Chasing Joy with Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson

Chasing Joy with Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson
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Kenora Catholic welcomed Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson as the keynote speaker on the Spiritual Development Day of September 30th and joined him in going a little overboard in exploring joy and the flow of love on the Spiritual Development Day.

Over 250 Kenora Catholic staff from every school in the board and all positions joined in the gymnasium of Pope John Paul II School, as a community, to explore themes of spiritual development and theology with Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson, connecting his life stories with the story of birth, life, death and the resurrection of Jesus. Through storytelling and sharing his personal experiences that were often humorous, vulnerable and deeply moving Dr. Nelson-Johnson created connections and challenged Kenora Catholic to seek to more deeply understand the mystery of grace, the mystery of spirit and the mystery of God. Here are a few quotations from Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson:

  • Good Church happens when you feel healed, transformed, liberated and renewed.
  • Love's core characteristic is flow, and the greatest sin is the block of flow.
  • Mary was the greatest virgin because she was available. Sometimes everyone is present, but no one is available.
  • Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.
  • The fact that you are not yet dead is not proof that you are alive.
  • To be baptized is to know yourself as fiercely, tenderly loved by the author of love – God.
  • There is a relationship between suffering and joy.
  • If you want to get close to God, you need to take bold risks.
  • The feedback from Kenora Catholic staff is they want more time with Dr. Nelson-Johnson and have asked for him to come  back to the board for another session of learning.

Dr. Nelson-Johnson is Founder as well as Creative and Animating Partner of Soul Play LLC, which can be found at He is also Resident Theologian and Animator of Faith at Old St. Patrick's Church. Dr. Nelson-Johnson served on the faculty of the Loyola Academy Jesuit High School for eighteen years. Author and leader of the acclaimed Beloved retreat, Dr. Nelson-Johnson works withy parents, teachers, pastoral staff and faith communities to design and conduct formation programs that encourage, affirm and inspire.

Each year the Kenora Catholic District School Board allocates a Professional Development Day specifically for the spiritual development of all staff.

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