Sunday to Sunday

Aug. 7: Donal Godfrey, S.J. — Video Interview

Father Donal Godfrey of the University of San Francisco is a gifted preacher and campus minister, and someone whose preaching has inspired me. Almost twenty years ago, I met Donal when he provided assistance for the Sunday Masses at Saint Monica’s in Moraga.

As a practice, we customarily rotated the preaching, so the priests had the opportunity to hear one another. It was very effective for the congregation and helped me to gain greater exposure to my priest colleagues, and hear their personal witness to the gospel. In this interview, Donal and I comment how Father Declan Dean’s ministry and most especially his preaching remain a model for both of us.

http://

[begin tape]

MR:     I am Father Mike Russo, and welcome to Sunday to Sunday. This is a program about the art, craft, and spirituality of preaching. Today, I am at the University of San Francisco, where I will meet Father Donal Godfrey. Join us now, as we speak with him. Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey, good to be with you.

DG:     Good to be with you, Mike.

YQ0A9695-57

MR:     Was there a collective high five when the pope was elected a few years ago?

DG:     Initially, I think a lot of Jesuits were very nervous, but I can tell you people have come around, and I certainly love Francis.

MR:     Where were you at the time?

DG:     I was in El Salvador with a group of students from the University of San Francisco, where I work, and we were in a hotel listening to it all on TV, and the students were all saying to me, “Oh, you must be so excited as a Jesuit.” I wasn’t so sure if I was excited. I was a little nervous about having a Jesuit as the pope, to be honest.

MR:     But, you are excited now?

DG:     Now I am excited, yes.

MR:     And he has certainly spoken a lot about preaching, and his concerns for preaching.

DG:     Yes, and he has shown a good example by the way he preaches daily in Santa Marta. It’s short, to the point, he has a story, he is good at engaging people, and not going on too long. His message in Joy of the Gospel is a very beautiful introduction to preaching, I would say, to anybody really.

MR:     Absolutely. So, what is your concern for preaching today? I mean he has concerns, but what do you think is the major obstacle for good preaching?

DG:     I don’t think—generally speaking—I don’t think Catholics take it seriously enough. I think we could do a much better job of preaching. A good friend of mine is a great preacher, Alan Jones. He was the dean of Grace Cathedral. Wonderful preacher. Preaching there is taken very seriously. I mean he is expected to give a twenty-minute sermon on Sunday, but he would set aside several days of the week to prepare for that. I don’t have that luxury when I preach, but we could do better in terms of taking the time to pray it through, do our scripture analysis, and also to consider the community that we are preaching to.

MR:     What day of the week do you suddenly realize, oh I have got to preach on Sunday?

DG:     If it’s a weekend, I will start on Monday. I will begin on Monday by going over the readings, letting them speak to me, maybe—it depends on my week and how crazy busy it is or not. But, I certainly start on the Monday by reading them and maybe praying with them on a Monday and then doing some study later—middle of the week. Usually—but every day. It’s sort of it will stay with me through the whole week, even when I am in the gym maybe, or somewhere else. Something will come to me. It’s not just something that I sit down and do on the day. You know, allow it two hours or something to it. It’s actually something that percolates through the whole week for me.

YQ0A9624-49

MR:     Here at the University of San Francisco, you have among the most diverse communities anywhere in the country, right?

DG:     Yes. We do. We are the second most diverse Catholic college I think—or maybe college.

MR:     So, there are events, where as university chaplain, you speak to the entire assembly at a graduation, alumni?

DG:     I don’t get that opportunity all the time, but I do sometimes.

MR:     So, how do you plan for that? I mean how do you know? There may be many people in the group that are not Catholic.

DG:     If that’s the context, then I have to be more sensitive to that. Usually, it’s not so much a sermon, but it will be an invocation or something like that, that will be in a context that’s very—but even the Mass of the Holy Spirit, I had preached at that, and I know that plenty of people there will not be Catholic. So, I have to be sensitive to that, but I can still speak about Jesus and the gospel, but I must do it in a way that doesn’t presume that everybody in there is Christian or Catholic. I have to tell the story in a way that accepts, in a way, that allows people who are not Catholic to be part of the celebration.

MR:     And you are inviting them in?

DG:     Yes, inviting them in and not telling them that they have to become Christian or something like that. So, it’s being sensitive to who is in—who you know will be in the church.

YQ0A9587-39

MR:     Do you write your sermons out?

