'Where Are You, God?' webinar open to parish leaders
In preparation for the Advent and Christmas seasons, the diocesan Office of Pastoral Life and Mission will present “Where Are You, God?” – a webinar for parish leaders – with well-known Father Chris Walsh.
The virtual program, the second of four in a support series for parish ministers and leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be offered at 3 p.m. Nov. 23. The first program in August was met with great success, with more than 200 participants tuning in remotely.
“We are trying to provide a lifeline to ministers who don’t have their traditional networks of support during this pandemic,” said Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor and executive director of Pastoral Life and Mission.
While workshops are provided to help parish ministers respond to new situations, this webinar, like the one before it, “brings parish ministers together virtually to hear a message of hope,” Ginther said.
The webinar, presented via WebEx, will offer practical methods of bringing 2020 into prayer. It will include three movements, or periods of reflection, with a brief time for discussion groups in between. Father Walsh will begin with some thoughts on God’s search for his people. The second movement is a guided prayer about where God has been this year. The final piece will help parish ministers focus on where God desires to meet them in the coming seasons of Advent and Christmas.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Father Walsh currently serves as pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort Parish, Northwest Philadelphia, and chaplain of Bishop McDevitt High School, Wyncote, Pa. Prior to St. Raymond Parish, he was the school minister at Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster, Pa., and parochial vicar in Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Philadelphia. He spent many years working with St. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the South Bronx, N.Y., and has preached retreats and days of recollection throughout the country. He serves with the Catholic Leadership Institute, providing leadership training to parish leaders nationwide; is currently chairman of the board of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, and actively participates in missionary work in Central Uganda.
In today’s times, Ginther said one of the most frequently asked questions by people of faith is, “Where is God in all of this?”
“As a pastoral minister, if you are not asking these questions yourself, someone is asking them of you – and expecting you to answer,” she said.
While it’s easy to see the Lord in celebrations and joy, with the Christmas tree and crèche, she said, “It takes perspective and practice to notice how the Lord is Emmanuel, that God is with us in the suffering, in the loneliness, in the frustration, in the fear. And sometimes, we need others to help us find him.”
“Father Walsh will help us to become more adept at spotting the Lord in the midst of it all,” she said.
Any parish minister can register for the event, which include all persons involved in various types of pastoral, catechetical, liturgical and formational ministry. To register, visit www.dioceseoftrenton.org/webinar.