I hope this article encourages you into creating your futures.
It’s usually around this time every year that most of us take inventory of the past year and begin to plan for the upcoming year. I’m confident that all of our plans for the future are full of hope and anticipation.
I would like to share some of my past year and plans for the future. Specifically, I’d like to bring many of you up-to-date with my educational forum and some of the many achievements and some setbacks as well. Hopefully seeing my achievements and my setbacks will encourage you as well.
This has been a very blessed year for me in many ways. Last December I established a forum called “Adapting to Change” as a blogger on blogspot.com. Do you remember? Probably not. This posting site was an initial attempt to address the global community with my thoughts and ideas about life and, in particular, the religious issues of the day.
My personal and professional philosophy was and is to be action directed. I intend to accomplish much more before I depart from this world. I believe that it is better to do something to create the change I wish to see instead of just complaining. As Gandhi stated, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I am following this philosophy.
My initial posting site had very little interaction between me and a few subscribers. However, that was fine. My second personal and professional philosophy is that it is better to try and fall short instead of never trying in the first place.
It was during the early part of this year that I came across a blogging site out of Philadelphia publisher by Susan Matthews and entitled “Catholics 4 Change”. Susan is a very impressive person. She has left many positive impressions on me and I soon became an active blogger on her site. Susan publishes on wordpress.com. It was this experience and the inspiration I took home with me from my attendance at the American Catholic Council in Detroit in June that motivated me to reestablish myself with this current forum entitled “GoodPeople 2 GoodPriests”, an educational forum. I had to remind myself that I do have a doctorate in educational leadership.
GoodPeople 2 GoodPriests is established to bring the creative ideas of both the laity and the clergy together into a conversation about reforming the church we were born into and love. I can honestly say that the degree of success has been mixed but far superior to the first attempt last December. The lesson for me – keep trying until it works. Well here are some of the successes and some of the hardships.
Unlike the first forum site, my current site has had 4747 hits to date. WOW!!! I have posted 66 articles in just under six months – 23 weeks to be exact. I currently have 27 subscribers on four continents, in countries like Nigeria, Sweden, UK and Australia. In the USA alone, individuals from New Hampshire to Florida have commented, including individuals from Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Heading westward, friends from Ohio, Chicago, Montana, Arizona, Seattle, and beautiful California from San Francisco down to Orange County have joined in the conversation.
Yes, taking a step from my first posting site to the current site was beneficial.
Sadly, I can report that very few priests are a part of these conversations. This has definitely sadden me. Priests are afraid to publicly comment on the failures of the church to avoid disciplinary action against themselves from their bishops. This is more reason for us laity to take the lead. The clergy can have a tremendous positive influence but are held back by a very strong clerical culture that is killing our church.
However, one brave priest, in particular, Fr. Tom Doyle , O.P. did brave his superiors and has had the most hits of any article with 207 and counting. People want to desperately hear from our priests. I have also received responses from priests anonymously, mostly retired, and a few brave deacons. There are a few religious sisters who have braved the criticism of their superiors and bishops. By and large, priests and religious are very silent.
So, what about the future? Well, I have some good news. I am applying for and expect to be accepted in to the Masters of Theology degree program at Seton Hall University’s Seminary School of Theology. My conversations with the dean have been encouraging.
You might ask why I would chose a Maters in Theology degree when I already had a doctorate in educational leadership and a Masters in Sociology? Well, for a few reasons. One reason is that theology has always been my passion. Earlier in life I aspired to the Catholic priesthood and anticipated a degree in theology. That career aspiration did not happen for me.
Well, after 30 years of marriage and coming closer to retirement, and with the kiddies just about out of the homestead, daddy is acting on his dream. Praise the Lord!!! All joking aside, this is my next calling. Yes, seriously, all the doors opened for me into this next step and the inspiration as well and I am acting on that inspiration. I am confident that this is God’s next move for me and I’m not going to let it pass by without acting.
I mention all of this because I have decided to let the educational forum take a needed rest as I reassess it. I have experienced its success but I can bring this educational forum to its next level with the added knowledge of theology which I believe I desperately need.
This will take time and another set of inspirations. I am confident all will happen in its due time and with greater insight.
That’s it for now. Much success to you and your plans. I will remember you and pray for you as well. Please remember me as well. God’s blessings. DrNck