Joy in the Lord: Serving as a Recently Ordained Priest

Fr. Miller Gomez Ruiz

Parochial Vicar, Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Flowery Branch

As a young altar server in his home country of Colombia, Fr. Miller Gomez Ruiz got his first call to the priesthood through the example of his parish priest. Years later, he returned to the path of priesthood and entered seminary first in Colombia, and then coming to Georgia in 2015 to enter formation as a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Being ordained in June and starting, his priestly service during a global pandemic has taught him to further trust in God. From having, over 1,000 people watch his ordination online, including his parents in Colombia, to offering drive-thru reconciliation in the parking lot of his first assignment at Prince of Peace in Flowery Branch, this past year has brought the unexpected, but he is ready and eager to serve the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Your support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal funds the education and support of our seminarians, preparing well-trained priests for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Your generosity also funds retirement care and continuous formation for our priests.

“I would not be here without your support. The people of Atlanta are very kind and joyful.”

“It brings me great joy to see how God uses me in the Sacraments, as an instrument of God’s mercy and grace, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”

Joy in Action: Serving the Emotional and Pyschological Needs of Children

Eglee Treber

Play Therapist, Catholic Charities Atlanta

Through speaking in a child’s language of play, Eglee Treber, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor with Catholic Charities Atlanta, is able to build a safe space to help children overcome the issues they are facing. Originally from Venezuela, her research-supported techniques centered around play and offered in both English and Spanish, enable children to develop needed coping skills, self-esteem, and social skills. With the additional stressor of COVID-19 weighing heavily on the mental health and stability of children and families, Eglee has had to adjust techniques to be offered safely and virtually. As a part of Catholic Charities Atlanta’s over 60 years of service to the poor and vulnerable on behalf of the Atlanta Catholic community, the play therapy program helps contribute to their mission to help families move towards self-sufficiency and wholeness.

Your support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal helps to fund the play therapy program as part of the security and well-being services of Catholic Charities Atlanta, helping families to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency.

“Children are the future. We need to care for them mentally, spiritually, and physically.”

“Play therapy gives children a safe space. From that safety, they become their better selves.”

Joy in Prayer: Serving the Spiritual Needs of Seniors

Bill Clarke

Professional Development & Senior Ministry, Office of Formation & Discipleship

Feeling restless in his retirement and seeking meaningful work to fill his time, Bill Clarke applied to work for the Archdiocese’ Office of Formation & Discipleship in Professional Development. While in that role, Bill started writing a column for the Georgia Bulletin called Senior Side to address the spiritual needs of older adults.  His passion has led to greater listening and a plan for senior adult ministry in the archdiocese. When COVID-19 changed the entire landscape, the Office of Formation and Discipleship pivoted quickly to meet with catechetical leaders via videoconference, move the Atlanta Catechist Conference to a virtual format, and use technology to stay connected and solve new problems. Since the senior ministry was particularly effected, Bill was able to gather parish ministers for check-in video calls to listen and help overcome barriers together, so that the seniors in our parishes can feel less isolated and have guidance and support for the second half of their lives.

“Seniors have unique spiritual needs that need to be addressed.”

“COVID-19 opened up new opportunities and needs among seniors in our church community… we are listening.”

Your support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal funds the Office of Formation and Discipleship, including senior ministry, the Atlanta Catechist Conference, and other opportunities to equip pastors and their leaders with the support, training and resources needed to fulfill the pastoral mission of catechesis and evangelization.

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