"What does it mean for me to be a catholic in the world today?"
A Call Beyond Membership

Saturday, November 20th, 2004 found adult faith development participants gathered with Miriam Martin, presentation sister and theology professor at St. Paul university, for a second look at the call of the baptized person. Building on some of the essential themes opened up by Bishop Paul-André Durocher in October, participants were invited into a rich and challenging exploration of discipleship, the product of research and preparation that Prof Martin described as essential work that has been urging a response from her for awhile and that is essential in the development of her own Christian identity.

Prof. Miriam Martin

Prof Miriam Martin, pbvm, presents on discipleship

Entitling the session Discipleship: A call beyond membership, Prof Martin portrayed the vocation of the baptized as a call that beckons far beyond the comforts of a kind of "card-bearing membership" and into the depths of a response to the Holy Spirit who often calls in ways that are disturbing and radical. This spirit who disturbs is the one and same who shaped the life and ministry of Jesus in his time: a radical call of love and service. Prof Martin emphasized that the "spirit disturbs us into action" by inviting us to discover more fully how Jesus responded to his world, so that we may discover how to respond to ours in kind. While justice, peace and joy characterize this discipleship, it is also an engagement in struggle and risk to announce the reign of God.

Professor Martin used Dorothy Day as an evocative and stirring example of someone who responded to discipleship by staying with the struggles of that call, facing her mistakes and the challenges that came to her and constantly returning to the foundational call to communal faith, love, and service. Stirring clips from the movie about Day's life, Entertaining Angels were used to show her as a person who recognized that we meet the person of Jesus in everyone, especially in those who are impoverished, marginalised and suffering. Day's life was a struggle to be faithful to that, filled with difficulty and with joy.

Professor Martin stressed the need to call upon our religious imaginations as ways to grow, using art, music, and poetry to help us shape and deepen our notions of discipleship. She invited all to open themselves to the many ways that Eucharist is food for the journey' as she echoed Jesus' invitation to "put out into the deep!" Deep appreciation was expressed for the richness and depth of Prof Martin's presence and her presentation. Participants described the session as meaningful', inspiring', and challenging'.

"What does it Mean for me to be a Catholic in the World Today?" will be addressed from the perspective of spirituality on Saturday, December 11th, 2004, as Luc Tardif, O.M.I. helps participants explore what spirituality means and the place of a catholic spirituality in our world today. For info or to register, contact Carol Kuzmochka, 738-5025 (x251). All are welcome.