The second GIFT (Growing In Faith Together) Lecture sponsored by the Assumption Center in Worcester featured Dr. Neil Castronovo, Dean of Student Development at Assumption College, and Dr. Virginia Ryan, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rivier College in Nashua, NH.
Each spoke from the vantage point of his or her discipline in order to explore questions like "Where is God in this current economic crisis?" "How can faith help us?" "What can psychology teach us about effective ways to cope with this economy?"
Neil reminded us that while its not helpful to spiritualize suffering at any time, it is always good to recall that Jesus is God's response to suffering. He suggested that in moments of stress and crisis, it is essential to hold onto the virtue of gratitude -- something that requires practice and perhaps changing our approach.
In her presentation, Ginny reminded us that according to the gospels, money matters matter, pointing out to us the 10% of all verses in the New Testament concern either money or possessions. According to Ginny, our culture says: there's never enough. This leads to feelings of scarcity, an underlying assumption that informs our lives without our even being aware of it. She advocated coming to life from an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity, leading us in a reflection on The Feeding of the 5000 from Mark's gospel as a way to remind us that with community comes the miracle of the abundance of God.
Fr. Donat Lamothe, A.A. will speak on Preparing for Christmas with Icons for the third GIFT Lecture on December 13.
Icons are invitations seeking to draw the beholder deeper and deeper into the mystery they reveal. Fr. Donat will guide us in discovering what icons can teach us about Christ and his Mother as we prepare to welcome them into our hearts and homes this Christmas.
Sunday, December 13, 3:30 p.m.
St. Andrew's Church Hall, corner of Spaulding and Vineyard Streets, Worcester, MA.
Free off-street parking in the church lot, Vineyard Street. Refreshments will be served.