Millions of people share their life stories daily on an array of social media. Facebook, Twitter, blogs and similar sites tell of people’s daily comings and goings, major life events, successes, difficulties and even their personal thoughts and hopes. For many, these social media are also a way to express and to understand themselves in relation to others.
This past Lent, however, an alumna of The Lay Centre decided to offer a Biblical alternative to this mediated sharing of one’s life.
Prof Linda S. Taggart, an adjunct professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures and interreligious studies at St Leo University in Florida, she offered people an opportunity to “view their life stories through the ‘magnifying lenses’ of Scripture.”
The February conference represented “a new type of work that the Lord seems to want me to do–leading retreats that combine Scripture, Ignatian reflections and the Rosary,” she said.
The conference was titled “How Will My Life Magnify the Lord? A Journey with Scripture, Story and the Rosary.”
With the help of Scripture, the Mysteries of the Rosary and guidance adapted from the writings of St Ignatius of Loyola and St John Paul II, participants reflected upon and then organized their personal narratives and faith journeys into “life chapters”—Joy, Light, Sorrow and Glory—patterned on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Participants then wrote their own personal version of Mary’s prayer of thanksgiving, the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55).
Prof Taggart also developed a “gentlemen’s version” of her conference for a local Jesuit boys high school.
In addition to teaching at the university, Prof Taggart has also taught in the diaconate formation program of the Diocese of St Petersburg, Florida. She holds a master’s in religious studies, with a specialization in Hebrew Bible. Her research interests are interreligious education and dialogue, and women in Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
She lived at The Lay Centre in 2012-2013, while studying at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, where she earned a graduate certificate in interreligious studies.
She is a member of St Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida, and the widow of her beloved husband of 25 years, James K. Taggart.