A wonderful Care and Compassion ministry at Saint Ambrose serving the need for one-to-one lay care for those in our community who are hurting. In conjunction with the church, there is a special group of people who run this ministry. They are our Stephen Ministry Team. Some have gone through a week-long training course or have God given talents that have equipped them with the tools they need to ensure that this ministry runs smoothly.

In Matthew 18, Jesus promises to be with us.
That’s one of the great miracles of Stephen Ministry. When a Stephen Minister meets one-to-one with his or her care receiver, Jesus is present too. He brings the power of His transforming love, and the peace, healing, and comfort that only God can give.

We are getting ready to train our second class of Stephen Ministers in October.

In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” God has called us all to build up and encourage one another. For those who are experiencing a really difficult time, our Stephen Ministers can provide the special encouragement, care, and support they need until they are past the crisis.

If you would like an application or more information please contact Lisa Homady at 330.460.7315 LHomady@StAmbrose.us or Carol Maline at 330.460.7336 CMaline@StAmbrose.us.  Applications are also available at the front office.

Meet our Team

Jane Baldwin attended the Stephen Series Leadership Training in August 2018 and is excited to begin the training of ministers so that these ministers can be commissioned to serve those who need care. Jane is the Stephen Leader Team Co-Coordinator and Education Coordinator. As the Spiritual Life Coordinator, she brings to the team extensive experience in spirituality, organizational skills, and resources.


Terri Bartchak attended the Leader’s Training Course for Stephen Ministry and will be on the awareness building team. Terri herself needed comforting when her son Blake passed away six years ago. She received the care she needed and then started a new Ministry called GriefShare which she has facilitated for five years. In her observations she has realized that people would benefit from one on one care. Terri is looking forward to walking with you on this journey to grow closer to God during a difficult time in your life.


Linda Chesnik recently reflected on a song. “When you walk down the road; heavy burden heavy load. I will rise and I will walk with you…” This was part of the theme song sung by Della Reese on Touched by an Angel. This song lead me to find out about the Stephen Ministry. Although, I am not a Minister, I have joined the Board to provide guidance and assistance where needed. We will have the opportunity to help those who need support and comfort. I am also a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Women’s Guild Member and a member of our Pastoral Council. There are some things in life that seem to call you to think about. Hearing Della sing, and praying lead me to seek out the Stephen Ministry

Cathy Clapper attended the Stephen Leaders Conference in January and was impressed with the program’s focus of caring one-on-one for individuals who are hurting due to a crisis or a loss in their lives. She was also inspired by how spiritual and Christ-centered the focus was. As an educator, Cathy believes that she could utilize her teaching skills in the training of Stephen Ministers for Saint Ambrose. As a part of the Music Ministry for our parish, she feels that she could also add the spiritual component that is so crucial to the success of Stephen Ministry. Cathy is looking forward to being on the “ground floor” of what will certainly be an inspiring ministry at Saint Ambrose.

Lisa Homady is very eager and passionate about bringing Stephen Ministry to Saint Ambrose to walk with others that may be hurting. With her pastoral role as Care and Compassion Coordinator, and her background in social work and counseling, she values the importance of relying on your faith as well as reaching out to others in times of need. Lisa is the Stephen Ministry Leader Team Co-Coordinator and will help to oversee Stephen Ministry in bringing God’s love and care to our community. She is also the Referrals Co-Coordinator and will match those individuals in need of care with a Stephen Minister to ensure everyone receives the best possible faith-filled care through this new ministry.

Carol Maline attended the Stephen Ministry Leader’s Training Course and will be on the referrals team. She will work with those that are hurting and link them up with the appropriate Stephen Minister. Life has its ups and downs and sometimes we need someone to walk with us, someone to talk to, someone to listen to while we are hurting. When we take our struggles to God it becomes so much easier, especially when we ask Him to carry us and hold our hand. Carol has been part of the Living Your Strengths program for many years at Saint Ambrose and believes that everyone has God given gifts. She thrives on seeing others succeed. Carol is honored to be part of the Stephen Ministry program and is looking forward to helping others receive comfort through this ministry.

Barb Ortiz is excited to be a member of the Stephen Ministry Leadership Board. She has been a member of Saint Ambrose since 1973. She and her husband, Mario, have been active with many ministries throughout the years. They have three children, two step-children, one granddaughter and two step-grandchildren. She is retired after 30 years of working with the City of Brunswick. She is so proud of our Saint Ambrose community, especially the Stephen Ministry!


Deacon Gary and Shari Tomazic …The Dynamic Duo have joined the Leadership Board. They have been married 48 years. Deacon Gary retired from a 44 year career in computer support and operations. He was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in 2009 and is most grateful to be assigned to serve as a Deacon at Saint Ambrose. He sees the Stephen Ministry as an important way to bring the peace of God’s care and compassion to those experiencing life’s difficulties. He is the Leadership Team’s Spiritual Advisor. Shari Tomazic brought the first Women’s Renewal to Saint Ambrose in the ‘80s and was part of the team that recently brought back the first woman’s Welcome Retreat. She was an adult supervisor with the teen youth group STAY and loved working with teens for 13 years. They both will be attending the weekly training sessions to strengthen their ability to care for others.