00:01:00 Opening Prayer & Introductions
Part 1 Understanding Identity
00:03:35 What is Identity? Contemporary trends
00:09:20 Healthy & Unhealthy approaches to Identity — Identity Reductionism
00:11:55 the emphasis on Feelings, the Social Dynamics of Identity & the importance of integration with Reason
00:20:35 the Natural & Environmental determinants of Identity: genetics, the pre-natal and post-natal environments, the family, nurture, and social stressors
00:28:55 Predispositions, Epigenetics & the influence of life events in gene expression
Part 2 – Catholic Identity
00:30:20 the Catholic vision of the Self – living in resonance with the image of God through virtue & grace
00:37:40 God’s nature and its connection to our Identity? Communion of love in the Trinity and the Family
00:46:30 How does God’s nature impact our other identities?
Part 3 – the Social & Civic components of Identity
00:54:00 Identity politics – the authority of experience & the importance of listening, encounter and seeking unity
01:06:05 the Ideology of identity – opposing others, and stoking division
01:14:15 Finding identity through genuine community and a healthy sense of belonging – starting where you are
01:19:45 Healing: finding, maintaining and growing in it – sacrificial love, forgiveness & shame
01:26:00 What’s next for Dr Lombardi & Fr Kevin
01:32:05 Closing Prayer
“As you think of the gradual loss of shared histories and social roots, and the uncertainties about the path of life that many decades of an individual culture have created, we have lost so many of those shared certainties of life that we’re almost left to ourselves.” – Fr Kevin
“In the past, life was like a train. It had a track, and you knew the stops. It might go slow, or fast, but you knew the path of life. Now, life is more like a sailboat. You’re told you can go wherever you want, that the sky’s the limit. This leaves us vulnerable and struggling for identity.” – Fr Kevin
“We need to beware of identity reduction where we’ve limited our sense of self to an experience, a vocation, or a category.” – Dr Lombardi
“Feelings are the things that orient us to the concrete goods that perfect us. When they work properly, they make life beautiful, because you feel all the joy that you know. And when you’re fallen, they mislead, and pull you in directions that are opposite to where your reason is going and they point you to attractions and goods that are not authentic.” – Fr Kevin
“Fear is a big driver when it comes to identity and identity politics. If I’m feeling insecure about myself and about what I’m feeling and how other people see me, it’s going to create a fearful attitude. So it’s important to encourage people to feel, but to be aware of what’s informing the feeling…then we can check it with reason.” – Dr Lombardi
“When you shape yourself through your choices, like clay around a potter’s wheel, more and more around the image of God, you begin to resonate with that image. The resonance between your image and God’s is called joy. That’s what joy is – it’s not a reward you get for doing something good. It’s the natural consequence of resonance.” – Fr Kevin
“We are called to be partakers in God’s nature. Meaning that with time, and with God’s grace, our participation, and the use of our free will, we can reason and love without fear. That with time, people who are in our presence get a sense of what it means to be authentically free – where they sense somebody who has great self-knowledge and who can self-regulate – someone who can reason and love, someone who uses her intellect to magnify God. That is my understanding of what it means to be human – to participate in God’s being.” – Dr Lombardi
IDENTITIES AND IDOLATRIES—DISCOVERING WHO WE REALLY ARE: There are few ideas more valued in modern culture than that of identity, claims to which are sacrosanct. Whether identity is conceived of as discovering that which is innate and fixed or the product of our decisions and cultural environment, so long as it is authentically chosen and self-defined, it is thought to be right, good, and a source of well-being and happiness. Identity is also shaped by consumerism, branding, politics—a long list of contemporary idols. In this workshop we will explore the facets of identity, their ideological manifestations – and the seeds of the truth they might contain – in light of the fullness of truth found in Catholic social teaching. We were pleased to speak with Fr Kevin Belgrave and Dr Josephine Lombardi of St Augustine Seminary about this important topic.
Meet our Guests
Dr Josephine Lombardi
Dr. Josephine Lombardi is an award-winning author and documentary film maker who has worked as a parish minister, university campus minister, high school chaplaincy leader, teacher educator through O.E.C.T.A., professor of Religious Education, Brock University, retreat facilitator, faith formation consultant, and program coordinator in the Diocese of Hamilton. Presently, she is Associate Professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology, and Director of Lay Formation for St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough, Ontario. She has done media work in radio and television and has been an advisor to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in the area of doctrine and Catholic-Muslim relations. Her books On Earth as it is in Heaven and Experts in Humanity have been featured on Salt and Light TV. Experts in Humanity was awarded first place in the category of Family Life by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada in 2017.
Rev. Kevin Belgrave
Fr. Kevin Belgrave was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Toronto in 2008. After completing his doctoral studies in moral theology, he joined the academic and formation faculty of St. Augustine’s in 2014. He currently serves as the Director of the Institute of Theology and teaches a number of courses in moral theology, including bioethics, foundations of moral theology, human sexuality, and Catholic social teachings. In addition to his responsibilities at St. Augustine’s, Fr. Belgrave is actively involved in ongoing consultation and pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Toronto in a number of areas related to moral theology, and is a popular speaker and workshop leader for events throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto.
St Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto – learn more here