Lisa Hlass

The Great Commandment to love God and neighbor lies at the core of our Judeo-Christian tradition and of my call to the priesthood. It is as relevant as ever in our world of suffering and brokenness, and it begins within each of us and within our communities of faith and action. I love working with others to discern their call to vocation and service. I am called to sacramental and liturgical ministry, to prayer, spiritual formation, social justice activism, and to an ever-deeper understanding of the priesthood of all believers.

My earlier education was in fisheries and wildlife biology and environmental sciences. I’ve worked as a state parks naturalist, park ranger, fisheries and wildlife biologist, and stream ecologist. As you might guess, care for Creation is vital to my life and ministry.

St. Michael’s is home for me. I completed my discernment process at St. Mike’s and worked as lay ministries coordinator and member of the Community of Hope pastoral care team before leaving for seminary in 2003. I graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in May, 2006, and was ordained to the priesthood the following summer. Having Bishop Maze preside at my ordination in Berkeley was one of the highlights of my life.

After serving as a program director with the Multicultural Institute and associate priest at Church of the Good Shepherd, Berkeley, for three years, I returned to Little Rock in February, 2010, to become St. Michael’s Associate Priest. It’s great to be home. During summer and fall, 2011, while Ed and Andrea were on sabbatical, I served as priest-in-charge. It was a valuable experience, and I am grateful that Ed and Andrea have now returned. I love being Associate Priest!

I’m also an evangelist who enjoys learning new ways to tell an old and wonderful story. Along with St. Francis, who is attributed with saying, “Preach the Gospel always, use words if necessary,” poet Mary Oliver sums it up for me: Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.