Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 1, 2009
Jesuit maps out how to integrate faith, work
Fr. Max Oliva takes a multi-media approach to nourishing busy business people‘s spiritual hunger
Fr. Max Oliva
“This is why (President Barack) Obama is already putting in regulations for the insurance industry and the banking industry and for investment counsellors, finance people.
“The thinking of the former president was that the market will regulate itself, but we keep forgetting there’s a thing called original sin that affects people’s behaviours and their behaviours then affect systems.”
During this world economic downturn, he has been asking people two questions. Rather than concentrating on the negatives, he asks them, “What is the gift? What is the blessing?”
The book is for those seeking practical ways of incorporating their values into their work environment.
Using the Beatitudes of Jesus, the conversation is framed around eight virtues: wisdom, integrity, honesty, compassion for others, justice for the earth, forgiveness, generosity and courage.
He wrote the book using three main sources: his experience as a spiritual and ethical coach, conversations with workers in the corporate world, and books on the topics covered.
“When I did the Commuter Retreats, I had guys there who had never done any kind of retreat ever — and got hooked.
“I hope what’s in the book on that retreat will help people, practically speaking, in their spiritual journey.
“I find that people in the business world are hungry for more than the material, especially now because the material is not there as much,” said Oliva.
The book asks questions that inspire reflection, and includes prayer exercises (centering prayer, meditating on the Gospels, prayer using your imagination and freedom prayer) that readers might find helpful.
More recently, Oliva has been introducing his Spirituality at Work ministry to Las Vegas and teaching five-week business ethics courses at a Catholic college in nearby Henderson, Nev.
“The California province of Jesuits covers five states and one of those states is Nevada, but we’ve never done much there.
“Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the U.S. and the fastest growing Catholic community in the U.S. They have a shortage of priests and only one Catholic high school for 600,000 Catholics,” said Oliva.
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