December – A word from the Lay Leadership Director

As we begin a new liturgical year, we are challenged to take up our baptismal call to be prophets of the Messiah: to straighten the crooked roads of our lives, to transform “deserts” barren of love into places of welcome and reconciliation, to gather up the lost and forgotten, and to proclaim the coming of God’s Christ in our midst. Here is how we are presently engaged in our call:

Praying with St. Ignatius Retreats. Having completed our fall 8 week retreats at Assumption Parish (Broadview Heights) and at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (West), we now turn to preparing for our Lenten retreats which will take place at St. Basil the Great(Brecksville) and at Lakewood Catholic Academy (LCA). Retreat teams are now formed: The St. Basil Team is comprised of three members of that parish: Margaret Balewski, Rich Jerdonek and Judith Wood, SSJ/TOSF. In addition, Joan Carney will be the Retreat Team Leader and Phil Sterrett, Laura Kuhn and Mary Ann Burke, SND will complete this team. Those who have responded to the call to become the LCA Retreat Team are Patrick Cleary-Burns (Retreat Team Leader), Peggy Duffy, OSU, Marian Durkin, CSA, Marcia Lewan and Claudette Matero. Please pray for our retreat teams and for all who will be engaging in these retreats.

Nurturing the Call. On December 1st, Mary Ann Flannery, SC led a group of 16 leaders in a program designed to address leadership challenges that arise during the 8-week retreats offered at St. Ignatius High School and at our diocesan parishes. Drawing on her background as professor of rhetoric and composition as well as her experience as retreat leader, Sr. Mary Ann encouraged us to know the people and culture of the group to whom we minister. What are their beliefs, attitudes and values? Drawing on each other’s wisdom and experience we left enriched and encouraged. (See p. 2 for the Spring Series announcement)

Food for the Journey. Our November gathering continued the process of applying Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle to our ministries of spiritual direction, retreat leadership and pastoral ministry. Reflecting together on the Third Dwelling Places of Teresa’s spiritual classic, the gathered community of 14 leaders engaged in a spiritual formation process which included prayer, ritual and conversation. We meet again on December 8th to conclude the fall portion of this interior journey. (See p. 2 for details on the Winter/Spring series.)
For complete details see Lay Leadership December Newsletter

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