Franciscan Sister Mariella Erdmann reports on an Initial Formation weekend gathering anyone who is a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Temporary Professed, Novice and Postulant on the topic of use of technology and communication skills.
It was good to see all in formation along with the directresses praying, learning, recreating and just laughing together. The cafeteria rang with laughter and good discussions as well as in St. Al’s and the gym.
The weekend began at 4:00 pm. on Friday, Feb. 10 with an overview and ended after dinner on Sunday, Feb. 12. Saturday morning there were two presentations by Kristin Bird. Kristin’s first presentation was “Responsible Use of Technology”. She sees the potential of social media for good but she, also, cautioned on its bad effects and addictions. She stressed the need to build healthy relationships. This can only be accomplished with time limits on the use of social media. Some of the drawbacks on social media were short attention span, low view of authority, over emphasis on equality of comments, artificial relationships, low commitment and low accountability.
Kristin’s second presentation was “Technology and Its Effects on Spirituality and Community”. She talked about “Adult Post-Modern Discipleship”. Technology can be a great tool to help people through stages of Initial Trust, Spiritual Curiosity, Spiritual Openness, and Spiritual Seeking.
Sister Anne Marie Lom presented a Communication Workshop in the afternoon. We learned about communication blockers in the first session. Since it was a workshop there was a lot of interaction which was most helpful. Some of the “Communication Blockers” were: all or nothing thinking, overgeneralization, mental filter, discounting the positive, jumping to conclusions, emotional reasoning, and should statements.
Sister took the second half of the workshop to practice basic communication skills such as: eye contact, eye level, body language, paraphrasing to show active listening, questioning for further understanding, and faith sharing.
Days also included meaningful prayer times and of course, recreation. Cranium Turbo, stretching one’s potential intellectually, visually, and artistically as well as hockey in the gym, using tennis balls to show physical stamina, added to a well-balanced enjoyable weekend.