Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Final Educational Offering of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate: In the Words of Jim Dunning

Hello folks. Pretty choked up right now. I wanted to share with you the words I used to end today's final webinar for the Forum. They are the words of Jim Dunning, from an article he wrote entitled "The Social Dimensions of Conversion," in the now out-of-print Paulist Press book Conversion and the Catechumenate. Jim Dunning, of course, was the founder of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and was a mentor, friend, prophet, and inspiration.

"The good news is that the future is now--not the future of doomsday but our resurrection in Jesus begins now. We are a graced people now. The demons are more than private sins, but the Holy Spirit also is no private possession. The Spirit possesses us now, as a people. We are recreated in God's image by that Spirit, and nothing is more important than to know the kind of God in whose image we are created. Ours is a God of freedom, of exodus, of justice, of liberation. Ours is a God who makes all things new. In the Spirit of that God, we make all things new. Therefore, we hope."

And so, for initiation ministry in North America, I remain hopeful.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Geoff Duffy said...


When I was starting in ministry out in Seattle, I was blessed to take a summer course from Jim Dunning on the catechumenate. I have been cleaning out some files recently and came across notes from that course and one of the things I wrote down was "RCIA is dangerous to the status quo if done properly!" I was able to attend his funeral Mass and I just remember what a great loss people felt in the Seattle archdiocese when he died. But I also know that his teaching and guidance is precisely the reason that we had (and they continue to have) such a vibrant RCIA process. He was definitely an influence in my formative years of ministry.

Catherine said...

Jerry, thank you for a fine final webinar! It was helpful, challenging, insightful and filled with wisdom. Well done.

Denise Anderson said...

Jerry, thank you for posting this... for your great spirit and commitment to the Forum, initiation, and keeping Jim Dunning's vision alive and present~

May all he has done through you and so many Forum members continue to grow and live and thrive in the Church, parish leaders, and those yet to be touched by the leaven of this ministry.

May God bless this concluding time. May creativity, life, and Spirit reign. Thank you~

Anonymous said...

Jerry - I know this God and Jim was so right. We are a redeemed people and our God loves us like crazy - Thank you for helping NA Forum go out in style and remain a people of hope!

Debbie said...

Thanks Jerry for helping NA Forum close its doors in style. This is the God I know - indeed we are a redeemed people. Here's to new life - trust in the resurrection.

Charity Joy (Gabrielle) said...

Jerry: I understand how painful these times are for you, and I continue to hold you in prayer, confident that you will in some way continue your ministry in Initiation, and we shal be the beneficiaries. God Bless you and keep you.