Elizabeth Ministry is an outreach to families in special times of parenthood. It is based on Jesus' vision of the radical goodness, beauty, and truth of human life. The purpose of this ministry is to affirm, support, encourage and assist women and their spouses in response to their needs during the childbearing years.
Elizabeth Ministry Prayer
Elizabeth Ministers are encouraged to join people from all over our country as we stop daily at noon or whenever we can, to pray this or a similar prayer. Together we can change the world.
Creator God, I pledge to truly celebrate
the gift of each child conceived and born,
and fully mourn each miscarriage and infant or child death.
I will be a strong witness to my belief in the dignity and worth of all life,
by treasuring the fight of fertility,
by assisting those suffering infertility,
by encouraging those in the adoption process,
and by supporting the families experiencing an infant or child crisis.
I will be a strong and consistent voice for life
in my home, my parish, my community, and the world.
Goals of Elizabeth Ministry
- To support, encourage, affirm and comfort women during the joys and sorrows of their child bearing years.
- To empower women to share their stories, experiences, and faith in an open, trusting, and life-giving manner.
- To express the care and love of the faith community for parents in their role of co-creators with God.
- To draw on the rich resources of Scripture and Tradition in ministering to the needs of women.
- To promote communication between the home and parish church, thus deepening an appreciation for both.
- To assist women in recognizing and using their gifts and talents in a service of inclusiveness and sisterhood.
- To offer support and healing at moments of complications, crisis, miscarriage, and infant or child death.
- To foster respect and gratitude for the awesome gift of human life.
- To share the excitement and joy as well as the frustration and pain of the adoptive process.
- To empower grandparents to impact the lives of their extended family.
- To join with parents in celebrating the wonders of pregnancy and birth and the mystery of new life.
- To demonstrate compassion and support for couples experiencing infertility, and to treasure the gift of fertility.
- To symbolize the special presence of God through prayer and ritual blessing.
Why Are We Called “Elizabeth Ministers”?
This ministry is based on the Scripture story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth:
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went to Zachariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said: ‘Of all women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.
Luke 1:39—45 (Jerusalem Bible)
This Scripture story presents us with two women who are pregnant in difficult settings. Elizabeth is too old to have children and has been criticized for being barren. Mary is very young and finds herself pregnant although she is unmarried. The beauty of Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth is that both women realized that they had found someone who understood, and with whom they could share the marvel of what God was doing for them. As they shared their stories, they helped each other recognize God’s will and the sacredness of their lives.
Following the example of Mary and Elizabeth, we visit and share the sacredness of life.
Our focus in Elizabeth Ministry includes special concern for the babies and young children of the women we visit. Mary’s visit created excitement not only for Elizabeth but for the child in her womb. Just as John leapt for joy at the presence of the Lord, the children of the women we visit will be touched by Christ’s love. The inspired profession of faith used by Mary is called the Magnificat.
As Elizabeth Ministers we are called to share that message through our actions of affirmation, support, and encouragement. God loves each person unconditionally, no strings attached. Our actions will communicate this.
Elizabeth Ministry as a Way of Life
Opportunities to reach out to young families arise in all areas of our lives. Recognizing that you can make a difference in the way our society treats the childbearing experience may lead you to minister in less formal ways. Just as Elizabeth recognized the goodness of Mary and her offspring, we are called to recognize and celebrate all new life in our midst. If every person began to recognize ways to show reverence for new life, it could change our world! Know that each time you hold a door for a mother struggling with a stroller, make a positive comment to a parent frustrated with a toddler’s behavior at the checkout, or offer to read a book to a youngster in a doctor’s office, you are being an Elizabeth Minister. Whenever you can help parents relax, feel confident, and enjoy their children, you are an Elizabeth Minister. An Elizabeth Minister is encouraged to pray daily for reverence for life. This prayer will be to enlighten our minds and hearts to the great dignity of children, who are fashioned in God’s image. This prayer will include pregnant women, women seeking conception or adoption, all babies conceived or born that day, and those babies miscarried, in crisis, or victims of infant death that day.
Elizabeth Ministry International (website: www.elizabethministry.com)
120 W. 8th Street
Kaukauna, WI 54130
Phone: (920) 766-9380 Fax: (920) 766-1221
Elizabeth Ministry’s mission is to cherish children, encourage families and build community. We offer peer support, mentoring, spiritual nourishment, educational, and inspirational resources.
Natural Family Planning
Wisconsin Safe Haven Law and Information (website: www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/states/wisconsin)
Are you pregnant and have questions about Baby Save Haven laws? Call toll free crisis hotline 1-888-510-BABY 92229) You can leave your baby, up to 3 days old, with an employee at any hospital, fire station, sheriff’s office, police station, emergency medical services provide or any other law enforcement agency in Wisconsin.
Catholic Charities Family & Children’s Ministries (website: www.archmil.org)
The focus of Catholic Charities’ Family & Children’s Ministries is to enhance support and maintain the strength of family in a myriad of ways and through numerous services. From parent nurturing programs to legal services to immigrants, from adoption search to refugee resettlement — Catholic Charities provides support services for families and children in need. The staff of Catholic Charities’ Family & Children’s Ministries is true advocates for individuals and families, cognizant of the client’s right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Catholic Charities services are available to persons of all faiths. Adoption... Behavioral Health/Counseling Services, Child Welfare Services, Legal Services to immigrants, Support Services, Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services, Resettlement Program, School-Based Counseling Services, Supportive Parenting Program
Archdiocese of Milwaukee: The John Paul II Center (website: www.johnpaul2center.org)
3501 S. Lake Drive
P.O. Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912
Mission Statement: The John Paul II Center for Lifelong faith and Ministry Formation provides catechesis and formation to the faithful of southeastern Wisconsin.
Some services offered are: Adult formation programs, bereavement ministry, retreat guide, spiritual direction guide, The Secret Ingredient……Parents, engaged enrichment and marriage preparation, human sexuality/natural family planning, marriage and family, respect life, separated and divorced, women’s ministry and youth ministry