Fr. Steve and Beth welcome guest John Lajiness, former pastoral associate and new Director of Admissions at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, to the podcast for a profound conversation on seasons of transition, maintaining a mission focus while working in ministry, and trusting God's plan for our work.
(1:15) Fr. Steve discusses the blessing it has been for him to begin teaching full time at Sacred Heart this year, as he has had the opportunity to more deeply delve into the subject matters he presents to his classes. Beth shares how she has been finding beauty in the winter season.
(4:30) Fr. Steve opens up the topic of finding graces in challenging seasons of transitions. John shares how his time in ministry as the pastoral associate at St. John Vianney Parish in Shelby township and his profound relationship with the parish’s late pastor, Fr. Tim, shaped his faith journey, reflecting on the graces they were able to share walking through Fr. Tim’s journey towards the end of his life, and finding hope in Jesus’ resurrection.
(16:30) Beth discusses the transitions she has experienced after joining the ministry team at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica when Bishop McClory was moved to become a bishop. She and John discuss the balance of grieving the losses that come with transitions working in ministry while also being a stabilizing force for their parish communities. Noting that the healthiest transitions unfold when parish communities build each other up as a family and help carry one another through the transition season, resisting giving into doubt and fear.
(22:07) Fr. Steve shares how the grieving process can propel us forward, as we honor what we have lost while moving forward confidently in our belief that Christ is still victorious and that God is continuously working all things for our good. Beth challenges listeners to ask “what does my faith say to this?” even in the midst of difficulties and change.
(24:00) John reflects on his devotion to Saint Teresa of Calcutta, seeing her life’s work as an emblem for the grief journey, as we each can use our grieving to “find our Calcutta” and remain ever faithful looking for Jesus even in dark circumstances.
(28:00) Fr. Steve asks John where he sees parishes being able to embrace investing in the future when coming out of transition seasons. John shares the importance of maintaining a mission focus while working in ministry in order to best serve the church community. Beth reminds those working in ministry to move away from the fear of transitions and instead rest on trust in the Lord.
(34:20) John explores the idea that the Lord is constantly calling us to look to “what’s next” and how we can allow that to propel us forward into surrendering to God’s plans and promises for our lives.
(38:00) Beth asks John what his prayer life has looked like during transition seasons. John reflects on stillness in prayer and the need to listen to God to gain grace and strength in discernment. Fr. Steve shares how trust and humility keep him focused on God in the midst of times of weakness. Beth shares how inspiration from Scripture has carried her through times of waiting.
(43:00) John reminds listeners to take comfort that even when things don’t make sense, “God makes sense” and will not only lead us through uncertain times but bring us out to a better place than we imagined. Fr. Steve echoes with the call that God works through our weaknesses.
(45:00) Fr. Steve, Beth, and John wrap up with a Biblical trivia game!