No gift too small: Memorial lecture Feb. 4

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Christine Newkirk

Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

Christine Newkirk will speak on faith and giftedness – using one’s gifts to glorify God and enrich one’s sacramental community – at the seventh annual Doris H. Murphy Memorial Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 4, at St. Bridget, River Falls.

“No Contribution is Too Small” is the title of the lecture. The event is from 6:30-8 p.m.

Newkirk, the director of Ecclesial Ministries and Diocesan Consultation, has worked for the Diocese of Superior for 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Studies in philosophy and religion, as well as a master’s degree in Servant Leadership, both from Viterbo University, La Crosse.

“I believe that faith and giftedness intersect when we first acknowledge and accept who God created us to be, to identify our own gifts first,” Newkirk explained. “Next, once we identify what our gifts are, then we find opportunities to cultivate those gifts and share them with others out of a sense of gratitude.”

Each year, St. Bridget’s, River Falls, honors the late Doris Murphy, a former Faith Formation director, writer and lecturer who also served as Newkirk’s professor and mentor. Murphy’s passions included the Eucharist, catechesis, social justice and Scripture study.

“Because of Doris’ love of teaching, she had an exceptional ability to give simple and practical examples of how to live life through the lens of the Gospel and our specific Catholic Social Teachings,” Newkirk said. “She taught me that everyone can live the Gospel and be generous with their time, talent and treasure, regardless of their overall state in life.”

Murphy excelled at identifying others’ gifts and using them for the benefit of all, Newkirk added. She encouraged people to live with a sense of gratitude, to be generous to others as a way of giving thanks for their blessings.

“Everyone has the opportunity to share their gifts to glorify God if they choose to and if they recognize that those gifts have been given to them to share with others and live in sacramental community,” Newkirk said. “I hope to help people discover when sharing their gifts have given them a deep sense of joy, passion and energy; these are the first places then that they should look for further opportunities to share and meet needs with those gifts.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 715-425-1870.

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