Many years ago, when I was just a boy, some men of the church and many others, said to me that I might have a knack for ministry. Which set me on a path of spiritual formation. I finished a year at junior college and made my way into a Catholic seminary to begin my formation. But that did not last.
For the rest of my life I would search the world for a place to serve God. I would follow my God where ever he lead me, and at whatever cost. I moved to a foreign country and attained my citizenship. All along I was following the God of my understanding. I would be sober and I would visit all the great churches of this city. Always listening for the voice of inspiration to come to me.
I began to work with others. I started a mentor circle for young men and I devoted my life to ministering to their every need. It is my belief that what we teach our children is very important. And I also believe that every young person deserves the best we can give them. And in many cases with my kids they have either not had that upbringing or they needed a boost in the right direction. Over the last seven years I have worked with countless kids from around the world. Don’t you just love modern technology.
I went back to school a few years ago and earnestly restarted my spiritual formation academically. I knew going in back then, that if I played by the rules and took one day at a time, that God would reveal to me where he wanted me to go. This “puzzle of life” is still a work in progress and I am still putting the puzzle together. One piece at a time as they come to me from God.
I graduated with my degree in Religious Studies all the while working with my kids one on one, and I rooted in a group of Sober people, and devoted one day a week to that group for the last seven years. My life revolves or pivots around my sobriety and the work I do at my homegroup.
I have had the opportunity to make some great friends, and I have ministered to them over the years in any way I could, as God led me to do. Every friendship is an investment in time, talent and emotion. My inner circle is tight. And I love all of my friends and my kids with all of my heart.
After graduation I applied to the Department of Theology to attain my Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. I have one class left to take after this semester and I will have fulfilled the required academic credits for that certificate.
Last semester I took Theo 402 – Pastoral Ministry. In the end I wrote my project paper on Ministry to families with LGBTQ kids. Which got rave reviews and earned me an A in the course and high praise for my work.
All of my kids are gay. Each one of them has a particular personality and each one of them is devoted all the time they might need on any given day or night. And my husband is very supportive of the work that I do. I devote all of my energy into him and have cared for him to the best of my ability over the last 6 years. He is the light of my life.
You could say that I ministered to him in ways that no other human being had ever done when he got sick. I walked through the dark with him always relying on my prayers to God to deliver us from the darkness of mental illness. It took a year, but we were delivered.
Over that time I had begun to read blogs written by ministers across the spectrum of religious traditions and I started writing some of them, and today I can count them among my greatest spiritual advisers. Which brings me to the crux of this post.
Tonight I began my Theology 404 Practicum. This evening, Wednesday, I received my mandate from the Monsignor, based on the project paper that I wrote last term. The ministry of LGBTQ kids and their families. We spoke about my mentor circle, and the work I do with my kids on a 24/7 basis. We are supposed to devote 2 to 3 hours a week working on our practicum.
For me my practicum is a daily job. It is something I have been doing for so many years, it is part of my life. My kids are MY kids. I have walked them through the forest and into manhood over the last seven years. The monsignor had only praise for the work that I do, and he wanted to follow my mentor circle for this class. We have to write a few papers, a verbatim, and a Theological Interpretation paper and a final oral exam at the end of the term.
Finally, I have arrived…
I wrote to Randall tonight before starting this entry. God has blessed me, and I think finally I have found my calling in my kids. You find something to do, and you do it. One hour at a time, One day at a time, One month at time and finally, One year at a time. You pray and you follow the voice of God whereever that voice might lead. I followed him here, and now all those years I worked ministering to my kids, now my ministry has a mandate from the church and its minister.
I lived and God found a use for me in living…
This blog has been a very important ministry tool because I have been read by hundreds of thousands of people day after day. All that information I have uploaded to the PAGES has gone to good use, because my AIDS story is still being read by someone even today, so I know that somewhere I am helping another human being cope with AIDS. This is another area of my ministry that is another branch of my outreach ministry. My work with new diagnoses and the mentoring of those boys who have found themselves in this situation. The monsignor speaks of it as “Concentric Circles” that extend out from a source in the universe. Some of the circles overlap. Some do not. But I have cobbled together quite a little ministry in my own special way.
And now after almost 23 years, since beginning seminary in 1986, I have been led to a ministry – a calling – the work I have been doing for so long now has a meaning in the greater scheme of things. I have a real and tangible mandate to work on, a ministry to serve. All that following God has led me to this point.
Find Your Passion – DO IT – Money will follow …
I have found my passion. And God has blessed that passion in ways I could not imagine. I knew that if I walked this path in university that doors would open when they were meant to. I did not bang on doors or expect too much before things were due. I just walked patiently and prayerfully. Every year another piece of the puzzle fell into place and now I am right here and another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place, with the calling of my Mandate for Pastoral Ministry.
We have stepped up the ladder of profession. Now I have to have a supervisor write an introduction letter for me for the monsignor and now I have to journal my work, not that I don’t do that already. The monsignor spoke to me tonight and he said:
“Consider for a moment that you were to leave us. The afterthought didn’t hit him until the words left his mouth, maybe this wasn’t a very good example. He continued… If you were to move from here and go somewhere else, what would you give to the person who would succeed you in this ministry? What would you tell them about what you do so that they could carry on what it is that you do so well?”
That is my mandate. To write that manual…
My kids would go where ever I went. I would not hand them off to anyone, but for project purposes this is what I have to do.
The Evolution Of Jeremiah has a professional mandate.
I thank all of you who come to read. I thank you for your continued support. This blog has been a ministry tool for me since its inception. Tonight it has been validated as Blessed by God and is sanctioned by the church and her ministers.
You can read that Project Paper over in the Pages section of the blog. The Ministry and Care of LGBTQ youth.