Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Jude’s Conference To Focus On Life’s Purpose

By RICHARD FARNSWORTH, Special To The Bulletin | Published August 19, 2010

 The hopeful theme “From Surviving to Thriving” resonates with many in these troubled times. Jesuit Father Matthew Linn will expound on this theme at an upcoming conference to be held Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the St. Jude Church ministry hall. PATH (Post Abortion Treatment and Healing, and Preventing Abortions Through Healing) and the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Project Rachel are sponsoring the conference.

“In stress, we fill up days with activities we feel are all we can do,” Father Linn said in a telephone interview, “but to find real peace, and even joy, more than ever we must discover God’s purpose for our lives. Then we can identify and heal the many hurts that keep us from doing what we are called to do.”

Asked about the book, “A Purpose Driven Life,” from which a local woman read aloud to calm a killer on the run, Father Linn said, though it was a good book, “It does not tell us just what is God’s call or purpose for our lives.”

“That can be hard to discern,” he added. “Mother Teresa taught geography for years, yet feeling she needed to do more. Finally, she knew she was called to work with the poor, left the teaching order, started on her mission, and the rest is amazing history. The rest of us may not get that precise calling, but we each have one.”

He writes, “Each of us enters this world with a special purpose given us by God, a special way of giving and receiving love and life, unique and unrepeatable as our fingerprint.  Once we know our unique purpose in life, we can choose what is congruent with it, and what is not.

“As we follow our special mission, we become fully alive, have energy to overcome obstacles, resolve midlife crises and burnout, and can dream new dreams.  This program will help us discover our unique purpose in life and gifts so we can move on from surviving to thriving.”

A member of the Association of Christian Therapists, Father Linn has advanced graduate degrees in sociology, anthropology, spirituality, and theology. He has taught courses and given retreats on healing in every state and in over 50 countries. Ordained in l973, he currently lives in a Jesuit community in Minneapolis where he trains spiritual directors at Sacred Ground and serves on the editorial board of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. He has co-authored 21 books translated into 20 languages.

The conference includes readings and talks, group discussions, sharing and work on healing.

“Healing helps give us more ‘body,’ more life, and enables us to act to fulfill our purpose.  It helps us have a better relationship with God,” he said.

When asked what this healing would be, Father Linn said, “This will not be a ‘miracle show.’ We will experience emotional, spiritual and physical healing, much occurring in silence. We will focus on the whole person, all physical and emotional hurts. We hope to help each participant with ‘being’ Jesus, sharing and giving Jesus’ love.”

Father Linn will celebrate a healing Mass on Friday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. at St. Jude.

The registration fee for the conference is $60 per person ($50 per person if received by Sept. 1). Those wishing to attend should send their name, address, phone number, e-mail address and check to PATH at P.O. Box 80809, Atlanta, GA, 30366.

For more information, e-mail Beverly Osterbur at < a href=””> For more information about Father Linn and his work, visit