Help others to develop spiritual gifts

Barb Arland-Fye
Maureen Conrad goes over reading materials with participants in the Called and Gifted program during a recent Monday night session at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf.

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

Adults in the Davenport Diocese desire to know more about the spiritual gifts they have been blessed with by the Holy Spirit to deepen their relationship with God and to better serve their faith communities.

Their desire has led them to participate in the Called and Gifted program, which helps individuals to discern their strongest charism, or gift. Thirty-two participants from different parishes and faith communities in the diocese are attending this fall’s Called and Gifted program, held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf. The location alternates each fall between Our Lady of Lourdes and St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf.

“After the first five sessions, participants have a personal interview to help them figure out which charism they want to try to discern,” said Maureen Conrad, who leads the program in Bettendorf with Jim Connell. “You might think you have a charism that you actually do not have. The discernment process helps you figure out what is and isn’t your charism. Then you won’t volunteer for things you aren’t suited for.”

Several speakers at a recent Called and Gifted session shared their stories of discerning their charism and how they are putting that gift to use. One has a charism for giving. Another has a charism for service. Still another had a charism for pastoring. The interview process played a crucial role in helping them understand more about themselves and their gifts.

“There’s a shortage of interviewers for the demand,” said Conrad. “That’s why we’re calling on a trainer from the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado to come here to train interviewers. Otherwise we would have to go somewhere else to get trained.”

“It’s critical that we have interviewers to help people to discern their gifts,” said Connell, one of perhaps three interviewers in the area. “It’s a ministry of helping others to share their gifts with the rest of the church.”

Connell and Conrad invite all persons interested in starting or leading a Called and Gifted program in their parish to attend a training session for interviewers and table leaders Oct. 5-7 at St. John Vianney Church. Leaders from the Catherine of Siena Institute will provide the training.
Those who have been through a Called and Gifted program, whether in a one-day seminar or a small group setting, are eligible to participate. Cost is $125 and includes books. Training takes place: Oct. 5 from 7-9:30 p.m.; Oct. 6, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Oct. 6, noon to 4 p.m. Contact Conrad at iowaconrads@yahoo.com or (563) 940-5921 for more information.

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