I recently had the privilege of attending the Convocation of Catholic Leaders over the Fourth of July weekend in Orlando. Sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the event gathered nearly 3,500 people from around the country involved in leadership positions within the Catholic Church. The Convocation focused on The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis’ 2013 Apostalic Exhortation, and the formation of missionary disciples.
Four others from the Diocese of Youngstown attended the Convocation with me. As our delegation debriefed at the end of each day, our conversations almost always came back to the topic of joy (no surprise there). We assessed our own levels of joy, both personally and professionally. Regardless of where we fell on the joy spectrum, all of us agreed that as leaders, we can and should make a more conscious effort to bring joy into the workplace.
Each day I am faced with a decision: I can be joyful and share my joy with others, or I can quietly go about the tasks of my day in a vacuum—nose to the grindstone, unaware of those around me. I have the power to determine my outlook on life, and my outlook affects those I encounter. What kind of impression will I leave? Will my presence lift people up or bog them down?
I want to lift them up, which is why I choose joy! My joy comes from my gratitude. Remember that old poem about one’s cup running over and drinking from the saucer? That’s what I’m doing! God has blessed me more than I deserve. I am eternally thankful for the people and opportunities God has put in my life.
My challenge now is to direct my joy into channels that will make a difference in the lives of my colleagues and co-workers, so that they, in turn, can channel their joy in productive ways to touch the lives of others.
More to come. . .
Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities