September Ministry of the Month: St. Peter Antiochian Church, Fort Worth, TX
Ministry Leader: Janette Connolly



Janette is married with three children. As an ESL teacher, she is inspired by her young students' eagerness and zest for life. Originally from the Netherlands, Janette regularly travels back to visit her family. Janette was one of the first people to fill out an application when we first launched the Parish Ministry Program, and she has been fully engaged in the mission of OCLife ever since!

Through Janette's leadership, St. Peter's OCLife ministry has involved a large portion of the parish in pro-life activities - for example, one of their prayer vigils outside Planned Parenthood drew around 40 parishioners! The group holds regular meetings and maintains an active calendar of events. They have hosted speakers, collected baby items, volunteered, attended the Texas Rally for Life in Austin, and more.

Janette was kind enough to answer some questions for us:

Why is the pro-life cause important to you?
Abortion is tempting. It seems like an easy compassionate solution. But it is a devastating lie. Human life is sacred. We need to be out there to help. The crisis is real. Pregnancy centers do incredible work and the Church needs to support them.

What is your vision for creating a culture of life within your parish/community? 
We got off to a great start. The culture at St. Peter is very prolife and positive. Fr Mark has been a tremendous support and leader. Many people in the parish are involved either through financial support, prayer vigils or volunteering. I love how all age groups are represented in our movement.

community Do you have specific or long-term goals for St. Peter OCLife movign forward?
I hope to establish more relationships with organizations around us who do great work, so we can plug in volunteers from our church. We have plans for our youth group. The debate out there is vicious. We all need to constantly educate ourselves but most of all have open hearts.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other Orthodox Christians interested in starting an OCLife ministry at their parish? 
Find a few friends, get your priest involved and get started. The resources from OCLIFE make it very doable. Our OCLife team meets once a month by Zoom. This helped us to keep going and planning ahead.