Called and Gifted
In collaboration with the Catherine of Siena Institute, the Diocese of Leeds is now able to provide Called and Gifted training for individuals, parishes and groups across the Diocese.
What is Called and Gifted?
At its heart, the Called and Gifted programme is designed to help people discern what gifts they have been given for the purpose of building up God’s Kingdom on earth. It’s a programme that includes teaching, an individual one-to-one discussion and some group learning to take you step-by-step through a process to help you understand what a charism is, and how the charisms are manifesting in your own life.
What if I don’t think I have any ‘gifts’ or ‘charisms’ from God?
All the baptised have been given gifts from God (CCC 2003) and even those who have not been baptised (CCC 1257), so there really are no prerequisites for doing the training. However, these gifts and charisms can often lay dormant until we practise using them. Alternatively, we are using the gifts but we don’t realise that this is a special gift, to us it’s just normal!
What does the training involve?
There are three stages to the training:
- Stage 1 – watching some videos and following some teaching to help understand what the charisms are. At the end of Stage 1, you complete a Spiritual Inventory to aid you in Stage 2. This stage can be done in person or individually online.
- Stage 2 – this is a one-to-one conversation with one of our trained facilitators, who will discuss the results in your inventory and ask you a few questions, for example, what are you good at, what do you enjoy doing, and what sort of feedback do you get from others? This prepares you for Stage 3. This can be done in person but is also often done on a video call.
- Stage 3 - At Stage 3 you choose a single charism to ‘experiment’ with. This stage is done in a small group, alongside others who are also testing their charisms and you can share your experiences and learning. This stage is especially fruitful as you start to put into practice what you’ve been learning about. This can be done in person if you have a local group at the same stage as you, or online on a video call.
Why should I do this?
People can have many different motivations for completing this programme – for some people, it may be the first time they’ve explored something like this, and it can be life changing in your faith journey – helping you to grow closer to God and to your neighbour. On the other hand, some people have done similar programmes in the past but want to explore a different aspect of God’s impact in our lives.
The Called and Gifted programme has a strong emphasis on the process of discerning, which is quite unique. We walk alongside the participants, helping them at every step, to examine your experiences and see how God is working in your life. The other emphasis in the Called and Gifted programme is how your gifts can be used for the benefit of God’s Kingdom. It’s not just a ‘personality test’ or personal reflection, but also a very practical way to help you contribute to the mission of the Church!
What if my charism is one I don’t like?
When people are using their charism, they experience a deep joy – in fact, this is sometimes how we can distinguish between charisms and learnt/inherited skills, as the latter may be things we are very good at but they don’t bring us joy.
What will the team in the Diocese of Leeds be doing?
This training is not new, it has been offered for a number of years in the US and in the Diocese of Portsmouth since 2014. From 2023, we now have a local team in Leeds who are trained to deliver the Called and Gifted programme and conduct interviews. Our role is to facilitate Stage 1, which can be online or in person, and then we can conduct the interviews for Stage 2 and lead the groups in Stage 3.
All of our team members have gone through the Called and Gifted programme as individuals and have attended the facilitator training led by the Catherine of Siena Institute in the US and the Called and Gifted team based in the Diocese of Portsmouth.
Where can I find out more?
There is a lot more information on the Catherine of Siena Institute website as well as the book, 'Fruitful Discipleship' by Sherry Weddell. You don’t need to read the book first, but you may find it useful if you want to take some time to understand it more before taking part.
How do I take part?
Contact Fr Michael Hall via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss joining a group or organising a group in your parish. We will also advertise any upcoming public groups on this page.