Written by Sherry
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 21:17
Word about the Called & Gifted workshop is online all over the place this week:
This week's issue of the National Catholic Reporter is their special "ministry" issue and includes an article called
Ministries: Gifts and the Gospel Call which does contain a few paragraphs about the Called & Gifted.
At the end, there's a bit about the lay group that I was part of in Seattle: the famously Nameless Lay Group. True to form, the NCR doesn't mention its name. For more on that effort, check out "It is Normal . . ."
Over at "E-Priest" there's a extensive description (under "best practices") of the Called & Gifted courtesy of the wonderful folks at St. Dominic's San Francisco. It is called "Transforming Parishioners into Lay Apostles"
This was cross-referenced over at the National Catholic Register as well.
And then here's an encouraging word from a C & G alum down under who was simply commenting as part of a larger discussion:
"A recent post at the Intentional Disciples blog "Bone Deep" suggests that many Catholics are simply unaware of the notion of personal discipleship. In my experience that has certainly been the case.
No one denies that Jesus had disciples, but the truth that - as a Christian - I am also called to be one of them is something I only encountered in recent years. And only due to the work of the Siena Institute (credit, where credit is due.)
I suspect that if someone had pointed that dynamic out to me earlier, then the blunt zeal of my post-reversion years would have been mollified and perhaps, just perhaps, I would've avoided the "ortho/heterodox" culture war that I fell into.
From conversations with younger Catholics I have become persuaded that one of the most significant problems that we have in the Church in Australia is also quite solvable. Many young Catholics who have become quite "activated" after their reversion/conversion/whatever, struggle to find mentors who can guide them in the faith. Lacking these role models, they become attracted to the loudest voices they can find. Popularly this tends to be in lobby groups (e.g. Right to Life) or movements with secular appeal (e.g. Make Poverty History.)
Please note, I'm not disparaging either of these groups. In fact, it is because both of these are founded in good convictions that makes them quite attractive. However the danger is that a Catholic becomes "for Apollo" or "for Paul" instead of for Jesus.
Imagine the difference if newly energised Catholics were reminded - or informed for the first time - that they are to be disciples of Christ, and if older Catholics were willing to support these younger Catholics through mentoring and modeling the faith to them. Imagine that.
Yes, I suppose some might regard that as a subservient view of the Christian life, but it needs to be remembered that the chief mark of a Christian is that he follows Christ."
Sorry to be slow about the blogging. Much going on. I will try to do better!