On April 16, 2016 the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton class met at Alemany High School, Mission Hills. Our next class will be at St .Louis of France in La Puente on April 23, 2016 for All Group Retreat.
One of the topics from today’s class was how, as a deacon couple, you will be able to listen to others. This was presented by Deacon Rick and Maureen Soria. This work is based, in part, on the book “Hearing Beyond the Words: How to Become a Listening Pastor” by Emma J. Justes.
Deacon Rick reminded us that anytime someone wishes to talk to you, that you are on “hallowed ground”. The same phrase that God said to Mosses from the burning bush. When someone asks you if you have a moment, they are looking for someone to listen, not necessarily for solutions, however, an ear to hear what they are saying and a comforting look, that might help them for that very moment, or perhaps it is the time when they reach out for further help to process the events that have happened. It is the Holy Spirt reaching out to say “I trust you” with the care of this child of God.
He went on to explain that any time someone comes up to talk to you, it can be a sacred moment. He also reminded us that we are not trained counselors or from a similar profession unless this is something that we do in our secular lives or are studying to do. Sometimes we are at loss as what to say or try and figure out how to find a solution. Many times those who ask for help are not in need of solutions, many times they are numb and in shock, when they reach out. As a Child of God, a disciple of Jesus, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, to care for all, helping them through those times when things are most dark, helping with the resources we have and if there comes a time when we cannot go further, relying on God to lead us to find another avenue that those who are in need and in pain can find a way to heal.
Deacon Rick and Maureen then did a couple of role playing activities. One where there was minimal listening and one where there was an open ear and heart, wanting to listen and help. Yes, you could notice the difference.
In many cases, someone just wants to get something off their chest. They are not expecting anything other than your sacred listening, to have another person present at that moment, right here, right now.
So, what is this “Sacred listening”? It is when you are there, in the moment, concentrating on each word that the other person is saying. You allow them to continue with no interruptions. You may ask an open ended question, if needed, to allow the individual to provide additional thoughts on the matter.
It might be that you cannot complete the discussion at that moment and will need to schedule a follow on appointment for a later time. Do it right then and there. With today’s technology, most of us are carrying our schedules with us. Before departing, maybe a prayer, blessing or both.
This was our first session on this topic and we will have another in three weeks.
If you have any questions about what we have experienced in the diaconate (aka “that deacon thing”), please ask us or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to attend a Diaconate Information day, please attend one of the following:
Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Dominic Savio Parish, 13400 Bellflower Blvd. Bellflower, CA 90706
Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. John Chrysostom Parish, 546 E. Florence Ave. Inglewood, CA 90301.
If you are interested in becoming a Deacon or a Deacon Couple for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, please contact:
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241
Candy & Jay Krueger,
Diaconate Formation, Year IV,
Holy Family Church, South Pasadena, CA