What are the values of St. Francis that the world needs at this time?
I think of Francis' appreciation for all the gifts God has given us and his generosity. Poverty wasn't about deprivation but about appreciation; holding things "loosely" so they could be given to whomever was in need. In a world where clean water, shelter, food, and safety are abundant in some places and lacking in others, that sense of sharing would provide enough for all.
What talents or gifts do you bring to your ministry?
A gift I use most is my ability to teach - to take liturgical theology or canon law and be able to break it into user-friendly pieces so people can understand and then apply it to their own lives. Helping me to do that is my love of reading that I've had since I was a child. I need to keep reading to find new connections and examples when I teach and to keep myself "fresh." The gifts of great energy and good health help me teach well - to want to do things beyond the job description and learn from others.
Where is a special place for you to get away and be with God?
Any place that has water - sitting by a small stream, I hear the voice of God in the sound of ripples over pebbles; near a river I watch the persistent movement of the current and think of the persistence of God; on the shore of Lake Michigan, sitting on the large rocks as the waves crash about me, I feel small in the presence of God's power. Most often it is the quiet of my room early in the morning and later evening. I light a candle, savor the silence, take the Scriptures and reflect on the gifts and challenges of the day. On my prayer table there are two baskets - a blessing and a burden basket - with slips of paper. I recall the presence of God when I list the things I recognized as "gifts" that day and those that I called "burdens" or challenges. Sometimes God surprises me with a new awareness, a challenging question, an insight or a call to change.