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Keith Jiron, left, speaks with Tricia Speer, Kate Villotta, and Sheri and Andrew Popp following Jiron’s presentation, “Angels Are for Real,” May 1 at Christ the King Church in Omaha. PHOTO BY ERIN KELLER FOR THE CATHOLIC VOICE

Angels the latest topic in School of Faith’s First Tuesday series

The image of a Guardian Angel walking two children over a bridge came to life in a presentation by Keith Jiron at a First Tuesday formation session entitled “Angels Are for Real”, sponsored by the School of Faith May 1 at Christ the King Church in Omaha.
 
Jiron, director of mission for Holy Family School of Faith Omaha, spoke on angels and their roles in people’s lives.  Through Scripture, church tradition and stories, he encouraged some 50 people present to ask their guardian angels for assistance.  He shared a quote from St. Basil in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a reminder that “beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life” (no. 336).
 
Jiron spoke of the three hierarchies of angels, each hierarchy consisting of three choirs, and of the character of angels as “purely spiritual” beings.  
 
“My students love to talk and learn about guardian angels.  I am excited to share what I learned with them tomorrow,” said Kate Villotta, a second-grade teacher at St. Wenceslaus School in Omaha, who attended the talk.
 
The First Tuesday series started in February at Christ the King as a parish outreach of the School of Faith, which began as a ministry on the campus of Kansas University and is now a Public Association of the Faithful established by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan. It is designed to “form Catholic school teachers, catechists and the faithful.” 
 
The current series extends that mission on the first Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. in Christ the King’s Community Room.  There is no fee; refreshments are provided.  The formation is intended for anyone who desires to learn more about the Catholic faith and grow closer to God. 
 
Jiron became involved with the School of Faith while living in Kansas. He holds a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and is pursuing a licentiate.  He and his wife, Kate, who also is an adjunct instructor for the School of Faith, are members of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha along with their four sons.  
 
Upon the invitation of Archbishop Lucas, the School of Faith was piloted in the archdiocese during the 2013-14 school year, providing faith formation to teachers at Consortium schools (Holy Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ss. Peter and Paul and St. Thomas More in Omaha and St. Bernadette in Bellevue). It then expanded to include all schools, and Jiron moved to Omaha to help guide the ministry.
 
Three St. Wenceslaus teachers who attended Jiron’s presentation showed up to hear him speak on angels a second time, having heard a similar talk for teachers in August 2015. “Keith is a great speaker. I enjoyed this topic during the teachers’ School of Faith and wanted to hear it again,” said fifth-grade teacher Tricia Speer.
 
The speakers for First Tuesdays are primarily School of Faith instructors, all of whom have completed advanced coursework in theology. Most have master’s degrees or doctorates.
 
Reflecting the School of Faith’s primary mission of evangelizing teachers, Jiron said, “My hope is that all of the teachers would be set on fire for Jesus and the church, such that it will spill over into everything they do in the classroom, in their personal lives.”
 
But that’s not all they’re about. “We love to spark transformation in the hearts of all to have a love for Jesus and the church,” he added.
 
UPCOMING FIRST TUESDAY FORMATION TOPICS
 
June 5: “Love, Logic and Laughter: Tips on Raising Catholic Kids” – Team taught by Keith and Kate Jiron, Dan and Teresa Kenney, and Deacon Omar and Miriam Gutierrez
 
Sept. 4: “From the Roots Up: Living the Christian Life in Freedom” – Deacon Omar Gutierrez
 
Oct. 2: “Mary Our Defender: Appreciating the Power of the Rosary” – Tim Brennan
 
Nov. 6: “Streetwise Saints” – Team taught by Deacon Omar Gutierrez and Teresa Monaghen
 
Dec. 4: “Images from Heaven: The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe” – Deacon Omar Gutierrez

 

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