By KATIE BORKOWSKI
POCAHONTAS – Dr. Margarett Schlientz shared a message of evangelization and living an effective Christian life with more than 40 people at the Magnificat Meal held March 10 at Resurrection Church in Pocahontas.
The evening was filled with prayer, song, food, fellowship and a presentation by Schlientz.
“I thought the night went great,” said Julie Storr, coordinator of Magnificat of Northwest Iowa. “I love it when God has a plan – his timing is perfect. Dr. Margarett’s visit to our diocese was a blessing to many.”
Magnificat of Northwest Iowa – Mary, Undoer of Knots Chapter – meets quarterly for a meal and speaker. The chapter’s other officers are Deb Troshynski, assistant coordinator and Michele Leiting, secretary/treasurer.
“Every day, every member of Magnificat is prayed for,” said Storr, when talking about being a member. “Who doesn’t need that kind of an insurance plan?”
Schlientz was the guest speaker for the evening. She has an MA in theology and spirituality and a doctorate in psychiatric nursing. She is a spiritual director, retreat director and consultant to dozens of religious communities and dioceses.
Together with Msgr. John A. Esseff, Schlientz cofounded the Pope Leo XIII Institute in Mundelein, Ill. Schlientz has led retreats and taught numerous workshops throughout the world, aiding both clergy and laity in spiritual direction, healing and deliverance and Ignatian spirituality.
She also serves as a consultant and instructor at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) Summer Program for Seminarians at Creighton University where she was awarded the Our Lady of Guadalupe Award for her service to IPF.
“It is a great blessing to be here and we’ll see what the Holy Spirit is going to do with all this,” said Schlientz before reading from the Gospel of Mark 16. “When we look at this wonderful gift that the church has reopened, what we are talking about tonight is certainly nothing new. It is as old as Christendom.”
The speaker took a look at the process of evangelization.
“What a wonderful opportunity,” said Schlientz. “Evangelization is opening our hearts where the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has touched us throughout our whole lives from the moment of our baptism to bring and to enflame our hearts with the power of the love of Jesus Christ that is so immense and intense. People seeing us know there is something different within us.”
For most, she said, Catholicism is “privatized. We hold on to it. We don’t talk about it, but we should.”
“Evangelization has always been an anointing for every one of us to be able to speak our religion, to live it out, to really look at what those Ten Commandments are and do I review them periodically to see how I am living those through,” said Schlientz. “We are so rich as Catholics. We have such phenomenal opportunities that are given to us all the way from the time Jesus walked the earth.”
Schlientz offered 10 points to lead to “authentic spiritual renewal, a keen sense of mission and an effective evangelization.” She moved from goals to discipline of renewal to tools of evangelization.
The first is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the second is a relationship with the church.
“Our Christian life must be defined and motivated first and foremost by a personal love of Jesus Christ,” said Schlientz. “How do you love the church no matter what the mess is that the church is in? You never give up on it no matter what. This point is simply another side of the first point. It has to flow out of that personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
The other points revealed by Schlientz are:
— A different way of living morally – Christ-like ethics.
— Different attitudes, responses and emotions.
— Spiritual reading
— Charitable works
— Knowledge of Scripture
— Traditions and customs
— Skill of detachment
“The goal of evangelization is for us to speak in a way that enables others to hear not us but Christ,” Schlientz said to better explain the last point. “For this to happen, detachment from our prejudices, preferences and opinions is essential.”
“Dr. Margarett’s talk is so important,” said Storr. “She has given us tools and now we are back to the 12 Apostles times three or four. We have to go out and make new Christians for the world.”
The attendees were asked to write down prayer intentions. At the conclusion of the evening, Father Paul Bormann, spiritual advisor, prayed over the intentions.
Schlientz’s talk was recorded and is available by contacting Storr, Leiting or Troshynski. Compact discs of Schlientz’s talk as well as Sister Anne Marie Walsh’s talk will also be available at the next meal. The CDs are $3 and add $1 for postage.
The next Magnificat Meal will be begin at June 10 at Resurrection of Our Lord Church in Pocahontas. Denise Bossert will be the speaker.