New Evangelization advocate says all must witness faith

Categories: Around the Diocese

Diocesan Ministry Day Spotlight

Sept. 13, 2013, edition
By Lynette Thelen

In every circumstance and situation, God’s grace can come to us through others, Kelly Wahlquist said, and when she speaks at the upcoming Diocesan Ministry Day, she will be talk about how we all bring the gift of grace into the lives of others.

kellywahlquistWahlquist said she will share the importance of being witnesses of our faith and part of the New Evangelization.

Diocesan Ministry Day is slated for Sept. 30 at St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

Wahlquist is the assistant director of the evangelization and development office for parish evangelization for the Association of Marian Helpers and also the program manager for the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.

She gave a preview of her talk in a recent interview with The Visitor.

Q. What will you be speaking about at Diocesan Ministry Day in St. Cloud this fall?

A. When God calls us to participate in his plan for our family, our community, our nation, the world, he reveals to us the gifts he’s hidden within us for his service and his glory. Those gifts of grace that God has bestowed upon us are perpetually being cultivated in us by the Holy Spirit for the exact moment they are needed in God’s plan of sheer goodness. Recognizing, embracing and living our gifts, our charisms, enables us to not only complement the gifts of others, but to joyfully build up the kingdom of God.

Q. Why is it important to be witnesses of our faith and part of the New Evangelization?

A. The world needs our witness in order to become who they are, children of God. Our faith and our participation in the New Evangelization revitalizes Catholics, who may not truly know and love their faith, and brings new converts to the fullness of their potential: disciples in the company of Jesus for the salvation of the world.

Q. What do you hope people will take with them from your workshop?

A. I want them to be reminded of their great value to Christ crucified (he dies for each of us), and to recognize that his grace has hidden gifts within us not only to serve the church, but also to bring to light his glory in every heart! It is a wonderful circle — being a light that people can’t help but want to know the source of, is what draws others to Christ. That’s the gateway to evangelization, to proclaiming the good news, to changing the world.

Q. Can you give us a few hints that might help us find our hidden gifts?

A. A sort of preview of the talk? Sure, look at all your relationships. Hidden within those are the gifts God sends to help us all to heaven. Most importantly, we must ponder the Living Word, looking at relationships in Scripture, both the relationships of people to each other and to Christ, and our personal relationship with Christ in his word. God reveals his hidden gifts to us in the story he tells us of our relationship with him: We are there in his word. If we are quiet and receptive to the sound of his voice on every page, we can find our gifts.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

A. Bring a notebook and a Bible! The Bible to find the gifts, and a notebook to write them in!