DG:     I do write them out unless it’s a short reflection on a weekday. I do tend to—that’s my style. Some people don’t, but that’s how it works for me.

MR:     Are they all filed away?

DG:     I type them out later if people—well, quite often somebody will ask for a copy and that’s my incentive to type it up.

MR:     Do you post them?

DG:     Only occasionally, from time to time. Somebody will say could you post that. So, some of mine have been posted, but I don’t have a blog or anything like that.

MR:     You have a unique opportunity to kind of tell us—do the British and the Irish do it better than we do?

DG:     Well, again my experience, when I go to Ireland, is say to say I haven’t had a good experience with listening to preachers in Ireland. It seems to me that often this is—I am not doing an analysis, so I can’t say, but it’s just my own experiences that the sermons are generally weak. Sometimes, people are able to do a good sermon, but it’s not the norm, in my experience.

MR:     Do you have guides or resources you go to online?

DG:     Yes, I do. I do use some online resources. Text Week is one of them because they have a variety of Catholic and Protestant sources, so they are not just from like a Catholic background. I look up some of the acts of Jesus, there are different kinds. Especially if the text is something that you need to—the context is not clear, you have to understand the context of the scripture because of course, it’s very easy to misappropriate something for our time unless you understand the context in which it was written.

MR:     A little more difficult homilies or sermons you have given over the years, ones where you have gotten some feedback, could you explain?

YQ0A9665-55

MR:     Do you write your sermons out?

DG:     I do write them out unless it’s a short reflection on a weekday. I do tend to—that’s my style. Some people don’t, but that’s how it works for me.

MR:     Are they all filed away?

DG:     I type them out later if people—well, quite often somebody will ask for a copy and that’s my incentive to type it up.

MR:     Do you post them?

DG:     Only occasionally, from time to time. Somebody will say could you post that. So, some of mine have been posted, but I don’t have a blog or anything like that.

MR:     You have a unique opportunity to kind of tell us—do the British and the Irish do it better than we do?

DG:     Well, again my experience, when I go to Ireland, is say to say I haven’t had a good experience with listening to preachers in Ireland. It seems to me that often this is—I am not doing an analysis, so I can’t say, but it’s just my own experiences that the sermons are generally weak. Sometimes, people are able to do a good sermon, but it’s not the norm, in my experience.

MR:     Do you have guides or resources you go to online?

DG:     Yes, I do. I do use some online resources. Text Week is one of them because they have a variety of Catholic and Protestant sources, so they are not just from like a Catholic background. I look up some of the acts of Jesus, there are different kinds. Especially if the text is something that you need to—the context is not clear, you have to understand the context of the scripture because of course, it’s very easy to misappropriate something for our time unless you understand the context in which it was written.

MR:     A little more difficult homilies or sermons you have given over the years, ones where you have gotten some feedback, could you explain?

DG:     Well, sometimes it’s hard when something major happens in the world. It’s a hard—I mean it’s 9/11. I had to preach the very weekend. It was a difficult time to preach. Or, the election of Trump was a difficult weekend to preach. You have to know your community very well, and you have to—you can’t ignore when something that major happens, you just can’t ignore it. You also have to know yourself and your community to be able to speak into it because it’s easy to misjudge the occasion. So, I do think different communities—I would speak differently in different communities. It doesn’t mean that I won’t say something that I don’t really believe, but I have to present it in a way that this community will hear. So, I can get away with something—not get away with—but, I can say something at St. Agnes Parish where I help out in San Francisco, that if I am out in—if it was in the suburbs in Miranda, I would have to be different. I wouldn’t say it’s—I am saying something contradicting it, but just presented in a different way.

So, I do think different communities—I would speak differently in different communities. It doesn’t mean that I won’t say something that I don’t really believe, but I have to present it in a way that this community will hear. So, I can get away with something—not get away with—but, I can say something at St. Agnes Parish where I help out in San Francisco, that if I am out in—if it was in the suburbs in Moraga, I would have to be different. I wouldn’t say it’s—I am saying something contradicting it, but just presented in a different way.

MR:     Because I think one of the experiences for many people going to church is they want to come out better, happier, ready to meet that week. I mean the last thing a preacher should do, I think the worst thing he could do perhaps, is to make that one hour miserable because they are over-reactive elements that people often can be prone to, today.

DG:     In terms of it—just give me an example.

