How I Work
I begin with listening and helpful questions to help you assess where you, your pastoral and catechetical and teaching teams are, and what your people need to feel competently equipped to be the public face of Christ in the world they touch. Check out my Catalog 2020 for ideas.
From our conversation I create a plan for how we can proceed. I spell out timelines, assignments, expectations, deliverables, and follow-up. Follow-up includes an extra year of phone consulting and coaching—at no extra charge.
A formal Letter of Agreement is signed by both of us, with an initial deposit which allows me to get to work.
Contract details are ably drawn up by Catholic Speakers Organization to ensure optimum outcomes for you, your leadership teams, and your people, and to eliminate surprises.
Is this what you’re looking for? Let’s explore.
I live to evangelize.
Check out these clips: “Conversion of Heart,” “My Family Thinks I’m Nuts,” and “Remain, Reveal.”
Recognized for honest talk on the nature of God’s calling, I animate pastoral teams, audiences, and readers alike with a fire of love for Jesus and an urgency to take him seriously and act accordingly.
I am passionately interested in people not just going to church but being church. And as church, being something the world actually needs.
No matter the age of the audience—from middle school to elders—I gently and irresistibly nudge people out of the “good enough zone” and open up horizons of invitation, possibility, and mission.
I Walk My Talk
In my town I strive to be the public face of Christ by working for solutions for people who struggle at the margins.
I give testimony at City and County public meetings for housing and wraparound services, and advocate with public transit leaders, participate in a grassroots housed-unhoused coalition, and teach public speaking and advocacy skills to unhoused emerging leaders.
On bitter cold nights I serve at a warming center. In February I get on the bus and travel to my state capitol to rally, meet with legislators, and advocate for just solutions and courageous action on statewide issues that could use some reign-of-God vision.
And on Sundays, after church, I walk downtown and share homemade peanutbutter sandwiches and conversation with people who are not just like me. You’ll find a dozen stories in my book Dare to Believe Rise Up to Act.
Is any of this inconvenient? Only when I forget that I am a follower of Jesus.
I walk my talk—not as a “volunteer” but as an engaged citizen who also is anointed for life in Christ.
My Vision of Church
I have distilled the mission of the church down to two words, and they both begin with an R—to remain, and to reveal.
To remain with Jesus, with church, with sacrament and scripture, with the rich tradition and heritage which is ours.
And to reveal the One whom we love, everywhere. In words, of course, and also in our ways of being with others and in the world.
My breakthrough ministry, Dare to Believe, Rise Up to Act, brings this two-word mission of the church to life for pastoral and catechetical leaders and laity alike, for immediate application in the world they touch.
I have a master’s degree in theological studies, with a focus in liturgical spirituality, from the Franciscan School of Theology.
Prior to that I developed my love of writing with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Oregon.
My theological formation also has included deep immersion in liturgical spirituality in the L.I.F.E. (Liturgy in a Formative Environment) program with liturgical specialists Joyce Ann Zimmerman and Kathleen Harmon.
I received certification in the ministry of spiritual direction at Shalom Prayer Center, Queen of Angels Monastery, Mount Angel, Oregon.
My conversion is still a work in progress. My book Conformed to Christ chronicles my ongoing waking up to ever-deeper life in Christ through engagement in my world.
I offer a wealth of resources—both live and in print—for your own conversion journey and that of your parish community.
Blessed Sacrament Church, Seattle WA
Our Lady of Fatima Church, Moses Lake WA
Our Lady of the Lake Church, Lake Havasu City AZ
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Grove City OH
Parish of the Annunciation of the Lord, Evansville IN
Prince of Peace Parish, Great Bend KS
Sacred Heart Church, Roseau MN
Saint Alice Church, Springfield OR
Saint Catherine of Siena Church, Veneta OR
Saint John the Evangelist Church, Goshen IN
Saint John Paul II Catholic Community, Idaho Falls ID
Saint Jude Church, Sandy Spring GA
Saint Louis de Montfort Church, Fishers IN
Saint Monica Church, East Peoria IL
Saint Thomas More Church, Austin TX
When our Presbyteral Council previewed a video-spot of Mary Sharon I knew immediately that our parish should host her workshops. We did just that. Her deep insight into what it means to be called by God, and her great examples, made her workshops enriching.
Rev. Reginald Urban, Prince of Peace Parish, Great Bend KS
I finally figured out Mary Sharon. She’s Saint Paul with lipstick!
Mary Sharon won me over immediately with her opening greeting, “Good evening, church!” I am more than just a parishioner! I wish we could hear this more often.
Parish mission participant
Mary Sharon excels in punctuality, attention to detail, follow-up, and flexibility. Her commitment to accuracy and authenticity is commendable. I highly recommend Mary Sharon as a guest speaker, retreat master, or workshop leader.
Dina Marie Hale, former Program Director, Mater Dei Catholic Radio, Portland OR
Mary Sharon, thank you for your inspiring, challenging, and delightful keynote on “Charity? or Systems Change?” It was a real cut above what we usually see. You are a true professional in what you do, and we were pleased to have you in our midst. We are in awe, and we thank you very much!
Anne O’Brien, President, Church Women United of Lane County (OR)
Every woman walked away feeling nourished by your retreat, and for those lucky enough to speak with you alone, an added blessing!
Shirley Spadorcio, Women’s retreat coordinator, St. Philip Church, Dallas OR