, a group of OLG volunteers prepares and serves lunch to Mary Jo’s guests while on Tuesdays during the school year, moms take OLG middle school students to Sharing and Caring Hands to help serve lunch.

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Loaves and Fishes

Loaves and Fishes serves free, nutritious meals to those in need. It is public free meal program is guided by the belief that all people, deserve food, dignity and respect. A dedicated group of OLG volunteers cooks and serves dinner to the guests at St. Stephen’s (22nd and Clinton) on the second Wednesday of each month. There are two shifts—cooks who work beginning at about 3:30 and servers/clean-up who begin at 5:15. We typically serve about 175 guests per evening. In addition to volunteers, the St. Stephen’s location gratefully accepts donations of containers for leftovers, men’s clothing and hygiene items.

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CHOOSE LIFE

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Abria

Operating out of two locations, one in North Minneapolis and the other in St. Paul, Abria is strategically located to offer a safe, non-judgmental and supportive environment for Twin Cities women, teens and couples experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. Our clients experience friendship, hope and encouragement through positive and life-affirming medical and personal support services, education and resources. We empower women in their time of need. Our resources and support services are grounded in respect and awe for the miracle of every unique, unrepeatable human person, starting with each woman we serve. We help women form a plan that fits best with their current needs and life situation. Our role is to walk with them in friendship, providing the support and resources they need to make a life-affirming decision. We believe in:

  • the inherent dignity of each person, from conception to natural death

  • the right of our clients to receive comprehensive, truthful information in a respectful and compassionate way

  • the importance of addressing the needs of the whole person – intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical

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Cradle of Hope

Cradle of Hope helps over 3,000 families in crisis yearly with a transition from desperation to hope! Women and babies in crisis are supported with financial and material assistance while receiving emotional support before, during and after birth. When an expecting mother applies for assistance through Cradle of Hope, she may receive financial support (rent/mortgage, medical bills, or utilities), safe sleep training and a portable crib or a baby shower basket filled with essential baby items so we can celebrate this new life with her. Cradle of Hope has expanded throughout the state and now partners with 188 agencies, including 7 of the 11 American Indian Tribes.

Pregnancy Choices

Pregnancy Choices believes each client has a story, and their story matters. We walk alongside our clients with compassion and hope and listen to their story. At Pregnancy Choices, we believe that the best way for our clients to make sustainable change in their lives is through life coaching. The life coaching conversation during a pregnancy test allows clients to see possibilities-possibilities that include the life they are carrying.

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Our certified life coaches engage clients in one-on-one conversations by asking open-ended questions. Clients begin to identify their values and evaluate their lives. These values then guide clients as they set attainable goals and make positive changes for their future. Our clients, both mothers and fathers, are empowered to make transformative life changes through coaching, education, and practical support in a safe and trusting environment. This allows them to parent with confidence and grow family resiliency.

Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers, donations of baby clothes and diapers, and your financial support. With you, our partners in the mission, we served 557 individual clients last year. Because of you, life can be chosen and families are positively impacted each day.

SouthWest Options for Women

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SouthWest Option for Women is located on Main Street in Hopkins and offers pregnancy and parenting education as well as resources to women for over 25 years, SouthWest Options for Women is funded by donations, grants and Minnesota Department of Health and provides a supportive, non-judgmental environment for facing an unexpected pregnancy or sexual health concerns.

Services include free pregnancy testing, resources for general assistance, education and earn while you learn courses that allow clients to earn car seats, cribs, clothing and more. Our services assist newmoms from pregnancy to parents (mom’s, dad’s, grandparents) with children up to 2 years of age.

Life is Wonderful 10K, 5K, Walk & Kids Fun Run

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Saturday, May 11, 7:00 AM
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis

For the first time the run is around Lake Harriet! With the run so convenient, we should be able to have a great turnout from OLG, so mark your calendars and show you support for Abria a great crisis pregnancy center run by OLG parishioner Cindy Koeppl.

Visit Abria’s website to register or for more information about their ministry.

Pro-Life Prayer Vigil

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Friday, April 19, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Planned Parenthood, St. Paul
Join Bishop Cozzens and many other faith leaders at a Prayer Vigil in front of the St. Paul Planned Parenthood on Good Friday. There will be Scripture and prayer every half-hour. Parking is available at the University of St. Thomas facility on the corner of Grand and Cretin, with shuttle buses running back and forth to the vigil all day. This is a great opportunity to make a stand to protect the most vulnerable lives!

