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Fr. Bill Ryan's The Teak Tree Project!

The goal of this project is to *permanently* assist hundreds of subsistence farmers in Togo and their thousands of children.

Background: Twelve years ago, Father Bill Ryan returned to his former Peace Corps posting in Togo, West Africa to assist the subsistence farmers there. The poverty of the people in this    region never left his heart. 

So far he has opened a health clinic, dug eleven fresh water wells for villagers who were drinking muddy water; opened six primary schools and one middle school; built 20 latrines for hygiene; bought equipment to allow farmers to process their own cassava flour and palm oil, thereby raising their incomes. 

He now has over 1,100 students in the schools he has created. But how will all this good work be supported when he inevitably can no longer carry on?


Land is available for 100,000 teak seedlings. In ten years, ten thousand trees can be sold each year to support the clinic, the pharmacy, the schools and  other worthwhile projects.


The online link to this project, also on our website, is  Help to spread the word among your friends. Short Code: 797979 “TOGO”.  We encourage you to add the link to the Teak Tree Project to your Facebook  page.


We Need Your Help to Keep our Beautiful Music Ministry

Our commitment to maintain beautiful worship requires  half of our offertory. Music plays a major role in our being “a spiritual oasis in the city“. We are known as the church which embraces beautiful music. Recently one of the GW Knights was  home in Connecticut and mentioned that he attended Saint Stephen Martyr. The Bishop of Bridgeport, said, ”Oh, the church with the beautiful music!”. Please help us keep this tradition alive. Our Christmas Concert is coming up Thursday, December 13th. Please consider being a Supporter, Donor, Sponsor, Patron, Maestro or a member of the Leadership Circle. You may use a special envelope in the vestibule or our offertory packet, or simply write Music on the memo line of a check you drop into the offertory. I will be doing the same.

Year End Gifts of Appreciated Stock

Now is a  superb time of the year to consider a   significant gift to our Music Ministry.  This past week we have received gifts of appreciated stock and warrants amounting to $ 19,939.20. During the year we have also received significant bequests.  Gifts to the music  ministry stay  entirely within the Parish to maintain our music ministry; no part of it leaves the Parish. Please see the back page for our list of thank you premiums.


Winter Shelter

Volunteers from Saint Stephen are needed to prepare and serve dinner on Tuesday, January 8 at Saint Paul on K Street. The dinners are part of Georgetown Ministry Center’s rotating winter shelter - a program that, each winter, offers evening meals and a place to sleep to ten people who are experiencing homelessness. Saint Stephen will host the shelter (in the newly renovated parish hall) for one week in March. In the interim, though, we need to help out our neighbors at Saint Paul on K Street; the two parishes have a longstanding tradition of sharing duties during our respective weeks of the shelter. If you can help or if you have any question, please contact Laura Wilson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We need your help in this worthy effort!


Retirement Fund for Religious Second Collection

This Archdiocese of Washington’s parish-based appeal, benefits nearly 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests whose communities lack retirement savings. Participation in this collection provides an opportunity to be a witness of Our Lord’s love and mercy for the religious men and women who have contributed so much to sharing his love with others and to building up the Church. Their religious communities struggle to meet retirement needs while continuing to serve the People of God. Please be generous.


POSTPONED! 150th Anniversary Mass and Dedication of our New Renovated Hall

Dedication  postponed. No longer December 9th

Construction delays make it impossible to celebrate our 150th Anniversary and Dedication of the Crystal Room at Foggy Bottom on December 9th as planned. I sincerely apologize. We will re-schedule and announce the new Anniversary and Dedication date, probably in January, when I am certain we will have a Use and Occupancy   permit. Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Msgr. Paul





Deacon John Liu will lead a discussion of Pope Francis’ much acclaimed   recent encyclical calling each of us to holiness.  To access the encyclical         online type on your web search engine: Rejoice and Be Glad. Then click on Gaudete et exsultate: Apostolic Exhortation on the call to holiness in...On Wednesdays, after the 12:10 pm Mass in the Gallery, downstairs in the rectory.

Rejoice and Be Glad is the apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate of the Holy Father Francis on the call to holiness in today's world.  The words are taken from the Gospel of Matthew (5:12) at the end of the discourse on the Beatitudes. Pope Francis uses Scripture and the witness of the saints (both canonized and those holy people we already know) to demonstrate that God's call to holiness is from each and every one of us.  Moving, inspirational, and, yes, "Rejoice and Be Glad" will surely guide our faith for years to come.  In this plain English study guide, acclaimed scholar and theologian Bill Huebsch makes Pope Francis' message even more accessible, with paraphrased summaries of each numbered section, and prayerful discussion and reflection questions that can help each of us see how Francis' words apply to our own lives.  This group reading and sharing program would help all believers       understand, celebrate, and live Francis' message of Gospel joy, love and peace.


