Guest blog post from one of our Sisters about her involvement in Called & Gifted for the diocese:
Sr. Veronica, Sr. Mary Benedicta, and Sr. Rosaleen are part of the Called and Gifted team which operates in our diocese. This programme was introduced into the diocese about three years ago by Sherry Weddell (St Catherine of Sienna Institute) the author of the programme. Our diocesan team consists of a group of over 30 trained people who deliver this programme throughout the diocese. Sr. Veronica is part of the teaching team at the initial weekend gatherings. Sr. Mary Benedicta is one of the people who helps with the second part of the process the one to one conversations following each workshop. Sr. Rosaleen helps to co-ordinate the intercessory prayer team which consists of people who have discerned this charism and are putting it to good use for the needs of the diocese and individual needs.
Recently Sr. Veronica was involved with the process in Park Gate. Our particular gathering was spread over two days in a retreat format. She was joined by Tina Quinn, Mike Slynn, and Geoff & Gina Poulter. Together we explored the process of how to discern our God given charisms. About thirty four people responded to the challenge to come along and discover where God might be calling them and how he has gifted them for their unique calling. Some were surprised to discover that we can use our God given charisms in very simple and ordinary ways that did not always involve being “at Church”. Our gifts are meant to be used out there in the wider world in our families, our local community and in our places of work.
The basic question that is posed to participants is “Are you seeking to understand and do God’s will, and become an instrument of his love for others?” The charisms are gifts that are given to an individual to be given away to others. They are outward looking, seeking to build up the kingdom of God in the world in which we live. This is very much what Bishop Philip has been calling for in his recent outline of his vision for the diocese ...“That we help our parish and school communities to become outward-facing service-centres, brighter beacons of mission, dialogue and service to people around, especially to the poor, the homeless, those in need.” They are in Bishop Philip’s words “Bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church”. The parish is not just the community that gathers on a Sunday in “a holy huddle”, it is one that “builds communion” among its members and enables parishioners to reach out to the wider world in a spirit of mission.
If you would like to know more about the process of Called and Gifted go to their special website, where you will discover much more about each of the charisms.
If you click onto this link you can discover how Sr. Veronica discerned her particular charism.