Lay Spiritan Associates Updates

U.S. Spiritans invite lay Christians to participate in our ministry in a variety of ways. As Spiritan spirituality brings order out of the chaos of daily life by leading us into the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Lay Spiritan Associates are called to join our work. Fr. Libermann’s practical spirituality shows us the way to experience the divine in every moment of life and in all its ordinary routine.  The Lay Spiritan Associate form of membership is open to all Catholics (over the age of 21) who have completed a prescribed formation program.  They are men and women who have a desire to be a people of prayer, willing to reflect on the word of God in solitude and shared in community.  They commit themselves to help in the work of the Congregation in building up the Reign of God, founded in works devoted to peace, justice and the integrity of creation.  Other forms of association with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit include Spiritan Volunteers, Friends of the Spiritans, the Society of the Holy Spirit and membership in the Archconfraternity of the Holy Spirit.

To learn more about the Lay Spiritan Associates check out Lay Spiritan Associates: Who We Are.   Those interested in the formation program for the Lay Spiritan Associates visit the Become a Lay Spiritan Associate page.

Lay Spiritan Associates Updates

January 2016

Lay Spiritan Associates Plan 2016 On-going Formation Program

Lay Spiritan Associates John & Anne Marie Hansen, Rich & Daneen Gosser and Debbie Zugates met for their monthly on-going formation meeting on January 10, 2016. Their meeting focused on a discussion of their upcoming presentation for the North American Lay Spiritan Associate meeting in Scarborough, Canada, Spiritan website updates on Lay Spiritans and the formation program for 2016. Currently, 9 laity are in their 2nd year of formation and 2 additional lay people are in their first year of formation.

The two-hour monthly on-going formation meetings precede the monthly formation meetings. On-going formation meetings usually take place at Laval House and formation meetings take place in the Spiritan Campus Ministry Center in Towers dorm, also on Duquesne University campus.

LSA Spring 2016 Formation Program and Schedule

February 5 ​   3-4 pm​​ Colloquy: Unique Features of the Lay Spiritan Associate Formation
​​​​109 Union, Duquesne University
​​​​Presented by Scholar in Residence, Dr. Anne Marie Hansen

March 13   12:30 – 2:30 pm​ Solidarity: A Model of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation
​​​​Spiritan Campus Ministry Center, Duquesne University

April 6 ​​  3:30 – 5 pm​ Spirituality of Mission
Presented by Fr. Eamon Mulcahy, CSSp
​​​​609 Union, Duquesne University

April 14 ​   4-5:30 pm​ On Intercultural Living
Presented by Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSSp
Africa Room @ Duquesne University

May 14​​   8:30 – 4 pm​ Day of Reflection – Spiritan Center, Bethel Park, PA
​​​​Pentecost Preparation

June 12​​   12:30 – 2 pm​ Picnic with Spiritan Family
​​​​Duquesne University

Anyone interested in attending one of the formation meetings is welcome. Please contact Dr. Anne Marie Hansen at if you wish to attend or if you would like more information.

November 2015

Fr. Barney Kelly, CSSp Shares his Wisdom with Lay Spiritan Associates

LSA Retreat with B KellyFr. Barney Kelly, CSSp led a directed study on Francis Libermann at the Spiritan Center for Lay Spiritan, Dr. Anne Marie Hansen, Scholar in Residence, in November.  During their time together Fr. Barney introduced Anne Marie to key Libermann writings and shared his own vast knowledge of Libermann. The week culminated with a Day of Reflection – Libermann as Formator and Guide for all Lay Spiritan Associates and laity in formation. Fourteen laity attended the retreat. The retirement community of Libermann Hall hosted a social for the Lay Spiritan Associates at the end of the day.

October 2015

Holy Land of Appalachia Pilgrimage

Rich Gosser, Lay Spiritan Associate and member of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Committee for the US Province, joined JPIC coordinators from five other US religious congregations at the end of October to participate in a “Poverty and Care of Creation” immersion trip to Central Appalachia.

The “Pilgrimage to Appalachia”, planned and sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) Justice and Peace and Mission Committees, provided opportunities to visit organizations working closely with people on the margins in rural, Eastern Kentucky including some of the poorest counties in the United States.  In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical linking care for creation and poverty with “integral ecology”, the 5 day pilgrimage was an immersion encounter with people engaged in the concrete struggle for more just and sustainable world.

