St. Matthew 'yoUniversity' offers summer learning for adults
CHARLOTTE — The Diocese of Charlotte's largest parish, St. Matthew Church in south Charlotte, is hosting more than eight courses this summer as part of its adult education program. The topics are varied and range from a course in St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises to finding God and deepening Catholic spirituality using modern technology.
Michael Burck, director of adult education at St. Matthew, explains the reason behind the Church's commitment to summer formation for adults: "St. Matthew has given adult faith formation a major priority in our parish plan, so we are looking to offer as many things as we can throughout the year to help people connect more deeply and a more profound way with their faith life."
One of the courses, "Ignatian Spirituality/Finding God in All Things," will be taught by Barbara Gaddy, an Ignatian Companion of North Carolina and assistant director of development for the diocese. She has been trained in Ignatian spirituality and directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
"I plan to incorporate information about the life of Ignatius of Loyola with various elements of the Spiritual Exercises over the four weeks of the course," Gaddy said. She plans on giving participants a short period of prayer time during each session to experience the "week" of the Spiritual Exercises they are discussing.
Mark Bartholet, pastoral associate for faith formation at St. Peter Church in Charlotte, will offer a course in July entitled "iPhone Therefore I am: God, Us & Technology."
Two years ago he wrote a paper on the ethics of text messaging while working on his master's degree at John Carroll University in Ohio. "I was really intrigued by how our cell phones and all the other technology we are plugged into all the time would effect our spirituality and our connection to God." He discovered authors who wrote on topics pertaining to these issues and learned some surprising information which he hopes to share with the course participants.
Other courses being offered include: "Screamfree Parenting," "The Book of Revelation," "Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop," "Gettin' the Word on the WORD (made Flesh that is...)" and "Handing on the Faith."
Registration is already at 225 people and St. Matthew expects more than 400 adults to participate over the 10-week period this summer.
For details, go to www.stmatthewcatholic.org or call Michael Burck at 704-541-8362, ext. 4.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer