- President - Joe Wetterling
- Vice President - Carolyn Astfalk
- Secretary - Laura Lowder
- Treasurer - Cesar Chacon
- Committee Coordinator: Nancy Ward
Seal of Approval
Congratulations to our Q4 2018 Seal of Approval recipients:
- Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon, Corinna Turner
- Testing Liberty, Theresa Linden
- The Execution of Jesus Christ, Dr. Mark Kubala
- Be: The Journey of Rol, Ric Colegrove
- A Christmas Story with St. Joseph, Geri Guadagno
- Perilous Days, Kathyrn Swegart
- Secrets to Successful Financial Planning, Dan Gallagher
- A Printer's Choice, Bill Patenaude
From Our Blog
Part 1 – Always be ready to evangelize
Writers keep a journal to capture inspirations, observations, story ideas, helpful quotes and random musings. These all relate to our writing vocation, which urges us to express ourselves in writing. Christians have a higher calling. We are anointed at Baptism to become evangelists. How fortunate are Catholic writers to have such a rich heritage of spiritual resources to inspire us. The majesty of the Magisterium, the sanctity of the sacraments and the companionship of the Counselor are ours.
If we are meant to be evangelists, how do we start? The most effective method of evangelization is our personal witness. Yes, that scary, vulnerable stepping out in faith to share what God has done in our lives.
We can wing it or we can be ready, as our first Pope encourages us in 1 Peter 3:15:
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”The basics of keeping a journal
Keeping a spiritual journal is crucial in sharing your faith story effectively. A journal helps you
- Know your story,
- Organize it for optimum appeal.
- Clarify it.
- Keep focused on what God does in your life.
- Stay out of the weeds of self-glorification.
- Avoid rambling and losing your audience.
Journal time is not creative writing time, although it provides inspiration and ideas for blogs and stories and books galore!
Do you write Morning Pages — those three pages of longhand scribbled when first awakening that reflect your subconscious thoughts? Morning Pages can flow into your spiritual journal. Both modes of writing reflect what’s going on inside your mind and heart.Find a favorite place
Scripture study is a good preparation. Daily Mass is the best. The Adoration Chapel is my favorite place to journal. I can write a conversational letter to the Lord without distractions and interruptions. There, safely in his presence, I can interact with God with prayers, pleadings, rantings and random songs of praise.
My least favorite place to journal is my computer. But if I have neglected my journal that day, whatever I’m writing sounds like my journal. My heart needs to express what God is doing.
Sometimes I get feedback. I began writing words I sense coming from that inner voice I have learned to recognize as the Holy Spirit. I trust and accept what he says, even though I don’t always act on it enthusiastically. I know he is there by the nudges I get when I have an opportunity to evangelize with my witness. The words flow naturally.The fruit of journalling
Our spiritual journal is the place to lament about our sins and hurts and let God take those burdens from us. Hurts are as essential to our faith story as blessings. Joy comes in proclaiming his healing. Recording our hurts and healings, sins and forgiveness, fears and comforts reveal how we experience God’s mercy.
The moment may come when someone with a similar hurt needs the encouragement that comes when we share our story. When we are faithful in keeping a spiritual journal, we are always ready for any opportunity to share our faith story.
A brief telling of your conversion, adult commitment, return to the Church, healing or answered prayer gets people interested faster than a long epistle. But choose one of these—not all of them at once!
You can write a summary of your story and put it aside. Hone it later from a collection of your faith experiences that display the pattern of God’s work in your life. Episodes from your collection of faith experiences, written succinctly, will find their place in blogs, speeches and conversations.
Will you wing it or be ready?
(Next month: Part 2: The long and the short of it)
© 2016, revised 2019, Nancy H C Ward
The CWG Prayer
Holy Family, guide our minds, our hearts, our hands, as we write, speak, illustrate – help our words to live in union with the Word.
Teach us discipline and skill to use the talents God gives us.
Give us also insight and courage to convey God's love through our craft, and humility to be open to His divine will, shaping our lives, in loving loyalty to His Church.
In Christ's name,