Last spring we learned about a Canadian Catholic Speaker, Ken Yasinski. Ken has been a speaker for almost 20 years. Located in Saskatoon, Ken travels wherever his speaking events take him, in Canada or the US. His personal journey as a young university student helped him to identify his calling to speak to Catholics about their faith. He has experience as a youth minister in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is an author, and has a growing family of 5 children. Ken was a great choice for our Staff Faith Day on September 24th.
A charismatic speaker, Ken opened the day in prayer and invited us to greet our table neighbors with the greeting “hello beautiful.” This greeting made everyone smile and laugh as we started the day.
Ken’s morning session was titled “What is the Purpose of My Life?” He shared the story of his own journey as a university student when he came closer to God by reflecting on his own failings. He shared a quote from Dr. Phil, “You can not change what you do not acknowledge.” In his case, he acknowledged the emptiness he felt and realized that to live a good life, God must be a part of one’s life. Using a cell phone as an example, he explained how items can break when used in contradiction to their design/purpose. His message was that when we do not use our lives properly, in the service of God, we too can become broken spiritually. He challenged us to welcome Jesus into our lives by encouraging four ways of coming to know Him.
First, we must come to know Jesus by fostering relationships with others. Second, we must learn to love Jesus. Third is to serve and help others. And the fourth is to share with one another.
In his second session “Living with an Internal Perspective,” Ken focused our attention on a simple question: how would you like to be remembered after you die? Ken states that we are all called to holiness by stating three principles of sainthood. The first is to live a saintly life by focusing on the “now”. We must live in the moment and make decisions that are made with love, bringing us closer to Christ. Trying not to dwell on the past or focus on items / issues that preoccupy our future will help us live in the “now.” We all need to focus on the “now” in order to live positive, loving, saintly lives. The second is that sainthood is here by making the decision to forgive. Our faith is not perfect but if we ‘Do The Next Loving Thing’ by forgiving one another, we will move toward the goal of sanctity. The third call to Sainthood is that it is for ALL, especially when we pray and receive the sacraments.
Ken was well received by the 70 secondary and 100+ elementary staff who were present at this lecture. He helped us to focus on our personal encounters with Jesus and to remember that to live our lives right is a decision that we each must make on a regular basis. Thank you for a good day Ken!
by D. Zaroski and Monica DiNardo
*On September 25, Ken gave a similar talk to an assembly of our grade 11 and 12 student.