Welcoming the Year of Faith!
During the Year of Faith, the Church invites us to grow in our personal faith, and “to rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed”, so that we might clearly and confidently share it with the world.
Thomas has created individual presentations as well as parish missions and full retreats using the themes from the year’s inaugural document Porta Fide and Rome’s suggestions for celebrating this exciting year.
Invite Thomas Smith help guide your parish community, staff, or group through the riches of our faith during this special year of grace.
7 Keys for Faithfully and Fruitfully Sharing Your Faith
The Year of Faith calls us to embrace our baptismal call to be faithful witnesses of the Word and heralds of hope. Using his own conversion as a template, Thomas will reveal the seven key characteristics for fearlessly, faithfully and fruitfully sharing the Word to a world longing for Christ.
Mary: The Mother of Faith
The pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith say that local churches should encourage “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.
From Creed to Deed: Living what we Believe
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not just a collection of theological statements, it is a narrative, inviting us to live the faith we profess, celebrate and pray. In particular, we will look at the practical invitations of the Apostle’s Creed, which St. Ambrose calls our spiritual seal, our heart’s meditation and an ever-present guardian.
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
Benedict XVI tells us in Porta Fide that the Year of Faith is the perfect time to educate ourselves regarding the Communion of Saints, “The Saints and the Blessed are the authentic witnesses of the faith.” 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 9 key characteristics of Christ that are implanted in the soul at baptism, but remain latent without our cooperation. Learn the 7 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 monologue? 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.
Missions and Retreats
Additionally, I offer 3-night Lenten or Advent Missions, and weekend retreats (5 – one hour presentations). Topics include The Three Pillars of Faith: Word, Worship and Works of Mercy, any of the four Gospels, especially the Gospel of Luke (Cycle C), Praying the Psalms for Life, Unlocking the Our Father, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, The Beatitudes: Pathways to the Kingdom.
Please use the online contact form to get in touch with Thomas to bring him to your parish, organization, or ministry.
Great Adventure Bible Timeline
If you are interested in having Thomas speak for a Great Adventure Timeline weekend event, please contact Janene with Ascension Press at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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