The Four Levels of Happiness:

Coming to St. John on 9/17/22!

Register here:


“We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.” —St. Augustine

I’m sure many of us remember the Made for Happiness Diocesan Assembly from 2018 and maybe even have, and wear, our parish t-shirts from that day! Once in a while, someone still asks, “Are we doing something like that again?” (It was a glorious day!) From the Eucharistic Procession to the speakers, like Fr. Mike Schmitz and Bishop Boyea, we dove into the theme of “happiness.”

Well, The Four Levels of Happiness workshop that is now being offered is actually an extension, and continuation of sorts, of the diocesan assembly. Our diocesan parish staffs attended a Four Levels of Happiness workshop at the Kellogg Center in the fall of 2019 as follow-up to the Diocesan Assembly. The plan from there was to offer it to our parishioners in the spring of 2020 at the four regional area high schools of our diocese…but, we all know what that spring held instead. Covid postponed those plans until now! So, what’s this current workshop all about? Let me return to the diocesan assembly for a moment…

A key line from Fr. Mike stood out that day: “Most of us feel we’ll be happy when we’re done with_(blank)_ (Fill in the blank: “…work today.” “…my college degree.” “…remodeling the house.”) The list goes on—and for just that reason those things that we think will bring us happiness never really do. Something new always fills in the blank; in essence, we chase happiness and yet we were “made for it.” Where’s the catch?!

The Four Levels of Happiness, as its name suggests, starts with the most basic level of what makes us “happy” and moves up to the levels of “true happiness.” (Also known as JOY!) Is happiness something you feel you’re often chasing? In which level of happiness do you tend to exist? If you’re curious about answers to these questions and more, register at to come and find out!

Last year, I recall the bulletin article for this 4th of July weekend was fittingly focused on “Freedom From” and “Freedom For.” I’d say those are good terms to explain the 4 Levels of Happiness. While none of the levels are “negative” or to be neglected in and of themselves, it is true that the more we’re able to “free ourselves from” Level 1 and Level 2 desires, the more “freedom we’ll have for” Level 3 and Level 4. What is Level 1 & 2 happiness? And how are Levels 3 & 4 different?

You may have guessed…I’m wrapping up now without providing the answers to those questions! Come and find out more on September 17th! The workshop, which features speakers Craig Pohl from the Diocese of Lansing, Larry Smith from the Spitzer Center, and Tim Ryan, IS AWESOME! Want to learn? Be inspired? Grow? Attend The Four Levels of Happiness!

Some of you have already registered, and we encourage those of you who haven’t to sign up soon! As registration opens beyond our Jackson region to the whole diocese later this month, we’re expecting to reach capacity. The cost is $15 for the day (9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.), and, as we’ve mentioned, it’s right here in the St. John Parish Center. Lunch and a workbook are provided! If the cost is prohibitive, please let me know as we have scholarships available; we want all to be able to attend.

In terms of content, this is one you can attend for several reasons…it’s entrylevel enough in terms of faith, that the content can resonate with most anyone, and we encourage you to invite a friend! There’s also some depth to appeal to those who have been learning and growing in their faith for a while now!

Hope to see you there!


Director of Parish Life