Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spending Time With A Legend

I get to spend the weekend with Dr Ronda Chervin. What a blast.

I only have a few heros in my life that I go gaga over: Pope John Paul II, Fr Mike Scanlan and U2. The rest I think are over-rated. Hey, they put on their pants one leg at a time, don't they? They make mistakes, eat food, blow their noses. I've just never been all that impressed with celebrity.

I had Dr Chervin as a professor in college. She was a philosophy professor unlike any other I'd encountered. While being a thinking person and teaching a cerebral course, she'd stop and go "I just can't get this person out of my mind. Can we all stop and say a prayer right now?" and we would.

She is personable and easy, maybe a little quirky as well. When you've had her life experiences, I guess you get to be your own person and I admire that. Born into an Jewish atheist family she came to the Church through questioning the meaning of life and finding meaning in Dietrich von Hildebrand's courses in college. (Dietrich von Hildebrand is often called one of the greatest philospohers of the 20th century, "A doctor of the Church" said Pope Pius XII). Under his tutelage and guidance Dr Chervin has become a popular speaker and philospher in her own right, teaching on subjects ranging from the philosphy of the human person to saints, femininity and emotional topics. If you get a chance to see her in person, I highly recommend it. She turns complicated philosophical theology and ideology into common language, easy for nearly anyone to comprehend. It is a joy of hers to teach and share the wisdom of the Church with others.

We got talking about "liberal" and "conservative" and in particular, how upset some conservatives get over things that happen in their parishes. "Y know, some things just aren't worth bothering about. People get all worked up about, say, what kids where to Church. You know what I say? Let's just be glad that they are there!-and I'm an arch Conservative saying this!" and we laughed.

She also finds that even though she is an "arch-conservative" she is so charming and disarming that you want to listen to what she has to say. She has come up with a variety of seminars and talks that are neither "liberal" or "conservative" in nature, like the course on anger this weekend. "Liberals AND conservatives are angry: they will all get something out of this talk", and in the midst of non-divisive topics she gets the truth of the Gospel across.

She has also authored several wonderful books. My two favorite are "Feminine, Free and Faithful" and "Quotable Saints" which I have listed on the side under "good reads".


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