This respect life ministry is an outreach to women in special times of womanhood. Volunteers reach out with cards, calls, and visits to expectant mothers, new mothers, families experiencing infertility, adoption, miscarriage, child crisis, infant loss, grandparent issues... Elizabeth Ministers do not aim to be counselors. We are here to listen and pray. We are women willing to share our presence, stories, experiences, and prayer in the hope that it might support, encourage, and console. Non-visiting ministers craft gift items for gift bags or support through EM's Prayer Vine*. There are no scheduled meetings, just occasional gatherings. Our hope is that every STM women would be a part of Elizabeth Ministry in some way be it as a visitor, Prayer Vine member or behind the scenes.
Commitment: Flexible commitment based on minister's schedule personal experience, and participation level chosen.
How does this unique ministry work?
Is extensive training needed to become an Elizabeth Minister?
No. The majority of the training needed to become an Elizabeth Minister is personal experience. Elizabeth Ministers are not counselors or experts. We are simply women willing to share our time and experiences. An initial training session is all that is required. A Visitor's Manual is available, as well, to help guide you.
Does Elizabeth Ministry require a lot of time?
What are the Elizabeth Ministry areas of involvement?
Are there ways to help that do not involve visits?
Rosebud Program of Prayer and Service*
St. Thomas More has a vase of roses in the Gathering Area to serve as a means for people to request our prayers and as a visual reminder of our parish community's support - support both with prayer and practical resources for the women and families of our parish during the joys and sorrows of the childbearing years.
The roses also show our deep respect for the dignity, worth, and precious blessing of all life. Through this program, our Prayer Vine will pray for those waiting for a child to be born, those celebrating birth or adoption, wanting to become pregnant or adopt, grieving miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, infertility, infant or child death, a serious child illness, or grandparent concerns.
Serious Childhood Illness
Here is how it works...
You are invited to fill out a service request card for your situation. Directions for submitting are on the back. Then take a rose of the appropriate color, fill out the tag, and place it in the vase.
Please be sure to take a prayer card and remember that we will be praying for you!
If you indicate that you would like services of Elizabeth Ministry, a volunteer will call you. The volunteer chosen to call you will have experience in a similar situation. She will set up a time to deliver a gift bag with prayers and other resources pertaining to your situation. We are here for you...
Miscarriage, Infant and Child Loss Remembrance Tree*
Elizabeth Ministry displays a Remembrance Tree between Christmas and the Baptism of our Lord each year in the Gathering Area. The names of over 40 STM babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death each has his/her own snowflake on this tree symbolizing the uniqueness of these individual saints now in the presence of God. The families who make known these losses are also given a crocheted snowflake for their home trees as a memorial keepsake.
A Mother's Prayer
Oh give me patience when tiny hands tug at me with small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes
And let not fatigue, confusion or
And most of all, help me to look above, when at times I think I have no love.
For you have promised
Experiencing a Miscarriage
If you experience a miscarriage or if you find out from your doctor that your unborn baby has died and that you will experience a miscarriage or stillbirth, please call. Elizabeth Ministry is here for you. We can provide you with resources, prayer support, and most especially, with companionship during this very difficult time. We have wonderful women, right here at our parish, who have been through similar hurts and are here to help you prepare for what you will experience and offer our support and prayers.
Many hospitals today do a much better job at helping parents create memories of the babies they have lost and, therefore, some of those hurts are now lessened. However, not all are equally equipped. We are here to help with all the little details that can seem overwhelming at such a difficult time.
It is surprising to learn that many doctors send women home to experience their miscarriage in their own home. Elizabeth Ministries has resources available to help ensure that your unborn baby receives as much dignity as possible in the process. "Miscarriage Delivery Aids" as well as Burial Vessels of all sizes are available. The Miscarriage Delivery Aids are sized to fit in your purse in the event that you experience your miscarriage while you are somewhere away from your home.
The Burial Vessels are exactly that. They are vessels in which your unborn child can be buried. Yes, St. Thomas More does funerals for miscarriages and stillbirths, but one does need to be prepared at the hospital to claim your baby's body. Our Catholic hospitals seem to be aware of the need to treat our unborn babies with proper respect and burial. However, not all secular hospitals see the unborn baby as a person but rather as medical waste to simply dispose of. Please know that it is perfectly acceptable to request your baby's body. In fact, you may need to be persistent and firm in your request.
We are here to help you plan a funeral and assist in the burial of your precious little one.
For those moms and dads who do not have a gravesite to visit in remembrance of their babies, we can help them make a suitable memorial and STM has an annual Remembrance Tree**. Please do not hesitate to call or email if you should experience a miscarriage or if you have experienced a previous miscarriage.
Meals for Families Facing Crisis Situations
These situations include moms on bed-rest, families with a baby in intensive care, etc.
If you are willing to make and deliver a meal or if you know of someone who would benefit from receiving meals, please call or email the Elizabeth Ministry Coordinator.
More information may be found on EMI's website referenced below.
Elizabeth Ministry International Headquarter
Elizabeth Ministry Gift and Resource Center
(Formerly St. Mary's Convent)
120 W. 8th Street, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 54130
The gift shop is filled with beautiful gifts and resources for women and families. There are, of course, a great number of birth and loss items available. You will also find prayer resources as well as gifts for children, teens and grandparents.
Phone: (920) 766-9380
Fax: (920) 766-1221
St. Thomas More Parish Contacts: