Lay Witness Magazine

A Vocation for My Child?

Leon Suprenant From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “For an increase of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, we pray to the Lord . . .” I’m sure many of us have heard this intention at Mass and dutifully added our own “Lord, hear our prayer.” But from where will this requested “increase” come? It seems this petition isn’t simply about numbers. While we do need an increase of vocations in the universal Church, this petition involves us in the process. We must be willing to help foster vocations in our own communities, parishes, and … Continue reading

Ask CUF: How can I Trust that a Decree of Annulment is Valid?

My daughter is in a serious relationship with a man who was divorced after only a year of marriage. He received an annulment, but the reason given for the annulment is infidelity on the part of his former wife. Isn’t there cause for concern here? Here there might be two implied questions: (1) Whether infidelity provides sufficient grounds for a declaration of nullity and (2) whether the tribunal may have too easily granted the annulment. An annulment is granted when a tribunal (either a judge or judges) determines that one or more of the elements necessary for creating a marriage … Continue reading

Asking the Right Question

Regis Flaherty From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Often the key to finding the right answer is asking the correct question. During one semester while I was volunteering in campus ministry at a secular university, the team chose “Making Jesus an Issue” as our theme. It wasn’t that we didn’t want students to return to active participation in the Church. We did. It wasn’t that we weren’t hoping to lead some young people to conversion. We were. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to see students embrace a moral, Christian approach to life. We did and prayed … Continue reading

Before You were Born I Consecrated You: My Call to the Vocation of Permanent Deacon

Deacon Randall Redington From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5) These words spoken to the youthful Jeremiah centuries before the birth of Christ are commonly referred to as “The Call of Jeremiah.” A prayerful reading of the first chapter of the Jeremiah reveals that the Lord’s call to the prophet and his subsequent living out of that call involved a series of critical awarenesses and decisions. What was true for … Continue reading

Book Reviews – March/April 2011

Various Authors From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, The Tradition by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina (Doubleday, 2011) In their first book collaboration, noted authors Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina express the hope that their effort will “help readers to make the Mass a more regular and even necessary part of their days.” The authors “in turn, will share their renewed fervor with others.” In The Mass: The Glory, The Mystery, The Tradition they succeed in this admirably, as they, in the words of Cardinal Francis George in the … Continue reading

Edward Joseph Sells: Lay Witness Among Us

Sr. Anne Francis Klein, O.P. From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine With a snap of his wrist he flicked the paintbrush across his tan leather boot. The gesture marked a job well done, a signature of an artist, excellent in his own right. Employed to paint the chaplain’s house, Eddie Sells first arrived at Saint Cecilia Convent in Nashville, Tennessee in 1973 as a shy but generous 19-year-old whose friends tried to dissuade him from working for “all of those women.” The Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation later hired him on a trial basis for three … Continue reading

For Kingdom’s Sake: Understanding Celibacy through Christ’s Teachings

J.P. Nunez From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine A friend recounted to me the story of a religious sister who rode in a taxi with a Protestant driver. The driver, intrigued by her habit and her obvious connection to the Catholic Church, decided to ask her about celibacy. He said he believed that the command in Genesis to “be fruitful and multiply” meant that God wanted everyone to marry, so why do some Catholics choose to forgo marriage and instead remain celibate their whole lives? Everyone who has or is considering a vocation to the religious life … Continue reading

Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged

Leslie A. Elliott From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “There are so many divorced people because no one tries to work out their marriages anymore, and the Church hands out annulments like they’re nothing!” These words, uttered by a well-intentioned acquaintance from church after a diocesan class on marriage, stung bitterly, and I tried to recover quickly as the brief but smothering silence filled the air. I realized that the statement hurt not only because of my own recent divorce and annulment, but also because of how many times I had probably made far worse statements to … Continue reading

Know Who You Are: The Importance of Vocation

Andreas Widmer From the Mar/Apr 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine When I entered the Swiss Guards, I was 20 years old and, like my fellow guards, in peak physical condition. But for as fit and energetic as we were, John Paul II could still run rings around us. That running began before six every morning when he would rise, pray, dress for the day, then head to his private chapel for more time in prayer. At 7:00 AM, small groups of visiting dignitaries, Catholic pilgrims, or Vatican staff would join him for Mass. After Mass, other guests joined him … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Agony in the Garden

Andrea Mantegna painted this circa 1457 as one of the panels of the altarpiece of San Zeno in Verona, Italy. It is now replaced by a replica, since the original was removed by Napoleon and brought to Tours, France in 1797. The mystery of Christ’s agony is described in the synoptic Gospels: He went into the garden of Gethsemane to pray, taking with Him Peter, James, and John, the very same privileged ones who were with Him on Mt. Tabor and who witnessed the Transfiguration. Seeing Christ in glory was meant to prepare them to see Christ inglorious, so as … Continue reading