The Holy Spirit: Our Advocate

photoscom HIGH RESAs I mentioned yesterday, one of the concepts we covered in Monday evening’s class was the Holy Spirit as our ADVOCATE. To help illustrate this point, I invited my aide, Lucy, to share her experience as a nurse, explaining how she advocates for patients.

Here’s what happened:

  • I first asked if anyone knew what an advocate is or what it means to advocate for someone. One of the young men responded that “it means to help someone else.”
  • I then explained that to help us understand what it means to be an advocate for someone, our aide, Mrs. R., would tell us a little bit about her experience as a nurse.
  • Lucy explained that she is a nurse at the local hospital (about a mile from the parish) and that she works in the delivery room. She said that she especially spends her time with many young girls, assisting them as they become single moms. She explained that many of the patients are afraid, nervous, and worried and that she comforts them, supports them, explains things to them, holds their hand when needed, and guides them through the experience.
  • Lucy spoke beautifully for about 5 minutes and the kids interacted with her nicely.
  • I followed up by saying, “Mrs. R. just gave us a perfect example of what we mean by the word ADVOCATE. All of the things that she says she does for her patients are what the Holy Spirit does for us. The Holy Spirit is present to us, helping us to overcome our fears, giving us courage and strength, teaching us, and guiding us. In fact, as we continue this year and talk about the Holy Spirit and when the bishop talks about the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, I’d like you to think of Mrs. R. and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about!” They liked that idea.
  • I asked them if they know of other people – parents, siblings – who are advocates and quickly 4 or 5 of them shared. We talked briefly about various careers which allow people to advocate for others (teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, etc.)
  • I explained that the Holy Spirit is our teacher and that, even in this room, the Spirit is our teacher. I am the catechist but that means that it’s my job to make sure that conditions are right for us to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is teaching us.  

I had a very definite sense that the “light bulb” had gone on for them. Thanks, Lucy!

About Joe Paprocki 2739 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

4 Comments on The Holy Spirit: Our Advocate

  1. What a great way to connect faith and life. The light bulb went on for me, too … thinking about who I can have in the session with our candidates when we talk about the Holy Spirit. Making the Spirit “real” is the challenge. Fire, wind …. but advocate … and their experience of advocates — coaches, teachers, student council leaders … very cool, Joe. Thanks for being an advocate for catechists!

    • Be sure to take a look at a number of posts I have about the Trinity…see my categories to the right and click on The Trinity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.