Stephen Ministry at Christ the King

What exactly is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a ministry at Christ the King in which deacons and trained and supervised laypersons provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained caregivers. Their role is to listen, care, and share God’s love – not to give advice or counsel.

Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens, they work with the care receiver to help them find and receive the type of care they need.

Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry. What a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister and even the care receiver’s identity are kept in strictest confidence.

Why the name?

The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first deacon ordained by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need (see Acts 6).

Stephen Ministry at Christ the King is associated with Stephen Ministries of St. Louis.

Who is involved?

Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministers. They will recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister. We have four Stephen Leaders (l-r below):  Julie Toshach, Brigid Kowalczyk, Ann Fons, and Dcn John Ozog.

Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They receive 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Catholic resources in caregiving. In addition, their training covers specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. Stephen Ministers participate in twice-monthly peer supervision and continuing education.

Christ the King is in the process of recruiting and training its first group of Stephen Ministers. For more information about becoming a Stephen Minister, please click here.

Care Receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers’ care. They are people from our parish or community who are experiencing grief, loss of a job, loneliness, divorce, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit from the relationship. Men serve men and women serve women.

For a short video describing how someone from another church experienced receiving care from a Stephen Minister, please click here.

How can I arrange to receive care from a Stephen Minister?

If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to one of our deacons, to Fr. Ed, or to one of our Stephen Leaders. (If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, please make sure that you get his or her permission first.) To contact our Stephen Leaders, email

How can I become a Stephen Minister at Christ the King?

Begin by talking to one of our Stephen Leaders. To learn more and to obtain an application for Stephen Minister training, call Ann (734-332-0988) or Brigid (734-474-3209) or email us at Application deadline extended to Sept. 3, 2019!  We will train our first class of Stephen Ministers starting in October 2019. Stephen Ministers make a two-year commitment to train and serve. For more information about Stephen Ministry, go to