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Đây là một deacon mà tôi quen biết, Mỗi lần đi tham dư ̣̣Đại Hội National diaconate Institute of Continuing Education – NDICE – tại Xavier University thì đều có gặp. Người Deacon này là một người Mỹ gốc Phi Châu. Ông ta có tài kể chuyện rất hay, và hay dùng tài kể chuyện để chia sẻ Lời Chúa – i.e. giảng.
Tên của Deacon này là Deacon Alfred Mitchell. Sau đây là “tự truyện” của Thầy Alfred Mitchell:
My early years in South Carolina with my grandmother introduced me to storytelling. I spent many hours listening to her stories. Many of the stories she told were about family members and residents of the small town in which we lived. Some were humorous and usually contained a moral or a lesson of some kind. I tend to tell the same kind of stories.
I believe strongly in the power of stories. They have a way of putting people at ease. Stories help us to answer three very important questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where Am I Going?
I retired from the Federal Civil Service in 1989. Two and a half years prior to retirement I was ordained as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church in May 1987. I served 2 and a half years as an unpaid volunteer assistant deacon director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta. In October, 1990 I was appointed to the position of Director of Deacon Personnel. I served in that capacity from October 1990 through the end of December, 2005
As a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church I use stories in my ministry of preaching, teaching and reaching out to others. I have been telling stories all my life, though I didn’t become professionally involved in storytelling until after my ordination to the Diaconate. I saw storytelling techniques as a way of bringing my homilies alive and making them more meaningful to the congregation.
For five summers I conducted ten-hour seminars in storytelling at the University of Notre Dame in its Retreats International Summer Institute. Seminars ranged in size from five to about twenty persons. This course titled “The Art and Craft of Storytelling” has also been presented to The Pastoral Ministry Formation program of the Department of Religious Education, Archdiocese of Atlanta and to parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
The purpose of this course is to familarize students with storytelling. The course is intended for anyone wishing to become acquainted with the storytelling art. It also contains lessons for the beginning and intermediate teller.
Material covered includes telling your own story, telling the family story, characteristics and laws of storytelling, the voice as the primary storytelling tool, sacred and biblical stories.
Another ten-hour seminar in “Storytelling” is entitled “African and African-American” Storytelling presented at the School of Sacred Storytelling’s winter session 2002 and Retreats International at Notre Dame. This seminar provides an overview of storytelling by Black people from biblical times to the present. Several stories illustrating the art of storytelling in African and African-American cultures are told throughout this ten-hour presentation.
This is a course on African and African-American Storytelling. The course is designed for Educators of Black children, Black children, Presenters of programs for Black History Month, Black storytellers and all others who are interested in African and African-American storytelling.
Subjects covered include Blacks in biblical literature, the African griots and griottes, African storytelling and its characteristics, Afro-Caribbean storytelling and modern day storytelling in the Black Community.
I have also conducted seminars in storytelling techniques for preachers, for Dominican priests and seminarians and deacons in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio. Again, during the course of these seminars I tell several stories.
I tell stories to all age groups, but prefer adults and young children. I am available anywhere in the United States and Canada, particularly on weekends.
Deacon Alfred Mitchell
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