Catholic author Sherry Weddell to speak next Saturday at workshop
Sherry Weddell, founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will lead a one-day workshop about Forming Intentional Disciples Saturday, Feb. 10, for this year’s Winter Summit, sponsored by the parish and the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
There isn’t a recipe for forming disciples, Weddell said earlier this week in a telephone interview from her office in Colorado Springs.
“It depends on where they’re coming from, their situation, how God is leading their lives,” she said.
“And it also depends a lot on their background. Increasingly we’ve got people who have heads filled with anti-Christian ideas and those have to be ‘dismantled’ first before they can move ahead.”
To be a good disciple one must be personally engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ, she said.
“It isn’t just showing up at Mass,” Weddell said. “There’s a distinction the church makes in her teachings between the capacity, or the power to have faith, and the personal act of faith. All of us who are baptized have been given the power to have faith. The question is whether we have exercised it.”
The personal act of faith, she said, is a person making a personal, intentional, free “yes,” to the invitation of Jesus to follow him as a disciple.
“Now, how people get to that place and make that, does vary,” Weddell said. “And I’ll be talking about that journey at considerable length.”
Catholics need to get over the “culture of silence” regarding talking about Jesus, she said, adding that the culture can be understood as “somehow we just don’t talk about where you are and your loving relationship with God and you will never ever have to talk about that with anybody else, we’ll just presume that’s all been taken care of. Meanwhile we’ll keep you busy at the parish.”
Wendell said a friend of hers says lay Catholics treat Jesus like Voldemort is treated in a Harry Potter movie. “Jesus is he who must not be named in Catholic culture.”
Part of her talk will involve how to end the culture of silence on a personal and parish level, she said.
The elements of a fruitful parish will be discussed at the workshop, Weddell said, and how disciples of Jesus affect the parish and the diocese.
The result is that gifted leaders start emerging, she said, “and they undertake new initiatives that we haven’t even thought of. All this kind of stuff is very typical of a community where lots and lots of disciples are emerging and maturing and starting to bear fruit.”

Want to sign up?
The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 124 N. Roosevelt, in Wichita. The talks, in English, will be translated simultaneously into Spanish.
The workshop is free. To sign up, call 316-440-1709, email, or visit