Catholics at the Capitol

Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
RiverCentre/State Capitol, St. Paul

Now is the time to begin to transform politics in Minnesota. Join your local bishop and 2,000+ Catholics to learn how you can build relationships with your newly elected officials and advocate for life and human dignity. Get your tickets, register for transportation, and find more details about this inspiring day of prayer, education, and advocacy by visiting www.CatholicsAtTheCapitol.org.

Speakers and Music

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Jim Caviezel

Actor

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Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

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Danielle Rose

Music Missionary

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Gloria Purvis

EWTN Radio & Black Catholics for Life

 

Voting Resources

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Melissa Miller, Director of Community Life & Social Justice

Questions for Reflection

The “mid-term” election is coming quickly and, if you’re like me, perhaps not quickly enough. I’m tired of the incessant campaign ads, emails clogging my inbox, as well as the negativity and mud-slinging from candidates. So I was particularly happy to see some thought-provoking questions and information from leaders of the Catholic Church. Not all of these questions have answers, and not all the answers that are provided are perfect, but all the questions are valuable and worth consideration. I thank the Minnesota Catholic Conference for them.

  • As people of faith who believe that every life is unique and sacred, we need to know where the candidates stand on abortion and assisted suicide. Does the candidate support contracts for gestational surrogacy? Does the candidate support access to affordable health care and housing? Does the candidate support social and economic policies that encourage economic participation and the payment of a living wage?

  • Here at OLG we understand that education changes lives, and that access to quality education is important for every child. Does the candidate support legislation that would provide a tax credit for donations to scholarship-granting organizations?

  • Pollution is threatening our clean water. Does the candidate support legislation to lean up and protect our state’s water resources?

  • Does the candidate support religious freedom—not just the right to practice one’s faith, but the ability of that faith to operate and serve the general public in a manner consistent with the tenets of that faith?

These are just a few of the many issues that affect people of faith. Please think about these questions as you prepare to vote. Please do vote and vote your values. Something to think about.

Election Novena

When I’m discouraged by the vitriol, irritated by the exaggerations, angered by the blatant lies and when those negative emotions threaten to overwhelm me, I turn to prayer.

I’m especially grateful that the USCCB has published an election novena filled with prayers and practical suggestions. I share the first six days of it here (the last three days coming soon) and encourage you to pray it prior the election:

Day 1: Pray for religious liberty for all, that we may practice our respective faiths and serve the poor and vulnerable fully.

Heavenly Father, you created us to love and serve you in everything we do. Please help us support candidates who will protect the rights of citizens to worship and fully practice their faith. Amen.

Day 2: Pray about life, bioethics and that the US support a culture of life that values life from conception through natural death, recognizing that each of us is a unique, beloved child of God.

Heavenly Father, may we elect candidates who have a profound reverence for the sanctity of human life. Amen.

Day 3: Pray for the poor and vulnerable. Jesus tells us that we must care for those on the margins of society and strive to build a more just world.

Heavenly Father, You are present in the “least of these.” Please help us elect officials who will support policies that complement our own individual efforts to care for the poor and vulnerable. Amen.

Day 4: Care for creation is a moral issue. Protecting the land, water and air we share is part of the religious duty of stewardship.

Heavenly Father, may we elect leaders who pursue policies that respect the gift of creation and ensure its bounty is available to all, now and in the future. Amen.

Day 5: Labor and economy assessed according to whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person.

Heavenly Father, Help us to elect officials who recognize the dignity of work, and are committed to just economic policies. Amen.

Day 6: Marriage and family life. Families are essential to healthy societies. We need policies that support families, such as parenting leave, and leave to care for an ill family member.

Lord God, help us to discern and support elected officials who will support the integrity of the family through public policy. Amen.

Day 7: Pray for immigration reform. Reform should provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants and prioritize family reunification, while addressing the root causes of migration and maintaining the right and responsibility of nations to control their borders.

Christ Jesus, you call upon us to welcome the stranger in our midst. May we elect officials who pursue policies that recognize the dignity of all migrants. Amen.

Day 8: Pray for access to quality education for all young people, including those who are poor and those with disabilities. Government policy should help provide options for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this right. All persons have the right to receive a quality education and to be given the opportunity to develop intellectually, morally, spiritually, and physically, allowing them to become responsible citizens.

