Member Experiences

 

People need to be encouraged and allowed to have experiences that will bring them closer to God

Sr. Ann Parker

At this point in my life I would say that I am passionate two things:

  • Keeping the flame of faith burning in the lives God's people.
  • Inviting people to make the journey as IHM Associates.

 

Keeping the flame of faith burning

My ministry is a Pastoral Associate at Saint Anthony's Parish in North Beach, Maryland. I have been here for a number of years beginning as Director of Religious Education / Youth Ministry before assuming my present position.

For a long time, I served the Church in Catholic Education, as teacher and principal. When I came to this parish, I gradually discovered a different kind of passion. Perhaps it has to do with looking at the water of the Chesapeake Bay and being reminded how people today are challenged to live out their baptismal call to holiness.

Whether it is working with children, parents or the age gamut of parishioners I meet each day, I have become poignantly aware of a spiritual hunger in their lives.  People today are pulled in conflicting directions, especially parents, and often the living and practicing of the faith gets shifted down the priority ladder. My reflecting mind and creative gifts try to be attuned to the inspiration of the Spirit.

I am constantly discerning ways to reach out to people and awaken their spiritual craving for a relationship with our loving God.

I am seeing generations of parents who are at a loss as to how to nurture the faith as a family.

I am becoming aware of older adults anxious to break open the Scriptures and learn what message they can incorporate into their life situations.

People need to be encouraged and allowed to have experiences that will bring them closer to God. I am passionate about our IHM mission of being a "clear and understandable prophetic witness to the presence of God in the world." I strive to live out our IHM Charism in the "passionate spirit of St. Alphonsus Liguori" as I "participate in the redeeming love of Jesus which impels me to proclaim the Good News of God's unconditional love for all."

 

Inviting people to make the journey

When this new life endeavor for the Congregation was presented to our Sisters, I was inspired and challenged to explore this stirring of the Spirit among us. I have worked with and come to know many wonderful people over the years and saw this as an opportunity to embark on this unknown journey into the spiritual realm of the IHM spirit with them.

First, I invited four, then eight and recently six  men and women to "come and see" what we are all about. The process is a lengthy one, but full of deep insight, prayer, and discussion as we delve into the many ways God is calling us into relationship.

The stories of Theresa Maxis, our rich IHM history, mission to serve God's people, and core values provide a spark for Associates to look at the ways God is calling them to grow in relationship with him wherever they are. These searching people energize, inspire and keep me focused on my passion to gather with them in Circles of Grace. It is a commitment of time, presence and energy to engage in this process, but I am grateful for the "passion" within my spirit that enables me to respond to this call.