The topic of this year’s day of reflection attracted over thirty past and present MAPS students considering the topic, “The Holy Spirit in Our Lives and Ministry” presented by Sacred Heart professor Dr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway. Dr. Cooney has served as a professor of systematic and spiritual theology since the re-founding of the seminary in 1987. She is among the seminary’s most beloved professors and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Institute for Lay Ministry since its founding in 1987.
The day consisted of two presentations by Dr. Cooney, some time for silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Mass with the Most Reverend Robert Fisher, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, as well as opportunities for fellowship and mutual encouragement during breakfast, small group discussions, and lunch. Participants appreciated the balance between presentation, discussion, and time for personal prayer.
Pentecost Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral letter Unleash the Gospel. In Guidepost number ten , the Archbishop encourages all of us to “call upon the Advocate” in carrying out our mission and ministry. He wrote: “Prayer and intercession are indispensable components of the new evangelization, since God the Holy Spirit is the principal agent for unleashing the Gospel. Prayer is the way we access the unlimited divine power of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate.”
This special day of reflection served as a renewed invitation for MAPS students and lay ecclesial ministers to consider the significance of Pentecost. As one MAPS attendee summed up the impact of the day: “I consider my Advent journey and my Lenten journey, but I’ve never given much thought to my Pentecost journey... until today. Thank you!”
To learn more about the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) program or other academic programs offered by the Institute for Lay Ministry, visit shms.edu.