Hines wants faith training to come from the heart, not the head – Arkansas Catholic

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The Associate Director will assist the Diocesan Faith Training Office

Posted: September 20, 2021

Chris Price

Jeff Hines, the new assistant diocese director in the Faith Training Office, smiles at the St. John Center in Little Rock on August 31. The Fort Smith resident began work on August 1.

As the Diocese of Little Rock continues to develop strategies to help people grow in their faith, it has added an advocate to its mission.

Jeff Hines, who previously served as president of the diocesan pastoral council and has experience in campus ministry and youth and adult catechesis, has joined the diocese as associate director of the Office of Faith Training in August. He will be responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Report on Faith Formation in the Diocese of Little Rock, published in 2018, by the Director, Father Erik Pohlmeier.

“The Faith Training Office has a responsibility to see our people come closer to Christ in their daily lives and in the Church,” said Hines, “and we do this by finding ways to equip our people. so that he may be and make disciples. “

Hines, originally from Dallas, moved to Arkansas after graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1982. At the time, he attended non-denominational evangelical churches, which he said were “very Bible-oriented” with an emphasis on scripture study. .

“It has become a very intellectual exercise, and not really spiritual,” he said.

About a year after moving to Fort Smith, he met his future wife, Christine, a Catholic, and the two were married in 1985.

“My wife introduced me to the Catholic Church,” he said. “I didn’t really understand the Church at the time. I didn’t understand it at all, but I joined and grew to really love it, the depth of it. It went from being an exercise in the head to a truly exercise in the heart. ”

Hines arrives in the diocese after having worked in the information services for 34 years. He progressed in his career from a computer programmer to eventually vice president of information technology.

“I became so engrossed in this work and this goal of moving forward that I realized that I was motivated by money and not by my real goal, which was simply to draw closer to God and help others. to come closer to God, ”he said. noted.

In 2016, at 55, he retired but did not stay on the sidelines for long. Within weeks, he accepted a position as a technology teacher at Trinity Catholic School while studying for a theology degree at Little Rock Theology Institute.

“Ever since I first met Jeff while studying theology in the diocese, I was struck by how he understood our Catholic faith,” said Father Erik Pohlmeier, Director of Formation of Faith for the Diocese of Little Rock. “In other conversations it became clear that he wanted to share his love for God and our faith with others. He is intelligent and creative in his thinking. He has much to offer our parishes in Arkansas.

Dennis Lee, Chancellor of Administrative Affairs for the Diocese of Little Rock, said, “Jeff has the right balance of education, training and experience. He knows how to listen and he has the ability to connect with the Catholic faithful in a welcoming way. ”

Father Pohlmeier said Hines will help the diocese reinvent the way religious education for youth and adults is delivered.

“We are looking for ways to move away from the traditional education paradigm towards lifelong faith training,” he said. “Traditionally in the Catholic Church, religious education takes place in schools. But it makes people think they have “graduated” when they are confirmed and it has resulted in a drop in the number of people who continue to practice their faith as they become adults. “

Hines said the Church’s mission is “to equip our people to be and to make disciples.”

“It’s my job to try to find ways for all of us to come closer to Christ,” he said.


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