Roy Petitfils was the speaker for June. Roy Petitfils is a spiritual and motivational teacher. He does not simply “pump people up”, only to have them later not remember what they are pumped up about. Life takes its toll on all of us. It is natural at times to become discouraged, lack passion and enthusiasm. Roy’s goal is to help create sacred space where people tap into their deepest self, that part of them where God, the Wonder Counselor, dwells.
What’s important in the life of Roy Petitfils? Roy puts it this way, “At the end of my life, I will consider myself a success if Mindi, my bride, Max or Ben, my two children, can say this about me: ‘Roy was a man after God’s own heart. He was a present, loving and committed husband and father. Period!’ The most important word is “Period!” Success as a counselor, author, or a national speaker matters very little compared to the opinion of Mindi and their children.
Roy is a professional school counselor and administrator at St. Cecilia Catholic School in Broussard, Louisiana. He is a counselor at Pax Renewal Center for Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy. Roy earned his Masters in Counseling from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and is proud to be an alumnus of St. Joseph Seminar College in Covington, Louisiana.
For two Years, Roy Petitfils studied ministry and spirituality in Rome, Italy at the Angelicum -the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is the author of “God Wears Running Shoes: Spiritual Reflections for Those Ministering to Young People” and “What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage,” is his latest book. Filled with stories from friends, clients and his own marriage, Roy Petitfils provides practical — and often humorous — tips for anyone preparing for marriage or who is already married.
So much has changed in our society — children are exposed to so much. By the time a young person graduates from high school 98% will encounter some form of illegal drugs. Alcohol will be experimented with by 78% of students entering the eighth grade. There is so much more available in 2011 that wasn’t even available in the 1950’s. As church — People of God — we have to open our eyes and our hearts to our young people. We have to do something different or we will continue to witness 85% of our high school graduates run out of the door of our churches and not return.
We have become a dazzled but disenchanted society. The “I-phone” the most sophisticated device in the history of mankind is now available to just about everyone — not only as a means of communication — but to tap into a world of information. “Google” is a verb. If “Facebook” were a country it would be the third largest country in the world. There are more people on Facebook at any given time than in most countries. Now we may be dazzled but we are starved for one of our deepest needs — “intimacy.” St. Augustine’s words of many years ago are so fitting today, “0 God, our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. A dazzled, disenchanted society, hungering for intimacy must discover a gracious God even in our brokenness. For it is only in God will we be satisfied — everything else will be a disappointment.
We must become more caring if we are going to continue the mission of Jesus. Jesus told Peter that he would become a “fisher of men”. We have become more of the keepers of the aquarium. In our success driven society there is an over emphasis on reaching the top. Climbing the ladder, only to reach the top and discover that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
You cannot convert people without caring from them. We have to care enough to listen to their story and our Liturgies must relate to their real life experiences. If the ‘Good News’ is so good —and it is - we need to share what it has accomplished in our life.
Deacon Jerry Bourg is the Regional Assistant in the South Region. Please contact him for more information on Monthly Manna at 337-923-4591.