Father Dave invites the Holy Spirit into our lives with the Wild Goose
Come, Holy Spirit – these words have launched countless journeys both into our deepest selves and out to the wider world. They help us enter into relationship with a Being at once loving and wild, whom we can never control – the very spirit of God. Its Gaelic image, the Wild Goose, inspired Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, to adopt it for his ministry.
“I am called to preach, to help people recognize that the Holy Spirit wants to be in relationship with us in every aspect of our lives. But sometimes that can frighten us, right? Look at the Acts of the Apostles, Chapters 1-3. The men and women who entered the Upper Room were very different from the people who came out.
“Pope Francis states that the Holy Spirit wants to facilitate ‘an encounter with the love of God that brings about change.’ He says the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit itself. And that gift comes in an infinite variety of forms filling us with love, mercy, conviction, encouragement, power and profound joy.
“In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is called ruach – the breath of God. It brings life itself, as we see in Genesis (2:7) and John’s Gospel (20:22). We often try to control the wildness of the Holy Spirit, but it must remain untamed.
“Sometimes this makes people afraid to truly invite the Holy Spirit to pour into the vessels of our lives and fill us. I created the Ministry of the Wild Goose to help make that experience less frightening and to show how the Holy Spirit manifests in our lives and in the world. My friends at 4PM Media collaborated with me to develop a video series available at thewildgooseisloose.com com to reveal that reality. The videos pair with reflection sheets that invite thought and discussion about each message or lesson. We’ve received some lovely feedback about the videos’ artistry and lessons.
“In the fall of 2015, I released my fourth book, titled Breath of God – Living a Life Led by the Holy Spirit. It complements the lessons of the Holy Spirit the videos explore.
“The Wild Goose Ministry in an evangelistic outreach of Franciscan Pathways, a ministry of my Franciscan Community. I am a Franciscan of the Sacred Heart Province of the Third Order Regular (TOR). My TOR Community also runs Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I worked for many years.
“The last seven years, while writing and filming, I have been traveling full time, preaching about a relationship with Christ animated by the Holy Spirit. I lead parish missions, retreats, conferences and pilgrimages to holy sites. My most recent project is a documentary on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. It is titled Sign of Contradiction, and it highlights the extraordinary journey of this saint’s life and legacy. St. Francis was so much more than the birdbath statue we’ve all seen in gardens! I encourage people to watch the trailer at signofcontradiction.com and consider showing it at a public event.
“There is a tremendous need for beautiful and inspiring media. It’s my desire to make the Wild Goose videos free to those who need them, and we will ask very little for sharing Sign of Contradiction. I certainly appreciate those who can support this ministry through free-will offerings on our website.
“God has called me to help stir and awaken in people’s hearts the power of the Holy Spirit, who is always waiting for those open to receiving. There is no sacrament where the Holy Spirit is not present, and the Lord desires us to be filled with the Holy Spirit when we participate in the sacraments. When we pray and surrender to the Holy Spirit, we are continually filled with the Spirit of God.
“But we are not supposed to merely be containers of the Holy Spirit, rather if we desire to live a life in the Holy Spirit, we must allow the Spirit to flow through us. It is much like the Sea of Galilee, lush and brimming with life because the Jordan flows into and out of the sea. Contrast this to the Dead Sea, where the water only flows in – you can see the importance of sharing the Spirit’s gifts with others.
“I continue to pray that the Holy Spirit fills me for evangelization and works of mercy. The Spirit compels me to live the Gospel as I proclaim it in the tradition and legacy of St. Francis and our Lord. The Spirit also desires to fill you; all you need to do is begin by saying ‘Come, Holy Spirt.’
The Wild Goose Video Series
The Wild Goose is a 14-part online video series on discovering a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, narrated by Father Dave Pivonka, TOR. The segments, fi lmed on location in diverse locales throughout the United States and Canada, are available for free download at THEWILDGOOSEISLOOSE.COM