Faith Portfolio

Kali Brasseur's Faith Portfolio


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Faith Portfolio Introduction

This blog has been created as a space for me to share my professional Faith Portfolio.  I will be using this space as a place where I can share my growing faith, and where I can indicate growth in five categories: prayer life, teaching the faith, witness to Catholic education, nurturing of personal faith, and practice of the faith.  I hope that I can share things like my experiences at mass, my passion for my own faith, and personal reflections, as well as photos and other memories.

A bit about me…

I was baptized Catholic when I was very young, and I have always attended mass with my family.  As I’ve grown my participation in masses has changed, but I’ve always felt like an active member of the Catholic community.  I went through the sacraments as I grew up, I participated in mass by serving and reading, and attended events like YC (a Christian event for youth).  When I went away to school, I did have trouble being away from my faith community, and I found it difficult to get used to the new church and new priests.  However, I did take several classes about Catholicism and Christianity, which allowed me learn more about my faith.  I also was lucky enough to take part in a youth pilgrimage to Le Puy-en-Velay, France with the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Since I’ve come back home I have been very grateful for my faith community and I’ve gladly re-entered the parish.  I have continued to participate in various ministries, including serving, reading, and eucharistic ministry.  I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to work in the Catholic Schools, a workplace where I am able to share my faith with staff and students.  I have been working at ways to integrate faith into my lessons, and I enjoy celebrating seasons like advent and lent with the school.  I believe that working in an environment like YCS will allow me to constantly grow in my faith, and I’m very grateful for that.

Navigating this portfolio:

You can browse the five categories by following the links on the right side of the screen, or by clicking here:
Prayer Life
Teaching the Faith
Witness to Catholic Education
Nurturing of Personal Faith
Practice of Faith

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The Shack, by William P. Young

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Over the Christmas Break, I read the novel The Shack, by William P. Young. This is a Christian novel about a man whose daughter had been kidnapped and murdered, and due to this horrific experience he had lost much of his faith in God.  One day, he receives a note from “Papa” asking him to meet.

When he arrives at the shack he meets three people, who turn out to be a manifestation of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The son, as expected, is Jesus Christ.  The Father is embodied by an elderly black woman, who calls herself Papa.  The Holy Spirit, the most elusive piece of the Holy Trinity, is represented by an Asian woman named Sarayu.

All three pieces of the Trinity help Mack come to terms with his daughter’s death, and for me it was a really interesting investigation into the different roles of God in our lives.  In particular, it’s interesting to see how the parts of the Holy Trinity interact, how they are one, and how they are different.  The Trinity is such an interesting concept, the idea that it three parts of a whole, that they are the same but different.  This exploration prompted me to consider what each part of the Trinity represented for me personally.

The Father is perhaps the easiest, because I think that it is the part many people imagine first when thinking of God.  It is the part that I often imagine while I’m praying.  The parental figure, but the way we saw our parents when we were younger: infallible, caring, full of love.  The woman that Mack meets in the book really does embody these qualities to me.  Someone who loves you, but also doesn’t take any nonsense.  A mix of strength and compassion.

Jesus is the human face of God, to me.  It is the part of God that we can relate to.  I can imagine Jesus making mistakes, and having friends, and emotions and desires.  I liked that in the book Jesus was represented by a middle-eastern carpenter, and is described as being average looking.  Firstly, because the white-washed Jesus figure is problematic in many ways and I was glad to see him accurately portrayed here in terms of race.  Secondly, because I do think that we sometimes idealize Jesus and think of him as perfect.  I don’t think that Jesus was perfect, I believe that by making his only son human God also made him fallible.  I like to imagine Jesus as a friend who I could relate to, whereas the Father and the Holy Spirit are more difficult to personify.

The Holy Spirit is an ethereal women named Sarayu, with whom Mack has the least connection.  This is indicative of the way that most Catholics probably feel about the Holy Spirit, as it is the part of the Trinity that we talk about the least at Church and amongst ourselves.  I remember from some of my classes that the Holy Spirit is often associated with breath or wind, and this motif was followed throughout the book.  She is a gardener, and we see her bringing life to plants the same way that the Holy Spirit breathes life into us.  I admit that my relationship to the Holy Spirit is something that I will have to continue contemplating.

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Faith Formation

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Last year I completed the Faith Formation program with Yellowknife Catholic Schools.  This shows my dedication to Catholic education and my desire to grow in my own faith.  I participated in the program actively, and attended every session last year.  I enjoyed the time spent reflecting and learning about the Catholic faith with my fellow educators.