Join in the Journey

Sept. 11-17, 2003
Join in the Journey
By Eileen Jevis/ SUN staff writer
Upcoming event offers many opportunities for spiritual growth

The ninth annual Journey of Faith convention sponsored by the Religious Education Office and the Diocese of Syracuse is open to all who want to experience spiritual growth and a renewal of faith. Keynote speaker, Bill Huebsch, will address the audience at 9 a.m., following the opening prayer. Huebsch has a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a master’s degree in theological studies from the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago. His post-graduate work was done at the University of St. Thomas.

Huebsch has worked in both diocesan and parish education programs since 1975. In 1990, he established the Vatican II Project which contributes to efforts within the church to keep alive the spirit and energy of Vatican II. Huebsch has published a dozen books in recent years, along with numerous booklets, articles and screenplays. One of his books, A Spirituality of Wholeness: A New Look at Grace, was named in US Catholic among the top seven most influential books on spirituality for today’s world. To kickoff the event, John Angotti, an accomplished pianist, will perform on Friday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville. His music is especially popular in the contemporary Christian rock market. Angotti received a degree in marketing from West Virginia University and then went on to study voice and piano at the United States Military School of Music in Little Creek, Va. Angotti is currently ministering as the director of music at St. Ann’s Church in Bartlett, Tenn.

Jo Ann Paradise, D. Min., will share her message on the importance of spiritual life to catechists who facilitate in the classroom. Paradise is the director of religious education at St. John Capistran Church in Clair, Pa., master catechist for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and a national consultant for William H. Sadlier Publishing. Paradise urges catechists to pay attention to their own spirituality in order to give the children they teach an awareness of spirituality within themselves. She will also talk about what is necessary, practical and possible in turning one’s life over to Christ. “Unless you can speak of your own journey and how God has moved in your life through prayer and the Scriptures, you are unable to lead others to know that,” she said. “Prayer opens our understanding of what is possible in terms of making the time to listen to the voice of God,” said Paradise. And the possible? Paradise wants her audience to know that it is possible to make the time to serve God and to deepen their spiritual lives. Paradise is scheduled to speak at 12:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 27.

Sister Mary Ellen Schopfer, CSJ, will present, “Let Us Pray, About Peace.” Sister Mary Ellen will guide people to find peace by creating an atmosphere where they can slow down and get in touch with the God within them. “You have to create a desire to find peace,” said Sister Mary Ellen. “If we really desire it, we will create opportunities to make it happen. We will find little pockets of time in our day,” she said. The session will invite participants to pray, converse, listen and quietly reflect in order to become havens of peace. Sister Mary Ellen will instruct her audience on how they can enhance the words, “Peace be with you” in their lives through letting go of anxiety, listening to others in the group and listening to songs and Scripture. “I hope it will be a prayerful experience where people can connect with God,” said Sister Mary Ellen. Sister Mary Ellen is a spiritual director, small group facilitator and a Hospice chaplain. Her workshops are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 27.

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