Lay Witness Magazine

5 Minutes with Bishop Robert F. Vasa

CUF President Mike Sullivan asks Bishop Vasa about the greatest blessings of the priesthood. Mike Sullivan From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine What motivated you to want to become a priest? Many factors made priesthood a positive possibility for me. First of all, it goes back to my own family. My family was strongly Catholic, went to Mass every single Sunday, and said the Rosary every day. There was always an openness, no coercion of any kind, but an openness to vocation to priesthood and religious life. I’m also very fortunate in that I went to Catholic … Continue reading

A Movement of Freedom

Fr. Frank Pavone From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Shortly after I had the privilege of receiving Norma McCorvey (the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade) into the Catholic Church, I was praying in front of the abortion facility in Dallas where she once worked. It was called “A Choice for Women.” I reflected that day on how cruel the name of that facility was and how much pain it must have caused the women who went there. Why pain? Because nobody gets up on the morning of her abortion and says, “It’s great that I’m going … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Should a Couple Avoid Pregnancy?

May a married couple use contraception after the wife has experienced grave complications from a previous pregnancy? There are actually two questions here. The first regards whether a couple should avoid pregnancy. The Church does not tell us exactly what constitutes a legitimate reason to avoid pregnancy. Clearly every situation brings into play a unique set of circumstances. Humanae Vitae, no. 10, for example, refers to physical, economic, psychological, and social considerations, and later refers to “serious motives” deriving from “the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions” (no. 16). The Church intends for there … Continue reading

Confessions of a Pro-Life Pediatrician

Brian W. Donnelly, M.D. From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine As I walked into the exam room toward the end of a long, frustrating day, a squeaky, confident voice greeted me: “So how’s your day going so far?” Paul*, the questioner, was a mere five years old. In fact, he was five years old that very day. And here he was on his birthday, giving me a gift. It was a funny, touching moment. Not many lads his age have the presence of mind to offer such a salutation. This child was certainly socially precocious. He was … Continue reading

CUF Link – January/February 2010

CUF From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Chapter Hosts Dinner, Honors Priests On the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Father John A. Hardon, S.J., Chapter (Pensacola, FL) hosted an appreciation dinner for priests. All priests in the greater Pensacola area were invited, and the event drew 49 attendees. The principle speaker was Most Rev. John H. Ricard, S.S.J., Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Bishop Ricard offered an analysis of Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter to Priests, which inaugurated the Year for Priests. The dinner also marked the transfer of the chapter chairman’s duties from Dr. … Continue reading

Dealing Death – A Pro-Life Nurse Looks at Dangerous Developments in Organ Procurement

by Deborah Sturm, R.N. It’s worrisome when you stop thinking of the person who is dying as a patient but rather as a set of organs, and start thinking more about what’s best for the patient in the next room waiting for the organs. —Gail A. Van Norman, M.D., anesthesiologist [1] Since I first started in medical ethics and serving on hospital ethics committees, I have seen the discussions devolve from “what is right?” to “what is legal?” to “can we tweak the old rules to fit this particular situation?” —Nancy Valko, R.N., Catholic bioethicist [2] Although presumed consent is … Continue reading

From the Editor’s Desk – January/February 2010

Sarah Rozman From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine My brother save lives. As a paramedic, it’s his job. His work-the work of all paramedics and EMTs-is a strong testimony to the value of life. It centers on responding, unhesitatingly, to people’s medical emergencies. He doesn’t get to choose where he goes or whom he cares for. When someone calls, he answers. Granted, some of the calls to which my brother has responded have been for problems so trivial that one wonders why an ambulance (or any medical help at all) was necessary. But other cases are far … Continue reading

If We Do Not Ask for Miracles, They Will Not Be Granted

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Recently on a television news program, I saw a horrifying video recording from a train station security camera of a baby carriage getting away from a mother. The pram and the baby within rolled off the platform onto the track in the very face of a train coming into the station. Astonishingly-some said “miraculously”-some hundred feet later down the track, the baby within was unharmed save for a bump on the head. Officials said the train had slowed enough that it pushed the carriage instead of crushing it. … Continue reading

Literary Witnesses: Red-Hot Revival

David Mills From the Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine At the end of the nineteenth century, Malcolm Muggeridge observed, “It would have seemed only too obvious that Christian institutions which bowed to the prevailing evolutionary current had the best chance of survival. Let them jettison their more ludicrous dogma and ceremonial, and take their place in the vanguard of progress. . . . Then they could be sure of finding themselves on the winning side.” And where are these compromising churches now? “All faltering or extinct. . . .As things have turned out, it is ‘enlightened’ sects like … Continue reading

Looking At A Masterpiece: The Return of the Prodigal Son

This painting (circa 1666), by the Dutch master Rembrandt, is in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In his paintings, Rembrandt creates a world of depth and mystery. There is darkness in this world, but there is light in the midst of darkness, and that light seems to come not so much from an exterior source as from an inner life. Rembrandt reaches into a transcendent realm not primarily through exterior form, colors, or gracefulness, which the Italian masters are so great at, but rather through an opening into a hidden interior fire. In Rembrandt, it is not the … Continue reading