God the Father, you ask all parents to lead their children on the path of wisdom. Help us to discern and elect candidates who will support parents in this important vocation. Amen.

Day 9: Pray for affordable and accessible health care for all. The nation’s health care system needs to be rooted in values that respect human dignity, protect human life, respect the principle of subsidiarity, and meet the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. Employers should be able to provide health care without compromising their convictions, and individuals should be able to purchase health care that accords to their faith.

Heavenly Father, you desire that all your children are adequately cared for. Guide our election day decisions so that we might choose leaders who are committed to ethical care for all. Amen.

Complete Election Novena. This wonderful novena includes prayers and questions to ponder along with video snippets from Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens and other US bishops.

Additional Resources

As the midterm elections approach, here are some guidelines for voting:

Find a Place to Vote

Polling Place Finder
League of Women Voters

Vote Your Conscience

For information on voting your conscience, you can visit the Minnesota Catholic Conference website which has great resources to form consciences, inform votes, and transform our state, including a candidate questionnaire. They have thoughtful articles and links to upcoming ways to make your voice hear in state politics such as “Catholics at the Capitol” on February 19, 2019 where you will have the opportunity to hear inspiring speakers and meet your legislator.

Annual Report 2017 - 2018

Please find below a downloadable version of the 2016-2017 Our Lady of Grace Parish Annual Report. In the words of Fr. Kevin, “Let the reading of our Annual Report inspire you to deeper gratitude for how our parish carries out the mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved. Let our Annual Report be a way to ponder how you and your family might serve within our parish community.”

Download

To download a copy of the 2016-2017 Annual Report click the image on the right or click here.

Birth Mother's Retreat

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Saturday, October 27, 9:00 - 1:00 PM, Cassidy Hall
OLG is hosting an annual retreat for women who have given up a child for adoption. The retreat includes a talk by a therapist, prayer service, an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as continental breakfast and lunch. Cost $15. Scholarships available. Contact Melissa Miller at melissamiller@olgparish.org or in the Parish Office (x9040) for more information.

Respect Life Sunday

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The USCCB has designated October 7 as Respect Life Sunday. Quite often the focus of the Church’s respect life activities is opposition to abortion. That is a very good place to start. But we need to be clear that pro-life activities cannot stop there.

To be truly pro-life we must feed, clothe, house and educate children after birth. We need to be certain that they have access to healthcare, grow up in an area free from violence, and that they have jobs that pay them living wages. In other words, being pro-life means believing and acting as if every child born is a beloved child of God and entitled to dignity.

I think that dignity is especially important also as one approaches the end of life. Those who are frail or elderly still benefit from love and companionship. They continue to deserve good medical care, including pain relief.

Our Lady of Grace is a profoundly pro-life parish. We believe that each person is a unique gift from God to be loved and cared for as the unrepeatable individual he or she is. If this statement resonates with you, the Dignity of Life Committee invites you to join us as we work to support families, from crisis pregnancies to the elderly. Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 9 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM in the Parish Office. If you’re not a ”joiner”, consider buying diapers, writing an elected official or saying a rosary for the end of abortion. Something to think about.

Melissa Miller, Director of Community Life & Social Justice

Abria's 3rd Annual “Life is Wonderful” Fun Run/Walk and 5K

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Saturday, May 12, 9:00 AM
Upper Landing Park, St. Paul

Help Our Lady of Grace reach 1000 participants.

Bring your family out to enjoy a beautiful morning together this Mother’s Day weekend – and help make it possible for other women to choose for life!

In addition to the walk and chip-timed 5k along the beautiful Mississippi River, there will be a Kids’ Fun Run with three age categories, as well as food trucks, music and kids’ activities to make this a fun event for the whole family! Join us, rain or shine!

Here’s how to participate in this important awareness and fund raiser for Abria:

Register individually or as a team by clicking here

Choose your fun: Walk, Chip-timed 5K or Kids Fun Run for children up to age 12

Gather pledges using the easy online tools

About Abria

Abria Pregnancy Resources offers a safe, non-judgmental and supportive environment for Twin Cities women and couples facing an unexpected pregnancy. Abria clients experience friendship, hope and encouragement through positive and life-affirming medical and personal support services, education and resources.

All funds raised through the Life is Wonderful Fun Run/Walk & 5K go to help the staff at Abria put a choice for life within reach for thousands of women and their families who are facing an unexpected pregnancy.

Register

Find out more and register by clicking the button below.