By Father Wilmer Todd
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Father Wilmer Todd, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Chauvin, La. For the past 18 years, I have been writing a weekly religious column called, “What a Life?” The intention of my columns is to make people think about religious issues that are important to people today. I hope to give my readers material that will deepen their lives and make them more aware of the God of Life.
I invite readers’ responses and participation.
This is my first column for the St. Charles Herald Guide. Right now, I am writing for four other local newspapers. I also have a book entitled, “What a Life!, Daily Reading for Holistic Spirituality.” It contains 370 past columns, one meditation for each day of the week. In this first article, I want you to know who I am and what I believe. Several years ago, I wrote a personal mission statement for a course I was taking called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” I would like to share my personal mission statement with you:
• I believe in a God of life, love and goodness who has blessed me abundantly.
• In the midst of evil, I believe in the goodness of creation and the power of good over evil. I strive to fight against the forces of evil, especially when the victims of abuse are church related.
• I believe that God connects everything and everyone, and that true spirituality is connecting everything in God. To see the connectedness, I must pause to reflect.
• I believe the original sinfulness of human beings was trying to live without God. I strive to fight this tendency within myself and allow God to be God.
• I believe God has called me to be a Christian leader, one who enables others to be all that they can be. My role as pastor would be to coordinate the gifts of our parishioners so that everyone is working together for the common good, building up the Body of Christ. This would be similar to a conductor leading an orchestra.
• I believe what St. Paul said many years ago, “With God on our side who can be against us.” If I am doing what God wants – nothing can stop us.
• I believe that God has sent special people into my life who love me and bring out the best in me.
• I believe that pain is part of every life and part of my life. Unless I can go through the pain, I will never experience new life.
• I believe that to be truly alive we must take risks. Jesus is right when he says, “For those who want to save (hold on) their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
• I believe the best way to make a difference in the lives of people I work with is to model and invite.
• I believe in loving people, not using them. As a counselor, I try to remove the garage that has accumulated on someone so they can see their own dignity as a child of God.
• I believe that music is an important part of my life. It energizes me and makes me alive, and I can experience part of my deeper self. I believe God has given me talent not only to listen to music but also to produce it.
• I believe that happiness is not in accumulations of possessions, but in sharing life with others. Meals are an important way of sharing life.
I am looking forward to sharing life with you in the future.
You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to obtain a copy of my book.