It seems that the Dr. Susan Timoney, of the Archdiocese Secretariat for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns is hosting an series of "bringing spritiuality into relationships" by the Shalem Institute.
Now, whenever I see such things, it really starts to set off the "something just doesn't seeem right" gut feeling.
Now, the Shalem Institute and the members may be nice people and may be right for certain organizations but I am not so certain about Catholics "hosting" this.
According to the advertisement:
A Series on Spiritual Friendship, explores the relationship between prayerful listening to God and nurturing spiritual friendship with others. The emphasis will be on informal, spontaneous spiritual friendships rather than on the formal ministry of spiritual direction.
When you look at the Shalem Institute, it is a Christian but not Catholic. It talks usually of spiritual but not Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It's presenters are mostly not Catholic. (You mean, the Archdiocese and St. Rose could not find any Catholic speakers on the topic?)
So, here are the speakers:
- Tilden Edwards: Episcopal Priest
- Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND (School Sisters of Notre Dame) is a sensei (teacher) in the lineage of the White Plum Asanga (zen buddhism), she teaches Zen meditation in various settings and assists people in integrating contemplative presence and just action in their lives. (Now that should raise some eyebrows.)
- Carole Crumley: Episcopal Priest
- Ann Dean: Minister in the ecumenical community of the Church of the Saviour since 1994 and is a member of the Dayspring Retreat Mission Group
- Patience Robbins: I don't have much information on her, but she will lead talk at the Hyattsville Mennonite Church about on "Earth Mystic" Julia Butterfly Hill - an American activist and environmentalist best known for living in a 180-foot roughly 1500-year-old California Redwood for 738 days.
- Leah Rampy: Ordained Elder and Deacon at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church.
- Bill Dietrich: Quaker
- Liz Ward: Spiritual director at Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal Church) and an elected member of the Commission on Ministry and a discernment facilitator for the Diocese of Virginia.
So, I have some questions:
- Why is the Archdiocese spending $$ on presentations by non-Catholics on spirituality, esp. with what I call a questionable Catholic nun. I know that there is a fee for this, but there are always behind the scenes expenses.
- Whys is this being done at a Catholic Church.
- Are their no Catholics who can do a presentation like this, using Catholic teachings?
- Why does Dr. Susan Timoney still have this position with the Archdiocese, when she helps to support and present things which are not in the Roman Catholic tradition?