Since his youth, Father James Martin has felt an inherent desire to be “liked” by everyone. In many regards, until 2017, he was quite talented at it, too. Despite his humble working-class roots, Martin graduated from an Ivy League university and began a successful career at a Fortune 500 company. He turned some heads when he gave up his career in business to enter the Society of Jesus and become a man of the cloth, but most people like priests, right? But then, a few years ago, he felt drawn to do something that would upset a lot of Catholic conservatives. The Church was stuck in its refusal to acknowledge the dignity of an entire class of people – those lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – and it was high time for an insider to stand up and welcome them to God’s table. Martin – one of the most high-profile and media-savvy among the clergy – followed through with an invitation given him through prayer. Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity was published in 2017. So, what exactly is prayer, when does it happen, and how can it possibly communicate messages of such profundity as to instantly transform a person anew? Come welcome Father Martin and let him show you why prayer is available to you, too, and is in no way as separate from your daily life as you might imagine. He has a new book out, too, on that topic: Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone. Oh yeah, Father Andrea Ciucci, Coordinating Secretary of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican City, and Pastor Maggie Leonard of Mercy Community Church Atlanta will be there to tell us about their prayer lives, too!