Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 27, 2006
Wake up folks! Go out and tell the Good News
American Indian author urged audience to have an attitude of making love
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
Franciscan Sr. Jose Hobday says "Education is to draw to the light"
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Wake up. Don't fall asleep.You are the bearer of good news, Sister Jose Hobday told about 340 people at the Catholic Education Conference Centre March 18.
"The Gospel will wake you up if you get your nourishment from it," the Franciscan sister said, recommending her audience to take a minute a day to reflect on their life.
"If you are tired, put yourself in a position of receptivity and ask yourself what's happened to you today and the Gospel will guide you."
Hobday, a descendant of the Seneca, Iroquois and Seminole, is an author and an internationally acclaimed speaker on topics such as spirituality, prayer, peace and social justice. She gave two main speeches at the conference focusing on the theme Hearts on Fire: Light to the Word.
Sponsored by the Alberta Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association, the conference offered workshops on a variety of topics, including the Eucharist, spirituality, ecumenism, journeying with the dying and wellness. Many of the participants were teachers, trustees and parents.
Wearing Native American attire, Hobday gave an upbeat speech filled with humour and images. Her message: Always be awake in order to be a quality presence to others who depend on you for support and guidance.
"You must learn how to wake yourself up," she told her audience. "We must remain awake because we are the providers of joy, love, attention and good news to every person we meet."
She recommended using the Gospel as a resource to remain awake. "Everyday, open the Gospel with your coffee and get a sip of the word," she said. "Every three hours ask yourself what's happening to you. If nothing is happening, build a fire and sit on it."
Hobday expanded on her message during her speech the following day. "Life is all about foreplay so we have to have an attitude of making love," she said. "Keep an attitude of celebration. You must become professional celebrators. Remember, you have to entertain yourself (and others in your midst)."
Hobday recalled her mother saying it was a pain to live with her because Hobday was the last to go to bed at night and the first to wake up in the morning. She recalled. "I used to go and tickle my brothers every morning."
Hobday again urged her audience to wake up and make a "perfect" cup of coffee, the kind of coffee only oneself can do. "Then taste the day. Taste and see that you are good; that God is good."
She said one has to keep the finger on the "pause button to remember that God loves you and that others love you. You understand things better when you are not in a hurry."
"You must remember that the gift you give is for no other person to give," the sister added. "You must embrace yourself lovingly and you must know that you are gifted."
Education is enlightenment. "Education is to draw to the light," Hobday stressed. Even educators must first educate themselves before they can educate others. "Be the bread of life for every person you meet."
The Franciscan sister also urged her audience to develop a contemplative attitude. "We must be counter-cultural in a society that has no time for others," she said. "The kingdom of God is within you but you will only experience it if you pause. Life is too short; don't let your flame go out."
She urged the audience to fast during Lent as aboriginal people fast prior to any major event. "Deny the body comfort: Free the body so there is more room for the spirit."