All Episodes

February 25, 2021 26 min
Franciscan Spirituality Center
920 Market Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
Steve Spilde: Today I am excited to introduce Sam Rahberg. Sam is a presenter in our Spiritual Direction Preparation Program. He presents a weekend about “Introduction to Spirituality.” Sam is also a longtime supervisor in the program, helping our participants with their work. I know Sam to be an incredibly gifted presenter, and also a deep spiritual individual. It’s my pleasure to welcome Sam Rahberg.

Sam Rahberg: I’m glad to be here. It feels a little bit like people get to be a fly on the wall in great conversations you and I have had in the past. I’m looking forward to it.

Steve: As I usually begin these conversations, I invite people to explain their own spiritual tradition. As you were young, describe the spiritual atmosphere in which you grew up.

Sam: I was a church-working kid. I grew up moving tables and chairs with my dad at the end of every church function. We were part of a Lutheran church, and he was the Director of Christian Education. I like to joke that I had an 18-year-long internship with him about what it means to be a professional in the church, to be working in ministry. I grew up in that environment knowing not much different than the formal structures of the church. I was always hungry when we would talk about discipleship. Or when I’d hear about spirituality, I’d quickly chase down those types of texts and learning opportunities once I was an adult and able to recognize something was stirring. I followed on that trajectory. I still think of myself being involved in a ministry of sorts, although for the last many years I haven’t served professionally in a parish. My spirituality and my understanding of vocation and calling has shifted, with no less appreciation for parish work. I still admire most professors I had who would say, “You know I love you guys. I love what we’re talking about, but I would rather be with the people in the parish. I’d rather be serving in those intimate relationships than in an academic sort of setting.” They’re just different birds. I have a great deal of respect, and I had the good fortune of being able to support people in ministry – pastors and priests and deacons and lay leaders in congregations through spiritual direction or retreat formats, and [also] working one-on-one with people in supervision fields like equipping people for ministry.

Steve: You really grew up with a desire to be involved in that ministry. How old were you when that first desire came to your awareness?

Sam: Actually, in high school I had anything but that desire. I had a stretch where I was wanting to go to the Air Force Academy. I wanted to be a computer programmer. I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. One of my high school teachers said, “Sam, you ought to consider becoming a teacher.” I said, “Well, maybe.” And then I realized, you know what I know how to do? I know how to do churchwork. It’s already who I am, [and] it’s already what comes naturally, so I bit on that and I did go [and] become trained as a Director of Christian Education. Part of what I loved about that was that I was being trained and equipped to do the things that were feeding my own personal spiritual hunger, [and] that were giving me a way to integrate my study of scripture, my spiritual reading, [and] my deep conversations with people into the work that I was doing. And to this day, I’m grateful for that privilege, [and] that I continue to be called into conversations that reflect some of the things that are most important to my inner journey. I’m grateful for that. I haven’t always been appreciative when days are busy or projects are hard, but when I can remember those moments, I do appreciate it.

Steve: How long did you work in a parish setting?

Sam: I had a yearlong internship, and then I was in a parish for five years before I went to the Benedictines and started working in Retreat Ministry there.
Mark as Played

Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Crime Junkie
The Daily

The Daily

This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC

Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.

    • Help
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • AdChoicesAd Choices