Rapid City Area Listener Relations Representative

 Real Presence Radio is seeking applicants for the following position:

Rapid City Area Listener Relations Representative:  Assist the Listener Relation Coordinator with spreading the word about Real Presence Radio. 40 hours per month and requires work 3-5 hours one weekend per month on average.

·         Promote RPR in the local listening area

·         Manage local parish reps

·         Schedule and give talks at parishes

·         Gather gift certificates for Live Drives

·         Attend events and manage an RPR booth

·         Help gather table hosts, volunteers, etc for banquets and live drives

·         Other duties as assigned

Positions open until filled
Send Applications to:
Real Presence Radio
PO Box 13703
Grand Forks, ND 58208

West River Catholic: December 2015

Enjoy the December edition of the West River Catholic

Download the PDF

Witness your amazing story to all you meet

In 2008, I was part of the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. Many of our youth and young adults who participated encountered the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in their lives in a profound way — so profound that it changed their lives forever. They met the person of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in a way they had never known!

The theme for that WYD was taken from Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.”

At the heart of stewardship is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter on stewardship, “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response,” they note stewardship is “fundamentally the work of the Spirit in our lives. When we accept our lives as sheer gifts, the Spirit can use us as instruments for spreading the Gospel. Wherever the Spirit works, there is joy. Good stewards are always the joyful bearers of the Good News of salvation.”

I will never forget that 13-hour bus ride from Melbourne to Sydney. Time flew as I heard witness talk after witness talk from our youth, young adults and adult leaders. Their amazing stories of what Jesus was doing in their lives gave me much hope. Their desire to know Jesus and to live Jesus in their lives was a powerful testimony that changed my life.

Last summer, I had a similar experience on another bus trip, this time coming back from the Steubenville of the Rockies Conference in Denver. Hearing our youth and adults testify and give witness to one another of how they encounter the presence of Jesus in their lives was electrifying.

It’s true. When you open your heart to Christ and surrender to his will, you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will touch your heart — so much so that you will want to testify, give witness and to share this encounter with others.

I am not sure why we as Catholics are so hesitant to testify and give witness to what Jesus is doing in our lives. It seems that our relationship with Christ becomes a private matter — a matter between Jesus and me rather than an encounter to be shared. That sharing has the potential to ignite the hearts of others through our own personal story of Jesus.

When Paul was in prison, he wrote a letter to Philemon encouraging him to be faithful to the Gospel so that its power might be effective and bear fruit in the lives of God’s people. In a sense Paul is saying, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith.”

The stewardship initiative in our diocese — through a life of generous hospitality, a lively faith and dedicated discipleship — is nothing more than sharing our faith in Christ with others. It is all about being willing to be a witness and to testify to what the Lord is doing in our lives. It is putting our faith into practice.

Pope Francis, in a daily homily at the Saint Martha House where he lives, said that “living the Christian life is simple: listen to God’s word and put it into practice. These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus, hear the word of God and put it into practice. This is the Christian life, nothing more … simple, easy.”

This past year the Office of Stewardship has been developing a new ministry in our diocese — the training and sending out of lay witnesses to every parish. This past month some of you experienced having lay witness speakers in your parish. Our plan is that every parish in our diocese will experience a lay witness speaker three times year, with the hope of building up to four times a year.

The purpose of the lay witness testimony is to inspire people to accept the invitation to live a life as a Christian steward through a life of generous hospitality, a lively faith, and a dedicated discipleship. Lay witnesses have a simple message — to share their own personal stories of living the life of being a faithful steward. Lay witnesses convey powerful stories of transformation. Hearing personal stories can lead to changes of heart and bring about authentic conversion.

During the next several months, I will go into more detail about this exciting new ministry in our diocese. Remember: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.”

Having a holy family does not mean a perfect family

As we gather this Christmas to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation, God becoming man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, it is a clear reminder of how God deeply desires to be with us. In becoming a child born into a human family, the Incarnation speaks to us of how God chose to experience human life from the very beginning so that he could not only be close to us, but so that he could save us.

