CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Discerning God’s gift and call

Hong Kong (SE): “I found the Called & Gifted workshop fascinating,” says Carla Basto-Clark, the director of the Ampleforth Centre for Theology and Spirituality Hong Kong Limited (ACTS Hong Kong). 

She adds, “It opened my eyes to the presence of the Holy Spirit within me and helped me to focus on working out where Christ wants me, by teaching me to be attentive to those moments of deep peace and joy when I am serving.”

The Catholic Diocese Centre at Caine Road, will be hosting the third annual Called & Gifted workshop training programme for adults on May 13, from 7.00pm to 9.00pm and on May 14, 9.00am to 4.30pm. It will be facilitated by . Dominican Father Isaiah Mary Molano together with Tricia Bølle from the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society

The programme is aimed at those who wish to discern their role in the Church and make a commitment to serve the Lord.

Who am I?  What is God’s calling in my life?  What can I do to deepen my relationship with Christ?  What is the role of the laity in the mission of the Church?  What more can I do to share my faith with others?  How has the Holy Spirit uniquely gifted me? are common questions that arise in the faith lives of many Catholics.  

No two people are alike in their calling and St. Peter and St. Paul are the perfect example.  Two highly different people with different backgrounds, but each called and gifted in their own special way by Jesus to testify to the Risen Lord.

Each individual, whether lay, religious or ordained, has a personal calling to share in the mission of the Church to bring God’s love into the world so that all might come to know him. 

The Called & Gifted™ Discernment Process was developed by the Catherine of Siena Institute, of the Holy Name Province of the Dominican Order in the United States of America, and has been successfully used since 1993 by over 75,000 lay, ordained and religious Catholics and other Christians around the world. 

Thousands of people have become entered more deeply into their faith and their relationship with God as they seek to more efficaciously live out their calling and touch people’s lives with Christ’s love through a better understanding of their unique charisms.

A major sign of our Christian calling is found in the charisms—the gifts of the Holy Spirit—that we receive in baptism and confirmation.  Yet discerning our gifts and our calling requires a deep, personal relationship with Jesus and a greater understanding of our faith and how God is at work through the Body of Christ.  

After the workshop, there will be an opportunity for participants to have a personal spiritual gifts interview and to discover how God has uniquely gifted his people to bring his love into the world. 

“It was also very liberating because you realise that you don’t have to be ‘all things for everyone,’ but you can focus on what really fires you up and let the Spirit lead you in those areas,” Basto-Clark explains, adding, “It feels like an awakening of the person I was made to be.” 

The Church teaches that all the baptised are called by Christ to proclaim his gospel in the world. However, parishes rarely provide formation that prepares people for so great a mission. Pope John Paul, II taught: “Formation is not the privilege of a few, but a right and duty of all” (Christifideles Laici, 63).

The St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society, based in Stanford, California, together with the Ampleforth Centre for Theology and Spirituality Hong Kong Limited (ACTS Hong Kong) are the organisers of the workshop in Hong Kong. 

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