Ekklesia falls silent

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

Mary Louise Stefanic, an octogenarian practitioner, teacher and promoter of yoga, recently gave a talk at Ekklesia.

"I thought it was the final talk of the season," Stefanic recalled, "but Kathleen Callahan announced it was the final after 35 years." Audiences have diminished for the long-running series of Wednesday morning presentations on spirituality, inspired by Vatican II and held at McDonough Hall, across the street from St. Giles Church.

"I was a board member in the early '80s," Stefanic remembered, "and it was a heady time. The audiences often numbered more than a hundred — Fr. Jerry Broccolo (150), Judy Humowiecki (120), and Jim Kenney from Common Ground (115).

We added babysitting so young mothers could attend. Board members were recruited to represent as many churches in our vicariate as possible, and not only Catholic ones. More Ekklesia-type groups were spawned throughout the archdiocese. I suspect their numbers have gone down too."

Another grand tradition fades away.

Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

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Mike Brennan from Chicago  

Posted: September 30th, 2013 6:57 AM

What a loss to the community! My only suggestion is that Ekklesia might be revived by changing the time and day, perhaps to Sunday afternoon or Friday night, when more folks could attend. As a shift worker, I was sometimes able to attend the Wednesday morning sessions, but I was aware that most of the attendees were retirees or stay-at-home moms. There's a great hunger for the presentation of topics concerning adult spirituality, but we can't ignore the fact that most adults are working people!

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