MR:     Well, the challenge of a challenging homily, I mean the point is not to change people, but to have people rethink.

DG:     Yes, that’s the thing. You can’t tell people—I don’t think it’s—it’s not about—it’s not dogmatics. It’s not to be moralistic. It’s not to boast just the acts of Jesus. You need to help people find hope, even in difficult circumstances. But, also challenge them, but you have to love people to challenge them. You have to know them to challenge them. When I help them most on the redeeming end, was maybe the Catholic LGBT community, largely there, you have to be—because they are people who feel very vulnerable, you have to love them and know them very well to be able to challenge them in an appropriate way. The message that they have heard again and again is of condemnation. So, until you are from within the community, it’s only then that you can actually issue a challenge from the gospel, because the gospel challenges us all, whoever we are, including the LGBT community. But, they have been so wounded by the church, hitting you all the time, you can’t hear the

When I help them most on the redeeming end, was maybe the Catholic LGBT community, largely there, you have to be—because they are people who feel very vulnerable, you have to love them and know them very well to be able to challenge them in an appropriate way. The message that they have heard again and again is of condemnation. So, until you are from within the community, it’s only then that you can actually issue a challenge from the gospel, because the gospel challenges us all, whoever we are, including the LGBT community. But, they have been so wounded by the church, hitting you all the time, you can’t hear the challenge because the challenge doesn’t come through because there has just been condemnation. So, when you know that you are loved and accepted, then, of course, it’s possible. I was able to challenge the community because it was from within the community, and from my love of the community, not from above or outside.

MR:     Of course Pope Francis has given us this wonderful metaphor, being the shepherd must have the smell of his sheep.

DG:     Yes, that sends a very strong metaphor, and I love it. I know what a shepherd smells like because one used to visit my grandparents in Ireland. It’s actually not a horrible smell, but I would remember that I would know that he was in my grandmother’s kitchen, because he did smell of the sheep. It wasn’t lack of hygiene, it was just that he was so closely associated with his sheep, that he actually did smell of them, but it wasn’t a nasty smell. So, I am sure Francis knows what it is. I mean that’s a very close association and it’s only then that people would hear you, really, because otherwise, it’s just something—I don’t know—a lecture or you know.

MR:     You were born in Liverpool—you and the Fabulous Four, the Beatles—and tell us a little bit about your education. As a Jesuit, at least in theory, has a lot of education behind him?

DG:     Well, yes probably. I have said to myself how much can?

MR:     Well, don’t start at grade school, but how did you get here in the states?

DG:     Ah, well I came here as a member of the Irish Province of the Jesuits, so I came here for studies. So first, at Toronto, the Jesuit school there. The University of Toronto. Then I came to Berkeley and did an S.T.L. later, a doctorate in ministry there.

MR:     At this?

DG:     Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

MR:     Once you—well, many people come here and once they discover California, they have real difficulties going back.

DG:     Some people do, and I mean it was a discernment that happened over a long period of time for me, including being called back for a while to Belfast. So, this discernment that this was where I was supposed to be, was not an easy or short one.

MR:     That’s where we share a mutual friend in Declan Dean. Did you know Declan was there?

DG:     Yes, very fond of Declan, yes. I knew him in Ireland because as a novice, I spent some time in the community in Portadown where he lived. I got to know him at that time. He impressed me then as an outspoken, but a very articulate priest.

MR:     And a great preacher.

DG:     I always loved to hear him preach. A real gift.

MR:     And enjoy it so much.

DG:     If I could ever be half as good as him, I would be very happy. He is a wonderful preacher.

MR:     Yes, we had the joy of being in Saint Monica’s at the time when he rotated. The great thing about that rotation was we actually got to hear each other. You would come in and Declan would do it one week—you would do it one week and I would do it one week. I realized I was in a wholly different team with you and Declan. I mean I felt oh my gosh, I have got to really study this stuff. In many w, ys this little program is a tribute to him because I think he is an extraordinary figure in all of our lives.

DG:     Nice to hear. Yes, he was an extraordinary person.

MR:     He did something at church, which really impressed me. He really tried to bring the Ignatian spirituality, and the exercises, to the parish. I know that you do that here as well.

