I am involved at various levels of pastoral ministry, within my own parish and within my work role. My work role is the implementation of mission and spiritual formation of volunteers within a lay Catholic organisation.
My own spiritual journey has perhaps been the greatest motivation to work in lay pastoral ministry. I feel that becoming a servant to others, in big and small ways, having empathy and compassion for others, and seeing Christ in every person I meet, is really a response to the transformation that has taken place in my heart because I have met and come to know God.
Baptised as a baby, I became part of the church community and started my life-long journey with Christ, but it really wasn’t until the age of 26, when I became a mother, and in years since, that I have recognised my calling and God’s action in my life.
Discernment is a choice of courage, and I have always tried to discern how God is speaking to me. Through discernment, I moved to a new city to expand my business, through discernment I left that successful business of 15 years to work for a charitable organisation and serve those who are marginalised. The list goes on…
God stirs and calls in the most unlikely times and places of my life, but only if I am ready and open to the Spirit’s leading. None of us know what the future holds, but what I know is that I can trust that God knows my heart and will lead me in his time.
A lot of the formation I have received is informal. I read a lot! I have also attended spiritual/servant leadership courses and other courses to better understand myself and others. I also have a Counselling qualification. As for a Pastoral Ministry qualification, this is something I am seeking for the future.
In terms of support and fellowship, this is something that I have struggled with. I go to mass and have a couple of people whom I relate to on a spiritual level (my Anam Cara), but otherwise, I have been searching for greater fellowship. I have recently had the support of a Spiritual Director. Meeting with her has been significant to my faith journey and so many opportunities have been presented to me! I felt called to start my own Women’s Spiritual Book Club. Once again, with courage, prayer and discernment, eight like-minded women are now joining me to share our faith and encourage each other.
Working with people gives me great joy. Each has a unique gift to share with me, and one of the greatest joys is to recognise a spark of the divine in each person I meet. Behind every scar there is a story. It is a privilege when another person shares their story with me. Each person has something to teach me.