RALEIGH, N.C. — In September, the Evangelization Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi parish here hosted an adult faith formation event, “Paul: The Man and his Message.”
This was one event in a series sponsored by the parish during “Conversion: New Heart, New Hope,” the theme over the next two years to celebrate St. Paul’s conversion and the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order, according to Patricia Mahoney, communications specialist.
The keynote speaker was Fr. John Donahue, S.J., research professor in theology at Loyola College in Maryland. Fr. Donahue, a noted New Testament scholar, has served as a Raymond Brown New Testament professor at St. Mary’s Seminary and the University in Baltimore, and on the faculties of The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Calif., and Vanderbilt University. He is well known for his weekly scripture reflections in America.
Fr. Donahue gave an overview of the life of Paul, according to Mahoney, including details of the man, the apostle, his mission, his ministry, and legacy as a prolific correspondent. In the second of his two presentations, Fr. Donahue lectured on the theology and enduring message of Paul, his prophetic call as the foundation of his theology, his experience of God, and the transforming experience of power made perfect in weakness. Paul described his conversion as a “life changing event that changed his view of the world” and as an “overwhelming experience of God.”
William McConville, OFM, in his introduction of Fr. Donahue, noted that he had been his teacher 33 years ago at Vanderbilt University. Bill described him as an inspired teacher, superb scholar and an author who has never lost his pastoral touch.
Since this event, the Raleigh parish has been busy preparing for initiatives including:
• Launching a quarterly newsletter from the Franciscan Coalition for Justice and Peace; details about The Vineyard will appear in a future issue of HNP Today
• Sending a group to Biloxi, MS., to help families, affected by Hurricane Katrina, return to their homes
• A Sept. 26 – 27 Advocacy Training Program