DG:     Yes, with preaching. Sometimes it will come to me, well, of course, I find during the week, when I am preparing, if it’s a Sunday sermon, not a particularly for a wedding or a funeral—that’s a different kind of sermon, so it takes a different preparation—but well, I find during the week that through the study, through the prayer, through just mulling over it, I wait for a moment of something—energy. I look for energy. I have to engage me, at some level, in my own passion, my own life, so that I can get fired up a little bit about it. That it’s not something distant and remote. Although I can end up getting a lecture or end up giving something—so I am preaching to myself, but then I have to think well, this is the community I am going to be in, how well do I know them? How do I present it in a way that they may be able to hear it?

I find during the week that through the study, through the prayer, through just mulling over it, I wait for a moment of something—energy. I look for energy. I have to engage me, at some level, in my own passion, my own life, so that I can get fired up a little bit about it. That it’s not something distant and remote. Although I can end up getting a lecture or end up giving something—so I am preaching to myself, but then I have to think well, this is the community I am going to be in, how well do I know them? How do I present it in a way that they may be able to hear it?

MR:     Well, what I do for weekend mass, particularly, is listen to the English, Irish app—”Pray as you Go.”

DG:     I like that. I use that sometimes.

MR:     It gets me to wake up. I really have to know that I am going to do a morning mass, and I will look at scripture—I am more spontaneous actually on the weekday than I am typically on Sunday.

DG:     I am too. But, I find that if I have to—at St. Agnes I will do the two masses, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I mean I used to do three, preaching at three. I find that it changes, because even though it’s the same sermon, ostensibly, but it won’t be the same because each community is unique. The culture is different. So, I will present it with a different level of energy. I will present it in a different way, even though it’s the same sermon. Spontaneous things may come in sometimes. I will—if something happens in the community, I will incorporate that in some way, if it seems appropriate.

MR:     Here at the University of San Francisco, what do you think is your greatest challenge as a campus minister?

DG:     Oh gosh. Here, it’s very—we have actually, even though we are a Catholic Jesuit University, we really are only perhaps 35% of our students are Catholic, and then. So, it’s—my challenge is to meet people where they are across the range from atheists to Buddhist, to Hindu, to Muslim, to Christian, to Catholic.

MR:     And there is only one you.

DG:     Yes, but actually I like that challenge, because—and my mission is not to make them Catholics here. The parish is different. But here, the mission of a Jesuit university is not to convert people, but I do help them understand the Jesuit mission and Ignatian spirituality so they can appropriate our mission in a way that makes sense for them and is life giving to them. So, I feel it a success—a dear friend of mine was the dean of the law school, Jeff Brand. He used to say, “I am Jeff Brand, SJ. Still Jewish.” But then he would say how being in a Jesuit institution, helped him become a better Jew, even back to the temple, he took his faith seriously. I thought that’s what I am here for. Not to make him a Catholic, but to help him be a Jew.

MR:     When I got to see “The Silence.”

DG:     Oh, the film.

MR:     The film. Often heard—I was so eager to see the film; the book is wonderful. It’s like a haiku. But, Andrew Garfield apparently had to do the spiritual exercises with Jim Martin, and I just found that fascinating. I mean that was a way of getting into that role.

DG:     They both did and—they both did the exercises, yes before. At least, a very shortened version of them.

YQ0A9632-50

MR:     Here at the University of San Francisco, you have among the most diverse communities anywhere in the country, right?

DG:     Yes. We do. We are the second most diverse Catholic college I think—or maybe college.

MR:     So, there are events, where as university chaplain, you speak to the entire assembly at a graduation, alumni?

DG:     I don’t get that opportunity all the time, but I do sometimes.

MR:     So, how do you plan for that? I mean how do you know? There may be many people in the group that are not Catholic.

DG:     If that’s the context, then I have to be more sensitive to that. Usually, it’s not so much a sermon, but it will be an invocation or something like that, that will be in a context that’s very—but even the Mass of the Holy Spirit, I had preached at that, and I know that plenty of people there will not be Catholic. So, I have to be sensitive to that, but I can still speak about Jesus and the gospel, but I must do it in a way that doesn’t presume that everybody in there is Christian or Catholic. I have to tell the story in a way that accepts, in a way, that allows people who are not Catholic to be part of the celebration.

MR:     And you are inviting them in?

DG:     Yes, inviting them in and not telling them that they have to become Christian or something like that. So, it’s being sensitive to who is in—who you know will be in the church.

YQ0A9587-39

MR:     So, do the exercises fit in some way in the ministry?

