By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Often, people will hear someone speak without really listening, said organizers of an upcoming retreat on listening at St. Paul the Apostle Parish. “We might have an auto response instead of a response to what the person is saying,” said Marcia Moore, a facilitator of the April 11 event “Listening with the Ears of Your Heart.”
Moore and Cyndi Jarvis of Eagles’ Wings Counseling and Retreat Center in Davenport will aim to help retreat-goers learn to be more present to others. From 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., participants will view a series of short videos and participate in role-playing exercises. Cost of the event is $25 and lunch is included.
The retreat will cover topics including what it means to be a good listener, why listening is important, different styles of listening, the barriers people put up when talking with others, and learning to listen to God and others in a noisy world.
Judi Droll, a member of St. Paul’s, notices that people tend to concentrate on what they want to say next or what advice they want to give, as opposed to soaking in the essence of what someone is saying. “I can’t tell you how often I see that happening. It’s like, ‘Come on, finish up so I can tell you what to do!’ Sometimes people don’t need advice, just a listening ear.” One of the retreat exercises will consist of people pairing up and letting the other person speak for three minutes without interruption.
Moore believes good listening skills are essential to helping others as Catholics. “Jesus was a good listener. He listened not only to what people were saying but what they were feeling.”
She said good listening skills can be helpful for anyone, including parents, business managers, lay ministers, clergy and spouses. “It will help you in whatever vocation you’re in to have a better relationship with people.”
To attend the retreat, call Judi Droll at (563) 322-3665 or St. Paul’s parish office at (563) 322-7994 by April 8.