2014, a year filled with…
We have started a new year, 2014, and with it come all the promises, hopes and dreams. The beginning of something, anything, has a moment of innocence and freshness. There is always a chance that this time it will be perfect! Although we know from our own history and from listening to others, that it is never perfect! However, the old saying, “Hope springs eternal” comes to mind when we first set out on the journey whether that journey is one that we choose or is one that we have every year.
What is your hope that fills your heart? What is the one thing you would like to have come into reality? Some of these are out of our control, like world peace or a total end to violence and aggression. Although, we do have control over our own actions and can try to be less violent and more peaceful in our interactions with others.
So I offer you this prayer for 2014 as a way of coming into the new year with faith and hope, joy and peace.
You who have always walked with pilgrims,
Send Your Spirit to ignite the faith in our heart s
So that we can accept Your invitation to:
embrace the challenges before us,
recognize the blessings in our lives,
and share Your message of love with others.
We ask this in the name of the One, who lives with you in union with the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sr. Ginger and the “Bishop’s Hour”
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Comments from Pastors and attendees. . .
I had the opportunity to attend Sr. Ginger Downey’s presentation on the third edition of the Roman Missal at my parish. Sr. Ginger is a dynamic speaker who is both knowledgeable and engaging. The day flew quickly as she weaved so many aspects of this subject into a clear overview. Sr. Ginger is very accessible and open to questions and comments. As the day concluded, our parishoners lingered as Sr. Ginger interacted with all who wished to speak with her. Most important, we all left with a sense of excitement about the upcoming changes. Thank you, Sister Ginger, for a great presentation. Sandra Higgins, Houston Texas
Sr. Ginger’s Roman Missal presentation at my church was the most informative, clear and understandable workshop that I experienced during the preparation for the implementation of the new missal. Fr. Pat Robison, Blessed Sacrament, Scottsdale, AZ
We brought in Faith on Fire to be our Lenten Retreat directors this past year. Our parish has had a strong tradition of Lenten programming and the parishioners have grown to expect spiritual depth. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to witness to the way that Dr. Sargent and Sr. Ginger were able to accommodate the parish’s interest and to design a retreat that took the best of the tradition in order to challenge people’s perceptions of holiness, the topic for our retreat.
Many of the participants commented on how effortlessly Sr. Ginger and Dr. Sargent worked together, providing insightful perspectives from the scriptures, from key documents of the tradition and from the life-experience of the parishioners. They also modeled the kind of collegial respect and enthusiasm for the Gospel that seems to be missing from so much of parish dialogue these days. The topics presented were profound, timely, and yet easy to understand. They listened carefully to the kind of questions coming from the participants and adapting their materials accordingly. This was no “cookie-cutter” presentation. Our parishioners walked away from each session with something worth chewing on. The conversations went on long after the presentations ended.
I recommend Faith on Fire without hesitation. These people are knowledgeable, dedicated to the Gospel and to the Catholic tradition. They don’t just make personal faith live, they know how to set faith communities on fire for the Gospel.
Father Paul Feela, Pastor
Lumen Christi Catholic Community
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sr. Ginger Downey was a blessing to our parish staff of St. Luke the Evangelist in Houston, Texas. She facilitated a day of reflection with our staff. Our schedule was not unique, however, Sr. Ginger’s ability to listen and reflect with a group of people with whom she had never met was amazing and, as stated, truly a gift.
Sr. Ginger Downey facilitated a weekend Parish Mission for the Catholic Community of St. Luke the Evangelist in Houston, Texas. We wanted to have more of a retreat style, rather than the traditional evening series of talks, type mission. She worked with us on our idea from the beginning and helped us craft our theme which was “Encountering God’s Grace in the Midst of our Brokenness.” She lead our community through an opportunity of reflecting on personal then communal brokenness, and then brought us to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our community is stronger because of this parish mission opportunity, thank you.
Fr. James Burkart
St. Luke the Evangelist Parish