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ARISE Revives Kentucky Parish’s Ministry Efforts

Along the Ohio River lies a bustling city with over sixty thousand people, the fourth largest city in Kentucky. This city, Owensboro, is home to St. Stephen Cathedral, a parish whose members have experienced a spiritual renewal thanks in part to ARISE Together in Christ,a faith-sharing process from RENEW International. One has only to look at the many new and revived ministry activities to notice this new-found vitality at St. Stephen’s.

ARISE has awakened the spirituality of our parishioners and improved their actions,’’ said Deacon Dirck Curry, who is the parish coordinator for ARISE. “It has been a great stimulus as well as a wonderful experience for our parish.” Deacon Curry, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, has served at St. Stephen Cathedral for four years.

These comments come in light of revived ministries such as the parish’s Social Concern Committee, which has taken on responsibility for a number of new activities in the community. These activities include feeding hungry children in local schools as well as reviving parish gardens in order to raise food for the community. Additionally, parishioners volunteer at the St. Stephen’s soup kitchen, as well as the local women’s and men’s shelters.

Members of the newly established Stephen Ministry
are presented to the congregation at St. Stephen Cathedral
in the Diocese of Owensboro.

The committee has also reached out to their sister parish in Mandeville, Jamaica, in order to arrange for the shipment of needed materials there. A trip to Mandeville is planned for 2015 in order to better discern how St. Stephen’s can further assist the parish there.
Besides the revival of previously established ministries, St. Stephen’s has initiated the “Stephen Ministry” which assists the pastor and parish by providing members who can act as “a listening ear” to those who need one.


Deacon Dirck Curry, pictured on the far right,
and members of the Social Concerns Committee
distribute food at Benedict Shelter.

Other examples of outreach tie in closely to Deacon Curry’s medical occupation. As a clergyman and a healer, Deacon Curry described himself as “a holistic physician caring for the mind, body, and spirit of the whole person” and that he adds prayer to his care because “there is only one great healer.” Complementing this outlook with action, the St. Stephen’s health committee has held a geriatric health fair and is looking to have a white Mass for health-care personnel around the time of St. Luke’s feast day (Oct. 18) in order to promote a compassionate community of health-care providers.

“As the cathedral for the Diocese of Owensboro we would like to see us as a welcoming community to all and a leader in the diocese in faith formation and scripture study that leads us to doing great actions in the Lord’s name,” Deacon Curry said.

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