Since they have an active role to play in the whole life of the Church,” Gaudium et Spes concluded, “laymen are not only bound to penetrate the world with a Christian spirit, but are also called to be witnesses to Christ in all things in the midst of human society” (no. 43).
For decades, Catholics United for the Faith has sought to rouse the laity to this duty of witnessing to Christ. We are a unique apostolate in that our aim is quite simple: to encourage the lay faithful to live out their particular vocations and to pursue holiness.
Practically, this means CUF assists its members in their specific vocations by urging our members to seek the will of God for their lives and to be faithful to His call. Our apostolate isn’t looking to form an army of identical individuals who are programmed to “penetrate the world” as spies with a hidden agenda. Only by becoming ever more fully the individual, unrepeatable persons that God has made us to be can we transform the world and convert it to Christ.
As doctors, educators, mechanics, short order cooks, lawyers, stay-at-home mothers, every lay person can reach their full potential and be of service to the Church by bringing Christ to the world.
After much prayer and discernment, I have accepted the call to enter into a field that very much needs the influence of Christians in today’s age. As of this summer, I am now the Vice President of the Fatima Life Plan, a pro-life organization based in Tucson, Arizona. The Fatima Life Plan consists of the Fatima Women’s Center, a pro-life medical clinic for pregnant women; Villa Fatima, a Catholic skilled nursing facility focused on late-stage Alzheimer’s care and hospice; and a pro-life foundation to help fund local pro- life organizations with some of the profits from Villa Fatima franchises.
Although I have resigned from my position as President of Catholics United for the Faith and Publisher at Emmaus Road Publishing, the CUF board of directors has asked me to join them as a board member and I have happily accepted. This apostolate has always been and will continue to be one that is particularly relevant to my vocation as a layman.
My years here at CUF have been fulfilling and rewarding. The challenges of running a Catholic non-profit have been offset by the blessings of being able to work with such a devoted and faithful staff, not to mention the thrill of seeing the practical success of the outreaches of CUF and Emmaus Road Publishing. The apostolate has been an immense blessing to the Church over the past forty-five years, and yet our work is nowhere near complete.
As Catholics United for the Faith ushers in a new generation, I am excited to announce that Andrew Jones will be the new Executive Director of the apostolate. Andrew and his young family have recently moved to Steubenville, Ohio from Bellingham, Washington. Formerly the head of Verbum, the Catholic division of Logos software (a digital book publishing platform), Andrew will be an excellent addition to the staff, bringing leadership experience and business acumen.
Looking back at my twelve years serving the CUF apostolate, I am filled with gratitude. I am thankful to God for His superabundant blessings and for the many ways He has provided for me personally and for the apostolate. But I also thank you, the members of this great apostolate, for all you do and all you have done to ensure that the faith is strengthened and protected.
Your witness as lay men and women is not only renewing the Church, but setting the world ablaze. Let us not forget our role in the important work that Christ has left for us. “Enlivened and united in His Spirit,” the Council reminded us, “we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love: ‘To reestablish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth’ (GS, no. 45; Eph. 11:10).