HIV, Health and Social Service Ministry

We don't care who you are.
We don't care where you come from.
We don't care how or why you came to be here.
BUT, we do care that you are
embraced and cared for
body, mind and spirit
with peace, hope and love.

Ours Is A Ministry of Unconditional Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Background
HIV/AIDS MINISTRY AT ST. ALPHONSUS "ROCK" CHURCH: 
St. Alphonsus, the patron saint of the Rock Church, spent his life ministering to the people of his times with incurable illnesses. Under his patronage, the AIDS Ministry at the Rock Church officially began in April of 1995. It came together as an interest group of about ten parishioners. The awareness and interest had been tapped when Brother Richard Marazitti was living with the disease and later died at the Redemptorist Residence in 1993.

Catholic AIDS Outreach
Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, members of the Catholic Church throughout the world have been among the first to provide supportive care for people living with AIDS and their families and friends. Recognizing that all of us, as members of the Body of Christ, are affected by HIV/AIDS, Catholic Aids Outreach was established to express the solidarity, commitment, and compassion of the Archdiocese of St. Louis for all persons affected by HIV/AIDS through care, education and advocacy. The organization was formed in 1995.

Joint Effort 
We are The Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry at St. Alphonsus "Rock" Church.

Today, the St. Alphonsus HIV/AIDS Ministry and Catholic AIDS Outreach have come together, at St. Alphonsus Rock Church, strengthened by our Catholic tradition, to serve the parishioners of the Rock Church and the people of the St. Louis Community who have been affected and/or are living with HIV/AIDS.

We embrace the following mission, vision, and values.

Mission

In the spirit of St. Alphonsus, who spent his life ministering to those with devastating illnesses, The Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry at St. Alphonsus "Rock" Church seeks to:

  • provide education on the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and
  • provide support, both spiritual and physical, to those whose lives have been touched by this health crisis.

Vision
In line with our Mission Statement, The Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry at St. Alphonsus "Rock" Church will:

  1. be a premiere provider of HIV/AIDS information with a major focus on the spiritual needs of ALL people affected by this pandemic, and
  2. be recognized by the community as a major player in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Values

Our ministry treats ALL persons with HIV/AIDS and their families and friends with dignity in a manner that is confidential, warm, friendly, reassuring, nonjudgmental, nondiscrimination and supportive. We believe in:

1.      Leveraging a sustained commitment to the fight against AIDS.

2.      Supporting the services, goals, and fund-raising efforts of area AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs).

3.      Being an active member of the community by addressing one of its major health issues — HIV/AIDS and spirituality.

Strategy

Our mission will be accomplished by:

Recruiting and maintaining dedicated, committed and knowledgeable committee members; and

Establishing programs and services in two major areas

1. Education

Providing special literature and activities focusing on education and prevention of HIV/AIDS;

Providing targeted information about HIV/AIDS, to the community most at risk, especially the

African-American community, women, and youth;

Providing information on the HIV/AIDS crisis in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church;

Providing input regarding spirituality to volunteers in HIV/AIDS training programs

MAJOR PROJECTS
Resource Materials;
Bi-annual Health Fair;
Speakers' Bureau - providing lecturers to schools and church groups;
24-hour phone line service for questions, concerns, and referrals;
Other projects on an as needed basis

2.Spiritual Growth and Support

Providing a referral service on resources available to help those living with HIV/AIDS

Providing personalized services on an individual basis, i.e., shopping, home/hospital relief, etc.

Providing spiritual support through personal prayer manuals and books as well as spiritual prayer services

Promote AIDS Interface Network through participation in the following activities:

World AIDS Day (December 1)

Annual AIDS Walk (May)

Black Churches' National Week of Healing of AIDS (March)

National Testing Day (June)

MAJOR PROJECTS
Day of Reflection (Fall)
Staff Activities: Retreat (TBD)
Other projects on an as needed basis