Written on: November 28, 2016
In late December 2015, a program named “Disciples in Ministry” was begun with a nearly $68,000 grant, that had been submitted by Sister Eileen Spanier. Students were selected from five public Universities in the Diocese of Charlotte. With a five-day training experience from Evangelical Catholic, the students learned how to invite college peers to join them in Small Faith Communities on campus. Students were trained to lead Scripture Reflections/ Discussions which were held in dorms, cafeterias, coffee shops and local eateries.
Since then the “Disciples” have: kept journals, attended a 3-day retreat introduction to spiritual direction, learned about One-To-One Mentoring, participated in a summer “book club” discussion on the topic of spiritual direction, and attended a four-day program at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago designed for Young Adults who may be thinking about a life of service in the Church as a lay minister, or in priesthood/religious life, as well as those who are undecided and want guidance in determining how God is calling them.
This academic year students are continuing to lead Small Faith Communities on Campus and are connecting with a “church worker” in their area to learn more about the ways they can be of service to their local parish. This is an opportunity to “test out” parish ministries…traditional as well as non-traditional.
To give an example: one young woman was interested in the installation of solar panels on the Church roof. She spent time gathering information on the project, meeting the people involved in the project and has since become a member of the ecumenical “Care of Creation” Ministry which tackles such subjects as recycling, energy savers, justice and climate change.
We plan to get additional training in leading Small Faith Communities and One-To-One Mentoring strategies this year. Students who would like to continue individual spiritual direction receive the opportunity (free of charge) and we will culminate our grant supported activities next June (2017) with another 3-day retreat.
Sister Eileen states, “I am sure that a considerable amount of my retreat time will be spent praying for ways to raise the money to continue some of the Disciples in Ministry activities when the funding runs out!”
If you are able, please help support the ministry I love and all of its wonderful programs by purchasing these Raffle tickets . Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. The prizes are $2,000 and $1,000. The drawing is Dec. 14th. Just call or email Sr. Eileen for tickets. Thank you so much for your support!