DG:     Preaching—that’s a good question. It’s not a question I think about a lot, but of course, because they are so much part of who I am, they do influence my preaching, but it’s not something that I consciously think of a lot. But, I think in terms of what Ignatius talks about is taking each person where they are, exactly where they are. God deals with each of us uniquely. That relationship that is different for you than for me, so God will encounter you in a different way than from me.

So, in preaching, I do think through well, who is this community? Now, there are many individuals with many different experiences in that church, and they are all—but at the same time, communities do have their own culture and their own sense about them as well.

MR:     Now part of your responsibilities here, of course, is also to do retreat work. How often do you do retreats?

DG:     Well, we do—I am responsible mainly for faculty and staff’s spirituality here. We have a lot of retreats for students and I run—we have a silent retreat, we have an Ignatian retreat, we have half day retreats with people.

MR:     And you actually do the retreats?

DG:     No, I usually invite someone, and sometimes I give them.

MR:     What’s the difference between a retreat talk and a homily?

DG:     Ah, it’s very different because I think Francis says the homily is its own genre. It’s a different feeling. How do I?

MR:     Well, it’s often liturgical.

DG:     Yes, it’s in the context of that liturgy that makes a big difference, I think. Firstly, you don’t want to go on too long. You can go on longer if it’s a talk. You can, I think be longer in some situations. Whereas in the liturgy, you don’t want it to get out of proportion of the rest of the liturgy. It’s a very important part of it. But, it becomes too long and it can take over the whole liturgy, at least that’s my understanding. Also, a retreat day is a focused thing. So, you may have,

MR:     An examination of life.

DG:     Yes. So, it’s a different–.

MR:     I always marvel at the people who have done the 30-day retreat and come back like they have conquered it.

DG:     Yes, well the 30 day retreat—I help a program called the “19th Annotation,” which is making a long retreat of St. Ignatius in daily life. So, faculty and staff can make it over nine months. They meet a director once a week, they commit to meditate every day, and they can do the exercises in daily life that way. It does change—they are not all Catholic. I have even directed somebody who said I am not Christian, but I really discerned with this person that it was the right thing to do. It was, turned out it was the right thing for that person to do. But, at the same time, that changes people’s lives when they make the exercises—if they really enter into it and take it seriously, it is invariably transformative for people. It doesn’t necessarily make them the Catholics, although, for that person, God became alive for them. The person who claimed to be an atheist. It wasn’t me telling them what to do, it was the work of the spirit in that person. My job is to stay out of it. To direct them in one direction or another, but that’s—it changed their life forever.

MR:     In fact, I think somewhere the Vatical II documents, there is a statement that the “preached word” can change lives.

DG:     Yes.

MR:     Have you seen that?

DG:     I have seen that, yes.

MR:     You have seen that in your own work?

DG:     Many times people have come up.

MR:     Come up and actually say this is really.

DG:     Oh yes, in fact, somebody I didn’t know, but somebody—parishioners—at [inaudible] emailed me a couple of weeks ago, one of them said oh, remember your sermon brought me back to the church. I just happened to be visiting with a friend and I think the theme was all about kind of a table—I can’t remember what the gospel was—and he said whatever you said, that’s the moment, listening to you, that I decided I had to be a Catholic, and he has been a Catholic ever since. He felt very alienated from institutional religion as a gay man.

MR:     How have you as a person been touched by this whole experience? Where do you get your greatest solace?

DG:     The experience of?

MR:     Of being a minister in this community.

DG:     Well, preaching is part of that. Actually, I love preaching. I am not sure I actually want to be in a regular parish where you preach every week. I think that’s a lot.

MR:     Hard.

DG:     Because I find that it’s a lot of work to preach well and it doesn’t just happen. You don’t just get up on Sunday morning and preach well. I actually have to put energy into it. I love that, it becomes part of my prayer for that week, it becomes part of my week. My conversation with myself, with God, and with this community where I am preaching—there is this sort of three conversations. Of course, I do encounter God in myself and in the community, but I sort of see it as three conversations going on through the week in preparing for the sermon.

MR:     It’s interesting that Abbe Roger, the man who was head of the Taize Community believed that we preached too much.

DG:     Oh yes, I had heard this.

YQ0A9588-40

MR:     Well, he apparently once said that we preach too much, and I often think that maybe some of the other Christian traditions, Benedictian a s much more meditative way of coming to a service. You know, particularly the stock way in which we do Mass for one hour with announcements, with getting in and getting out. It doesn’t provide the parishioner or the individual with that personal sense of self. I mean we have to leave the church feeling better having been there.

