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Called and Gifted Testimonials

As a Facilitator...

it is a gift to witness as people start to realize how generous our God is. Many times I've heard, "I never knew about these gifts."

One of the requirements...

of a charism is that while you are using your charism, you are filled with joy. You can even see it in people when they are talking about a charism, even before experimenting, they are joy filled talking about them.

Since the initial class...

and the discernment in depth are held in small groups, you can see people connecting, sharing their stories and validating a potential charism.

I feel...

As a facilitator I feel as if I'm helping to build the Lord's kingdom. By helping point people to potential ministry work, I'm helping them live their charism and also support wonderful ministries.
What is your Charism?

I was gifted with...

I was gifted with the cleansing water of Baptism in the Church of the Blessed Trinity in Buffalo N.Y. May 10,1942 - because of the love of my parents, and years before the Buffalo Bill’s were even thought of or formed!  Today, after a lifetime of blessings involving Joy and sorrow, topped off by the Called and Gifted seminar, I have some sense of flowing Joy and Peace, after disregarding times of fear and sleepiness, in responding to “small” opportunities to witness and share with people who cross my path.
In Called and Gifted I learned my charism is evangelization to people on the margins of Our Faith Community, while sharing in the support and responsibilities of Our Faith Community. For instance, as I write this, there was a request to serve as an Emmaus minister on short notice.  I already had a funeral planning in process, but I find in helpful to discern using the four cardinal virtues: 1. prudence (likelihood for success); 2. common good (justice);3. self sacrifice (temperance); with joy resulting (fortitude). So I volunteered.  When I met with the family, I learned that the deceased was Catholic,  but many in the family were not.  As I assisted with the planning process, I experienced joy and their appreciation as we uncovered the symbolism and meaning in the practices of our Faith.   Another recent example of finding Joy  from the Called and Gifted awareness was when a friend from Temple Beth Or asked me to speak to his 9th grade comparative religion class about why I am a practicing Catholic. I found the young high school students subsequently interested in joining us for Mass.  The welcoming by St. Francis staff, youth and volunteers was a blessing to all of us.  I have also found more opportunities to lector at our own liturgies, which further reinforces the blessings I received from this seminar which helps us live out our vocation, not as the “chosen frozen” but as living witnesses in the grace filled NOW, members of the Mystical Body of Christ! 

Peace and Joy, Richard Hammer

I’m currently a...

participant in the Called & Gifted program and wanted to share a personal experience that I believe would not have happened without my participation in the program.  The goal of the program is to actively discern our spiritual gifts in the service of others, develop awareness for opportunities to use them and to act. 
After a long recent work trip to Europe, travel drama abounded on the return trip!  After a 5+ hr delay, my flight was then cancelled, and I finally made it home 24 hours after my scheduled return. 
I'm not even sure how it started, but the guy sitting right next to me and I had an extended conversation on the flight back (we had exchanged pleasantries throughout the previous day’s delays).  He felt comfortable opening up and shared some of the issues that he was facing with his father, the regrets that he had about his failed marriage, and his attempts to try to strengthen his relationships with his daughters.  I listened with empathy and shared the strength that I have found by trying to put Christ in the center of my life.  This led to a lengthy dialogue and ultimately a conversation about spiritual gifts and the journey to direct those on the behalf of others which really struck a chord with him.  I happened to have my Spiritual Gifts workbook in the pocket of my seat and let him borrow it.  He then read my workbook with interest for a long time.  He shared that he felt that the entire purpose of the flight delay was to allow him to have that interaction with me and to reset his connection to his faith and family.  
He followed up later to share that he had a perfect and beautiful interaction with his daughter and was beyond grateful for that interaction.  I was also very happy to hear that he also had a wonderful visit with his dad where I think he was able to find some peace.  
I am grateful for the Spiritual Gifts program and for the increased awareness of the importance of discerning our gifts and developing higher awareness for opportunities to help others and the courage and boldness to act. 


John (current St. Francis Called & Gifted program participant)