At Christmas, what speaks to my heart is that he came to us through a human family wanting his holiness, his love, his life to be a part of every human person and every human family. Yes, we call the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family, but are not all families called to be holy? Is not the Holy Family the model for all families in good times and in bad, when there are both harmony and problems?

Many have an image of the Holy Family as being this perfect little family. But Jesus’ family is not called perfect. It is called the Holy Family. Holy doesn’t mean perfect. That should give all families some hope. It gives me consolation, knowing that I didn’t have the perfect family, but that certain aspects of it were holy.

There is probably not a single family without its problems, though some families may deal with greater problems than others. When we look at family life today, society presents many challenges for raising a healthy, holy, well-integrated family.

The Holy Family was not exempt from their own challenges. Imagine being exiled, fleeing to Egypt because a little baby had become so great a threat to a powerful king that Herod wanted him dead. When seen beyond the pretty stable event depicted so serenely on Christmas cards, we are confronted with a vulnerable “holy family” fleeing for its life and safety. Imagine the anxiety and fear that this young couple and their infant are facing as they begin their new life together. This “Emmanuel,” “God is with us,” is forced from his own homeland because of the threat of violence.

Perhaps this image of the Holy Family in exile depicts a God who has joined the plight of the world’s refugees who have had to flee their own homes and countries because of civil conflict, violence, and terrorism in areas such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestine, the Sudan and many other places. We must pray for these many refugees and be the body of Christ with arms outstretched to welcome them.

In the birth of Jesus, God has chosen to enter into the world to show us how we are to live together, so that no one should ever have to experience being a refugee, an outcast or a threat to anyone. This little child we celebrate at Christmas will grow up to love in ways which many think are humanly impossible — a love so profound and deep that he is willing to be hung on a cross and killed. He gives us the model that will bring holiness to every family and community.

What are the features that can make a family holy in a world constantly changing and becoming more secular? Here are some suggestions.

  1. It begins with a grounding in a covenant relationship with God : “I will be your God, and you will be my people” (Lv 26:12). If the Lord is not at the center of our lives as individuals, God will not be at the center of our family life.
  2. A family must be connected to a life of prayer. This includes participation in the sacramental life of the church. Prayer is what puts us in relationship with God. It is to the spiritual life what water is to the physical life. Prayer must encompass family life. If meals and bedtime are the only times parents pray with their children, what message is being sent about a true relationship with God?
  3. Are children being taught about the Bible? It is the parents’ personal responsibility to attend to the spiritual and moral development of their children. Parents are the first (primary) teachers of their children in the faith. Jesus knew the Hebrew Scriptures very well, not because he was God, but because it was a part of his family life. Imagine what the world might be like if children grew up learning a variety of verses from the Bible along with the nursery rhymes.
  4. There must be honor, reverence and respect for all members of the family. Do we really see each other as very sacred? Do children see their parents as sacred and vice versa? Do we see our brothers or sisters as sacred, as gifts to one another? To show reverence and honor means to see each other as gifts even when we don’t agree with them. Many families fall apart today and marriages end because the sacredness of the other is not honored. One sign of respect and honor is how we listen to one another. Do we really listen to one another; children to their parents; parents to their children? Listening is not easy. We often listen with our own agenda, meaning that when someone is speaking to us we are thinking more about what our reply will be.
  1. At the core of any healthy, holy, family life is unconditional love — a love expressed through heart-felt compassion, kindness, humility, patience and forgiveness. The words, “I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?” are perhaps the most important words in all family relationships.
  2. The word family comes from a Latin root famulus, which means servant. Family is that place where each serves the other, placing the needs, interests, desires and delights of the other before their own.

Families are never perfect and don’t have to be. There will be joys and happiness, sorrow and suffering. What makes a family holy is each of us answering our own call to holiness and then striving within our own family to share love, honor and respect for one another, always seeking the good of another.

As we celebrate the Incarnation and move into the New Year, take time to reflect upon your own family, the many good aspects as well as the imperfections. Take time for family prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to bless what is good and to heal and restore what human nature cannot do on its own. Trust that Christ, who was born into this world to save us, will do his healing work. May God richly bless you and your family.