Matthew Kelly spoke to a full house at All Saints Catholic Parish on Friday night. Fr. Michael Woods decided that his parishioners would get the opportunity to purchase tickets before Kelly’s appearance was announced to the general public. The overwhelming majority of attendees at the sold-out event were from All Saints.
We were warned to get there early for the 7:00 p.m. presentation. Knoxville Catholic High School had a home football game at 7:30, which meant parking would be tight. Organizers made arrangements for extra parking on the grass and at Peace Lutheran Church across the street.
At the beginning of Kelly’s remarks, I was reminded of some phrases I’ve heard and read frequently in the corporate world. He talked about the spectrum of engagement in a company and in a parish’s congregation. Kelly said that highly engaged people seek best practices.
He stressed the importance of personal clarity, which is knowing, “Who you are, what you are here for, what matters most, what matters least.” Kelly taught that clarity emerges from silence and that in the silence, God speaks to us.
My favorite part of the speech was Kelly’s definition of three voices of God: the voice of legitimate needs; the voice of talents and abilities; and the voice of deepest desire.
Singer-songwriter Eliot Morris travels with Kelly each weekend. Morris performs for about half-an-hour before Kelly begins. Morris also plays before and after each of the two intermissions. I spied Kelly deeply listening to one of his favorite songs right before beginning the final segment of the evening.