In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis has invited us all to “to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”
Invite Thomas Smith to help guide your parish community, staff, group or conference attendees through the joy and riches of our faith during this exciting time of the Church’s renewal. Here are some of my most popular topics, let’s start the conversation firstname.lastname@example.org
7 Keys for Faithfully and Fruitfully Sharing Your Faith
Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) reminds us that our baptismal call is missional: to be faithful witnesses of the Word and heralds of hope. Using the principles of Evangelii Gaudium and his own conversion to Christ and the Catholic Church as a template, Thomas will reveal the seven key characteristics from for fearlessly, faithfully and fruitfully sharing our faith.
Mary: The Mother of Faith
As part of the Church’s renewal, she encourages “every initiative that helps the faithful to recognize the special role of Mary in the mystery of salvation, love her and follow her as a model of faith and virtue is to be encouraged.” With that in mind, we will place Mary in the larger story of salvation history, discover her amazing prefigurements in the Old Testament, and explore the riches of her life where she models faithfulness and discipleship for us today.
The Eucharist: Source and Summit of our Faith
In this talk, Thomas explores the Old Testament foreshadowings of the Eucharist, it’s focus in the Gospel of John, its centrality to the early Church and its place at the heart of the Book of Revelation. From beginning to end, the Bible unveils the Eucharist to us as “source and summit” and invites us into deeper communion with Christ.
Faith Under Fire: Lessons from the Book of Daniel
There may be no other Old Testament more suited for our times. We live, like those ancient exiles, under a kind of “spiritual Babylon.” In one of Smith’s most popular presentations, learn how we can remain faithful and courageous when our faith is tested, challenged and purified.
The Sacrament of Faith: The Baptismal Call to be Priests, Prophets and Kings
By virtue of our baptism, every Catholic is invited to participate in Christ’s offices as priest, prophet and king. Using key characters from the Scriptures as a starting point, Thomas will explore the powerful invitation of Christ to live out these realities in our homes, parishes, and personal ministries, as foundational to furthering the mission of the Church and re-building a civilization of love.
The Prayer of Faith: Unlocking the Our Father
Although the Our Father is a prayer for all times, it was given in a time-specific, historic, religious, and cultural context. Discover how exploring the Jewish background behind the themes and language of this prayer, as well as its ties to the Exodus and Jesus’ Kingdom teaching, can deepen and renew your appreciation for what St. Thomas Aquinas calls “the most perfect prayer.”
The Family of Faith: Friends in High Places
Verbum Domini reminds us, “The Saints and the Blessed are the authentic witnesses of the faith.” In this presentation, we will not only survey the Scriptural support for our daily relationship with the Saints in heaven but also how we can model the Saints as a sure way of revealing the Word in our lives.
Praying the Psalms for Life
The psalms are called by the Church the “masterpiece of prayer.” Discover the five books of the Psalter and how those serve as our guide to the five forms of prayer: Adoration & Blessing, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving and Praise. Great for those who want to engage the Psalms more fully and faithfully, re-ignite their use of the Breviary, or to provide structure for your private prayer or holy hour.
Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit
In Galatians 5:22-23, St. Paul reveals the nine key characteristics of Christ that are implanted in the soul at baptism but remain latent without our cooperation. Learn the seven ways to cultivate these powerful traits in yourselves and others to reinvigorate your spiritual life, parish ministries and evangelization efforts.
Food for the Soul: The Art of Lectio Divina
Does your prayer often feel like a running monolog? Learn the singular spiritual practice that Pope Benedict XVI has said is the key to ushering a new Springtime for the Church and your prayer life. The four-step dynamic for creating a dialogue with the Word of God called Lectio Divina is unlocked in this presentation by tracing its Jewish roots, offering memorable metaphors and practical application.
Are you looking for a Parish Mission or Retreat?
The most popular three-part parish mission I offer (which can be adapted for Lent, Advent or Ordinary Time) is “WORD, WORSHIP, and WORKS OF MERCY.” These three pillars of the Spiritual Life shape the Sermon on the Mount and frame Jesus’ final discourse before going to his Passion (effectively bookending his public teaching in Matthew’s Gospel). They are fundamental to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and have been emphasized by Pope Francis, who I integrate into each of the three evenings of reflection.
Over the three evenings, I explored these themes in a very simple, memorable, and visual way that can reach and hold the attention of all ages. Attendees are not only motivated to build their lives more fully on these three pillars but are given simple daily practices to bring each of these foundations more fruitfully into their lives. Each 75-80 minute presentation has a visual component (not death by Powerpoint, but memorable images that compliment the material), so you would need to provide a screen and I will bring a laptop/projector. You may choose to add a simplified liturgy of the Word or music to the evening.
Other 3-part missions including “Rediscovering and Living the Beatitudes in Life and Prayer,” “The Mass, Mary and Mission,” any of the four Gospels, “Praying the Psalms for Life,” and “Cultivating the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.” You can check general availability for dates by checking out my schedule here: http://www.gen215.org/2014-2016-speaking-schedule/
Great Adventure Bible Program Live Seminars
If you are interested in having Thomas speak for a Great Adventure Bible Program weekend event, please click here. Topics include:
- The Bible Timeline-in-a-Day
- 1 Corinthians-in-a-Day
- Walking Toward Eternity
- The Beatitudes: Pathways to the Kingdom