A Still Point in a Turning World: Finding Time for Faith

The Integrated Catholic Life recently sponsored a Major Speakers Series event in Atlanta on August 11, 2010 featuring popular, national speaker, Dr. Paul Voss.  Dr. Voss is a long-time friend of the Annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference (ACBC).  His company, Ethikos and the ACBC were additional co-sponsors of the evening’s talk, titled “A Still Point in a Turning World: Finding Time for Faith.”  The host for the evening was St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, Georgia.

The Integrated Catholic Life sponsors conferences and other events relevant to integrating faith, family and work, and we are pleased to offer the following recap and conference recordings.

Recap of Presentation (recap written by Randy Hain)

Listen to the talk given by Dr. Paul Voss…

Listen to Q&A Session led by Dr. Paul Voss…

Dr. Voss addressed the tension between the contemplative life (necessary for faith) and the active life (necessary for business) by walking the 90+ attendees through his own career and faith journey.  He used the example of Florence, Italy (he is a frequent visitor) to show how in the old days everything in the city was based on the Church calendar.  Saint’s days, Holy days, Mass times…everything revolved around what was going on with the Catholic Church.  There was time for reflection and relaxation which you can still find in many Catholic countries today.  Today in America, we live in a country founded by Puritans and our country largely lives by the “protestant work ethic” where “idleness is the devil’s workshop.” 
 
According to Dr. Voss, we are a country of workaholics, and we (men in particular) define ourselves by what we do for a living.  We tend to get our identities through our work and how much money we make.  He found himself falling into this trap a few years ago as he was busy building his company and teaching classes at Georgia State University.  He thought he was doing these things for his family, but the work was actually taking him away from his family and that tension between the contemplative life and the active life became too burdensome.  He made important decisions to adjust his schedule and life to not miss out on his most important vocation as husband and father to five beautiful children.
 
After Dr. Voss’s talk, we broke into groups of six to eight for 30 minutes of vibrant table discussions over questions he provided.  Each table explored the obstacles they faced in living out their faith each day, especially at work, and talked about positive steps we could take to achieve balance and make sure we were living out our Catholic faith each and every day.  We concluded with another 20 minutes of stimulating Q & A.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Paul J. Voss is President of Ethikos (a consultancy specializing in culture, leadership, paradigm shifts, and ethical decision making) and an Associate Professor at Georgia State University. A gifted public speaker and award-winning teacher, Dr. Voss teaches courses on Shakespeare, Dante, Machiavelli, Business Ethics, Renaissance Literature, and the History of the Book. He publishes on a wide variety of topics (for both academic audiences and for the popular press) and regularly appears on television and radio programs.

His work on leadership, culture, business ethics, public service, and corporate stewardship builds on 2500 years of intellectual history. His dynamic seminars, coupled with a compelling and thought-provoking curriculum, receive among the highest evaluations in the industry.

His clients include the FBI Lab, General Electric Energy, McKesson, Colliers International, SecureWorks, Home Depot, PotashCorp, the Federal Railroad Administration, Best Buy, Fairmount Minerals, Chubb Insurance, Global Payments, and many others. He is currently completing his next book, Loved or Feared: Paradigm Shifts and the Rejection of Machiavelli. Professor Voss, his wife Mary, and their five children live in suburban Atlanta.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two adult children, one daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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1 Comment

  1. Dr. Voss was outstanding in his presentation last week and I strongly encourage you to listen to his talk. His talk blended the lessons of history, personal experience and Church teaching to keep the audience intently focused and engaged. He is a gift to the Church and the business community!

    Thanks and God bless-

    Randy Hain

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