R Gosser Appalachia PilgrimageThe pilgrimage group visited organizations that address health care, housing, women and children, sustainable food production, and alternative education.  In addition the group traveled to sites that illuminate issues of environmental destruction and related public health issues including “mountain top removal” (MTR) strip mining of coal, deforestation, flooding due to mining, black lung and other pulmonary diseases related to air-born particulates resulting from mining practices.

Bishop John Stowe, ordinary of the Diocese of Lexington, KY, joined the JPIC representatives for dinner at the beginning of their pilgrimage to the “Holy Land of Appalachia”.  Fr. John Rausch, an award-winning author and Glenmary priest who has lived 40 years in Appalachia, accompanied the JPIC pilgrims.  He introduced them to some of his many friends who minister to some of the poorest and most marginalized people in the United States.  In turn the pilgrimage participants affirmed the “local folk” by listening respectively to their stories and learning about their struggles and successes.

Scholar in Residence, Center for Spiritan Studies

Lay Spiritan, Dr. Anne Marie Hansen, is serving as the Scholar in Residence at the Center for Spiritan Studies October 2015-2016.  In this role, she is researching the founders of the Spiritans, particularly Francis Libermann, the Spirituality of Mission, Justice and Peace and integrity of Creation resources and other resources from the Spiritan Collection at Duquesne University and Church documents on laity in the Church.  The outcome will be a draft of a formation program for Lay Spiritan Associates in the US province.  Anne Marie is collaborating with the Generalate as well as Lay Spiritans in other provinces throughout the world.

September 2015

Pope’s Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ and Action for Integrity of Creation

LSA Integrity of Creation ReflectionLay Spiritan Associates met for their monthly formation meeting in September, reflecting on action for the Integrity of Creation and Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter, Laudato, Si.  The afternoon began on Duquesne University’s Academic Walk where Lay Spiritan Associates participated in “Water Walk” , an event sponsored by Pure Thirst and Duquesne University’s Office of  Mission and Identity. Lay Spiritan Associates in formation who were involved in the event included Luci-Jo DiMaggio and Kate Lecci who organized the day’s activities and Dr. Ian Nettleship who presented information about ceramic water filters and the non-profit he works with at the University of Pittsburgh.  Several Duquesne students spoke about their personal experiences related to water issues in Tanzania and South America.  Lay Spiritan Rich Gosser shared facts and stories about the lack of clean and potable water in Haiti to the crowd of Duquesne students, staff and guests gathered in the front of the Union.  Rich then presented key points in the Pope’s letter,  Laudato Si’ and led a discussion with the Lay Spiritan Associates and those in formation.

An Evening of Reflection with the Lay Spiritans in Tanzania

The Lay Spiritan Associates  (LSA) of the Province of Tanzania met with Dr. Anne Marie Hansen for an evening of reflection on Friday, September 18, 2015 at the Spiritan House, Arusha, Tanzania.  Thirteen LSA attended the event as well as Frs. John Assey and Evodi Shao.  The focus of Anne Marie’s presentation was on “Our Lay Spiritan Associate Vocation:  How is the Holy Spirit calling you today?”

TZ LSA with AM HansenAfter an opening prayer, Anne Marie gave a short presentation encouraging the associates to continue their journey of strengthening their personal relationship with God and with one another through prayer and community. She asked the LSA to consider how the Holy Spirit is calling each of them individually and as a group to serve the poorest of the poor in their local context.

Participants began the process of discernment by meeting in small groups to answer the following questions:  Why am I a Lay Spiritan Associate?  What attracts me to the Spiritans? What gifts am I willing to share as a Lay Spiritan Associate?  What do I hope to gain by being a Lay Spiritan Associate?

All participants engaged in large group discussion, sharing their small group responses to each question and sharing their ideas with one another about a way forward.  In closing, Anne Marie encouraged the group to “Let your light shine for all to see!”

 Singing a New Song

Lay Spiritan Associates Rich and Daneen Gosser, together with two other women from their parish of Holy Trinity, have initiated the Trinity Singers, an outreach ministry to hospice patients at the Bethlen Nursing Home and Ligonier Gardens Personal Care Home in their community of Ligonier, PA.  Each week the Trinity Singers minister in song to patients who have entered hospice care.  Sacred songs and favorite hymns provide comfort, joy, and encouragement to the dying through this ecumenical ministry of outreach and care.