Written by Michael Fones
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 09:29
If you've wondered what a Called & Gifted Workshop is Like, you might click on the title of this post and read a description of the Friday evening portion from the Catholic Explorer. It includes some comments from participants, as well as quotes from the presentation given by Barbara Elliott and Keith Strohm, the teachers of that weekend. The workshop was held at St. Isidore Parish in Bloomingdale, IL, June 15-16.
When asked why she was attending the workshop, Connie Biala of Winfield, a parishioner at St. Isidore, said she was searching for answers.
“I have been troubled and want to know what I am here for,” Biala said of her time on earth. “I am still searching for what God wants for me to give back.
“God has been so good to me,” she said, her eyes filling with tears. “I want to give back but I want to know what I can do. I already minister to the sick, but I feel I can do more.”
The 72-year-old registered nurse said she works in an operating room and doesn’t appreciate that some doctors think “they are God and rule the operating room.”
“I don’t work for the doctors, I work with the doctors. I work for God, but I don’t know how to let the doctors realize this,” Biala explained. “I want them to learn to love their coworkers and not look down on us. I am hoping to find out how to be able to do better. How do I bring love to my coworkers as well as to the patients? We are supposed to be here to love each other and maybe we can do better.”
As apostles of Christ, all Catholics are capable of changing, even a small portion, of the world.
“People encounter Jesus through us because of the things we have done,” Elliott told the audience. “We are, in a sense, ambassadors of Christ. If everyone looked at it this way, literally, can you imagine what the world would be like?”
Fr. Mike: People come to Called & Gifted workshops for many reasons. Some are returning to the Church, others are in between jobs, or are young adults wondering what their call in life is. Still others are in major transitions: enduring a divorce, mourning the loss of a parent or child, moving to a new location. Many of these people are consciously open to the grace God offers us daily, and the effects of the workshop are powerful as a consequence. People's lives are changed, and that, really, is a more interesting question - "what is the effect of a Called & Gifted workshop?"
If you've been to one, you might let us know what was the effect on your life.