DG:     Yes, I mean I think a sermon does have its place in that liturgy, but perhaps we do preach too much. I mean at the style of Taize was they didn’t do a lot of preaching there, it was more of the chants and the quiet and the meditation. Even the start of a mass there, I don’t remember the sermon there, whether they have one or not. I can’t remember one.

MR:     So, let me ask this—of the course of your life as a Jesuit, were there one or two priests—you mentioned Declan Dean was a good example.

DG:     Declan Dean was a good preacher.

MR:     Others that have inspired you?

DG:     Well, Alan Jones has inspired me actually, his preaching. I would sometimes go to Grace Cathedral to listen to him or listen to him online. The other person, actually early on—he is now a bishop—Randy Cavill is a great preacher at [inaudible] where he lived at the time. When I was the deacon, I preached there, and I would listen to his sermons, which were really very fine, then he would give feedback to me after mine. It was very helpful to have that mentor, somebody I really respected. He would say, “Oh Donal, you are saying—you are trying to give two sermons in that sermon. You can only say one thing.

The other person, actually early on—he is now a bishop—Randy Cavill is a great preacher at [inaudible] where he lived at the time. When I was the deacon, I preached there, and I would listen to his sermons, which were really very fine, then he would give feedback to me after mine. It was very helpful to have that mentor, somebody I really respected. He would say, “Oh Donal, you are saying—you are trying to give two sermons in that sermon. You can only say one thing. One you know—cut it down.” That was very helpful to somebody who cared enough to say it’s really good, but you went on too long, or you were too fast, which is a common thing for people who start preaching, that they speak too quickly to get it through. I find with sometimes with lay people who—if they get the chance to preach, sometimes they go on too long and want to say too much because they get the chance to infrequently, this is my one chance. But, you have to encourage them to say oh, you can only—really—I remember one of my courses I did on sermons, one of the things I remember from it—it was a long time ago—was you have—and you summarize what you are going to say in one sentence. If somebody said to you, what is your sermon, you could summarize it in one short sentence. That’s what I am saying. So, everything is focused.

 

Often, many preachers try to say—have two or three sermons in—you can only really do—it needs a beginning, a middle, and an end of some kind. You can be imaginative and creative about that, but it’s not just floating around. There is nothing worse than a preacher who takes off and then you know, you think oh, they are coming into land and they have already gone on too long. You think, oh, they are landing. And then it’s like an emergency takes off again. Oh, I was ready for you to land. Stop now. They don’t—you know, it’s like please land the plane. You know? Kind of it’s that—you need some structure to it, even though you can be creative.

There are different ways of preaching. I am not saying it has to be. I have seen very successful preachers who—you know, some people go out into the congregation and that works for them, but that’s a particular skillset that not everybody has. The danger with that is, I mean Francis says it’s not entertainment, so you have to remember that it’s not about me. The sermon is about—I can share stories from my other life and my own experience, but they have to be at the serve of the gospel. It’s not—the danger is it can become my show. It’s not my show. It doesn’t belong to me. Even the sermon, even though I need to be personal, I mean and myself. I can’t be somebody else. At the same time, I am not Oprah Winfrey, and I am not trying to put on a show. So, it’s a very delicate fine line between that, because you can—it can easily become that with the wrong person. You have to control your ego in a way and only share something because you know it might help this community, not because it will get me attention. You kind of have to know yourself quite well to know when you are doing that and when you are doing this. That comes—Ignatian discernment can come into that. Knowing when discerning, when it is appropriate to share something very personal, and on another occasion no. that would just be drawing attention to myself for the sake of getting attention. It’s really about God and what God is doing through this, not about what I am doing. What God is doing in me, as well. But, only at the service of the gospel.

That comes—Ignatian discernment can come into that. Knowing when discerning, when it is appropriate to share something very personal, and on another occasion no. that would just be drawing attention to myself for the sake of getting attention. It’s really about God and what God is doing through this, not about what I am doing. What God is doing in me, as well. But, only at the service of the gospel.

MR:     Well, you have provided us a great service today. What a wonderful conversation. Thank you very much. My guest has been Father Donal Godfrey. Thank you for being with us on Sunday to Sunday and the Francis Factor.

[end tape]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s