Witnessing in the Field Hospital of the Church

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Deborah Ann Organ


In this paper, I work to correlate three aspects of a specific event (a community gathered around a woman considering suicide) with the salvific promise of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to elucidate the potential power of narrative in preaching to name and call forth a real and durable hope in our times.  To do this, I base my method on David Tracy’s analogical imagination, and develop some of the contrasts and connecting points of contemporary trauma theory regarding memory and experience with Johann Baptist Metz’s notion of memory as it relates to the eruption of apocalyptic hope in our times.  I also reflect on the implications of an often neglected Holy Saturday faith for preaching. My hope is that this work will be a resource and a caution to preachers as they work to articulate the vision of hope erupting into division and hopelessness in concrete parish, social, and global contexts today.

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Author Biography

Deborah Ann Organ, St. Catherine University

Deborah Organ MSW LICSW DMin is Coordinator of Ministry Certificate Programs and teaches Practical Theology in the BA and MA programs in Theology at St. Catherine University.  She has her doctorate in homiletics and has been a Roman Catholic preacher for 35 years.  She is a licensed mental health clinician in Minnesota, and has her trauma practice serving Spanish-speaking immigrants at Holy Rosary Parish in Minneapolis.