Chapter 1: The Call to Holiness

Chapter 2: Two Subtle Enemies of Holiness

Chapter 3: In the Light of the Master

Chapter 4: Signs of Holiness in Today's World

Chapter 5: Spiritual Combat, Vigilance and Discernment


Anna Staub's Orbituary

Pakistan Scholarship Report



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From Fr. Bill Ryan of the Togo Mission

Dear Parishioners,

As I prepare to return to Togo, I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to St. Stephen’s Parish for your kind welcome and for your generous collection a few weeks ago.  The funds will soon be transferred to the mission parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe where I serve.  You have my pledge that they will be put to good use in the projects that I described in my homily.   It is truly inspiring to for me to realize how openhearted people here at home have been in their desire to help our brothers and sisters in Africa who have so little.  For more information about the mission in Togo, you can visit our website, which is  And here are the links to a TV and radio interview that I had recently with EWTN: TV interview (4 ½ minutes):

Radio interview (10 minutes – go to the 46-minute mark to start): radio/morning-glory-for- monday-august-28th-2017-with- father-bill-ryan

Please pray for the mission, as we will pray to all those here in the States who have been so generous.

May God bless each and every one of you.

Fr. William Ryan



Togo Mission

The mission combines development projects with evangelization, bringing Christ to the poor in word, deed and Sacrament.  For more information, visit For the following two weeks, every donation in the poor box will be to help this Mission






The Don Bosco Technical   Institute for Boys in Lahore, Pakistan, is a trade school,      educating mainly Christian but also some Muslim youths,  ranging in age from 15 to 22.  The center, run and heavily subsidized by the Salesians of Saint Don Bosco, opened in 2000 with 10 Catholic boarding students. The Salesian community is the religious order to which our own Father Ledesma belongs, though he works mainly in Thailand.

Spread over an area the equivalent of three football fields, the center offers technical skills to youths, most of whom dropped out of school because continuing education was beyond the financial means of their families. Salesian Father Miguel Angel Ruiz, the center's principal, took charge in 2002. The center has expanded from one to four technical trades: automotive, electrical, metalwork, and air conditioning and refrigeration. Students in its two-year program learn skills in each of these trades. 

The Institute produces skilled manpower to respond toPakistan's annual need for 1 million skilled workers in local industries. In July 2011 the Chairman of the Technical and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) visited the Institute. Impressed by the cutting edge laboratories of the institute he proposed a plan of cooperation between the Centre and the Government to replicate the advances in other institutes in the country. 

In 2012 the former principal Father Miguel Angel Ruiz, a  Salesian Father , was awarded the Medal of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholicby the King of Spain. The present principal is Father Peter Zeigo, a Salesian Father from Italy. The school was founded by Father Hans, a Salesian from Australia.


Your donation of $20 a month to theScholarship Fund will enable a destitutestudent to obtain a technical educationwhich will assure him and his familyof a decent life.


Fr. George Daniel visiting us from Lahore, Pakistan

I was born a Catholic Christian. Christians are a tiny minority in an overwhelming Muslim Pakistan, with a population of more than 200 millions. I come from a family with fourchildren; 3 boys and 1 girl.  My father works as a clerk in the flood and irrigation department, and my mother was a house-wife. For my parents, it was not easy at all to take care of us andeducate us.  They always found them self struggling to make both ends meet. I grew up in a devout, and profoundly religious family. It is within this prayerful   environment, that I heard God calling me to Himself, thus, a   vocation conceived, born and grew.  I became a priestbecause the love and mercy received and my family, and I wanted to share with everyone. 

Real challenges of Christians, in particular, the Catholic Church, are innumerable. In all walks of our life as Catholic, we encounter these every moment of every day. Apart from  hostile, oppressive, discriminatory and hateful attitude of state and society, we have to face true challenges of constant fear of our vulnerability. Any suspicion of any mal-action against   Islam can trigger an attack, burning down Christian’s properties and even killing.  This is the most crucial challenge we encounter, because the society is radical to the extreme, it doesn’t leave much room for others to exit.  It is difficult to be a Christian, “We are aware” “For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so the life of Jesus may be manifested in one mortal flesh” 2 Cor 4:11

St Stephen Martyr Parish has helped St. Paul’s Parish inLahore in various ways; by helping us furnish our church, by offering scholarship to two students: Natalie Wylde, studying in Bsc honors, and Ashbeel Shakie, studying doctor of Pharmacy.  And Yohanna bad bombing incident at two churches by   sending donations to the victims.  In this incident there were more than 1,400 injured.  St Stephen helps us constructing churches, because a church building is a source of strength, growing stronger and given Christians identity in a society which does not want to recognize their presence ever, and in giving out scholarships to students.  I am very thankful and grateful for the love, concern and  support we receive from this Parish through Msgr. Paul. Your help reminds me that “We are the Body of Christ” thus one, no matter where we are.


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