Theological Symposium looks at everyday holiness

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SAN BERNARDINO—Nearly 200 people gathered at the Diocesan Pastoral Center on April 13 for the annual Theological Symposium offered by the Department of Ministry Formation Institute.

 The theme of the Symposium this year was “Embrace Holiness Today,” which allowed for thoughtful presentations and dialogue about the meaning of everyday holiness in many different settings. The theme was addressed in both the keynote address by Dr. Cecelia Gonzales-Andrieu, a professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, and the panel that received questions from attendees.
 Among the points in her address, Dr. Gonzales-Andrieu said everyday holiness cannot be contained to one’s self but must take into account the condition of others and the community as a whole.
 “You can’t claim faith if you’re not willing to work for justice,” she said.
 The four panelists were Father Guy Wilson, S.T., Pastor of Our Lady of Soledad Parish in Coachella, who discussed every holiness in the context of religious life; Hilda Cruz, representing the group Inferfaith Movement for Human Integrity, who discussed everyday holiness in people on society’s margins; Jason Tinoco, who discussed everyday holiness in the family setting; and Jesus Jacobo, who discussed everyday holiness among youth and young adults. The four introduced themselves and then fielded questions from the audience.
 Both the keynote address and the panel discussion were offered in English and Spanish sessions during the morning. In the afternoon, the audience broke into small groups to discuss chapters of Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate (“Rejoice and be Glad”). Questions discussed by the small groups included – “Is the Christian life a battle?” and “How can we know if something comes from the Holy Spirit?” and “How are prayer, silence and discernment linked?”