The Office of Catechesis
Special to The Message
By Terri Berg
The Diocese of Evansville Office of Catechesis is introducing readers to Catholics from across our 12 counties for whom sharing the beauty of the Catholic Faith is a joy. This month, we meet Terri Berg of Evansville.
How and where do you experience God?
Without a doubt, I experience God everywhere I look. All day, every day; whenever I open myself to God, God is there. The bigger challenge for me in this phase of life is to look! I am so blessed to have a strong foundation of "God moments." To some degree, I think I am riding on that history while I focus my consciousness on the laundry and the cooking. And the sibling squabbles; and appointments; and bills; and on and on.
Why is your faith important to you?
My faith is a strong foundation that is the backbone of everything I do. I love the Church's teaching to take the wisdom of the Church in one hand and our individual experiences in the other – and live in the tension between the two. So my faith, my image of God and Truth and my own earthly mission, are constantly evolving to be more complex, more inclusive of the realities I experience and the depth of Catholic teaching.
How do you nurture your faith life?
The best food for my spiritual life these days is being in community with others who share my faith and values. I am so blessed to be involved in parish life at Sts. Mary & John Parish as well as All Saints Parish. Both of these church families are extremely welcoming of our exuberant family on Sunday mornings. So many parishioners and staff contribute to everyone in our family feeling welcome and belonging, regardless of age or ability. I have regular interactions with other Catholic moms through my children's religious-formation program, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Even homeschooling is food for my faith life when we are participating in our Catholic Schoolhouse co-op. Facebook, as well, offers me many opportunities to dig deeper into Catholic teachings and spirituality when I utilize groups where the members share my Catholic foundation. My monthly middle-of-the-night shift in the adoration chapel at St. Philip Parish (Posey County) and the annual women's retreat through St. Benedict Cathedral Parish enrich me.
How does your Catholic faith shape the way you live?
God's teaching that all human life has dignity inspires me to constantly improve my interactions with those who are under my power. The teaching that God's creation is good inspires me to see the good in others and protect the health of our planet. God's example of abundant grace inspires me to approach others with grace, to be generous of spirit. God's gift of the Church and sacred scriptures inspire me to listen to the voices of wisdom all around me. These are just a few examples.
How do you share your faith with others?
My primary mission field at this moment is my family. In addition to leading our children in active parish life, I am charged with giving them the essential lessons on who they are and whose they are. I must overcome my own temptations, rather focusing on building up my children so that they experience God's goodness organically in their lives – affirming them, having fun with them, providing for them and giving them examples of grace. It is the "how" of everything I do.
Terri Berg is a trained educator and beneficiary of 13 years of Catholic education in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her husband, Bartell, have lived in the Diocese of Evansville for nine years. They have welcomed 13 children into their family through pregnancy and foster care. Five treasures remain: Téa (10), Ella (7), David (4), Ephraim (2), and Gracelyn (1).