Called and Gifted Information

Called and Gifted Information

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The Called & Gifted™ Discernment Process from the Catherine of Siena Institute has been used since 1993 by over 100,000 lay, ordained, and religious Catholics and other Christians around the world. It is designed to help Christians discern the presence of charisms in their lives. 

What are charisms? 

From the Sienna Institute Website: 
"Charism" is the Greek word used in the New Testament for "favor" or "gratuitous gift." Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit to give them power both to represent Christ and to be a channel of God's goodness for people. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, all charisms ought to be exercised in the service of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003). All baptized Christians are given charisms! 

Charisms differ from natural talents in several important ways. Charisms are not "in-born;" that is, inherited from our parents; but are given to us by the Holy Spirit, whom we received through Baptism and Confirmation. Secondly, charisms are supernaturally empowering. In other words, they enable us to have an effectiveness that surpasses our natural, human abilities. For example, if a doctor possesses a charism of healing, he may well find that his patients get well in extraordinary ways, either recovering more quickly than would be expected naturally, or getting well when natural healing would not have occurred at all. Finally, we could use a natural talent for an evil purpose, or for our own enjoyment. God will not allow himself to be used for evil, and charisms are always for the benefit of others, rather than ourselves.

As disciples, we offer our entire selves to God - including our personalities, natural talents, education, life experience, and background - to be used for his purposes. But when we serve God, we are not limited to just the gifts with which we were born! Our natural talents can be wonderful tools for God's purposes, and sometimes a charism is added to an existing natural talent by the Holy Spirit after an individual has undergone a deepening conversion. Some charisms may seem "extraordinary" (such as prophecy, healing, or discernment of spirits) and others quite "ordinary" (such as administration, service, hospitality, or mercy), but all charisms are empowered by God. We use our charisms together with our natural talents and all that we are to serve God and our neighbor.


Why should I discern my charisms? 

God is calling you to a work of love that will fill your life with purpose and joy, and discerning your charisms can help you discover that call.

Knowing the charisms that you have been given can greatly clarify your decision-making. IN particular, if you are going through a life transition (entering retirement, changing jobs, reentering the job market, and so on), you might find that gifts discernment helps you decide what turn to take next. Understanding your charisms can help you simplify your life and avoid burnout. If you know your gifts, it becomes easier to say "no" when people ask you for things that you don't really have to give. And because it is unusually energizing and fulfilling to exercise a charism, you are much less likely to burn out if you are working in your area of giftedness. Discerning your charisms can help you excel on the job. As Catholics, we are called to excel in every aspect of our lives, including our jobs. Discerning your charisms can help you discover how God has gifted you to make you more effective at what you do for a living, no matter what kind of work you do.

Understanding your charisms can free you from the need to compare yourself to others. Participants in our workshops regularly comment about how healing an experience it is to discern their gifts. If you find that you judge yourself for not measuring up to the standards of others, you can be freed by recognizing that your giftedness and calling are different from theirs.

Understanding about your charisms can make a big difference in family life! It can enable you to understand and cherish your spouse's gifts and help you recognize and nurture the emerging gifts of your children. Some people recognize that they are especially called and gifted by God to work with children or families.

The discernment of charisms can help you understand and name what you are already experiencing. After interviewing hundreds of average Catholics, we have discovered that many lay people are having remarkable experiences of God that they don't understand, can't put into perspective, and feel that they can't talk about with anyone else.

Who are the Presenters? 


Sherry Waddell

Sherry Waddell is a co-founder and the executive director of the Catherine of Sienna Institute. She created the first charism discernment process specifically designed for Catholics in 1993. In 1997, she co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute, an affiliated international ministry of the Western Dominican Province, and currently serves as Executive Director. Sherry has developed numerous unique formation resources that are used around the world and trained and helps lead an international team who have worked directly with over 130,000 lay, religious, and ordained Catholics in hundreds of parishes in 150 (arch)dioceses on 5 continents. Sherry’s book, Forming Intentional Disciples which came out in July 2012, is a best seller that has sold over 100,000 copies. When not hanging around airports, Sherry enjoys tending her high altitude Tuscan garden in the Colorado Rockies.


Mary Sharon Moore

 Mary Sharon Moore is a nationally known Catholic author and speaker, and has been teaching the Called and Gifted workshop nationwide since 2002. Mary Sharon has a master's degree in theological studies from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and is a certified and active spiritual director. Mary Sharon's books include Anointed for a PurposeConformed to Christ, and Lord, Teach us to Pray, and her articles appear in St. Anthony MessengerLiguorian, and other Catholic publications.




Who is this workshop for? 

All baptized adults!

Unfortunately, The Catherine of Siena Institute does not authorize the use of the inventory for anyone under the age of 21. Studies done over the past 20 years of over 150,000 individuals having completed the inventory bears out that teen results are most often indicative of natural talents and desires, not actual spiritual gifts. There is also a cautionary note to be made: at this developmental stage, teens should be encouraged to experiment and explore vs hone in on a specific area. Vocational specialists affirm this approach: too narrow a focus too early can actually thwart the discernment of one's personal vocation.

When is this workshop? 

Saturday, March 3rd, 9am - 5pm with Mass following. 

How much does it cost? 

$27 for registered parishioners of OLL ($50 for couples) and $35 for non-parishioners ($60 per couple). 

What about lunch? 

Participants may either bring their own lunches, or pre-purchase a boxed lunch. Boxed lunches are about $10-$12 each, and are from Panera Bread Catering. 

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