Lay Witness Magazine

Apostle to the Gentiles: Paul the Priest

Scott Hahn From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine When Saul was a young Pharisee, he was zealous for the Torah. He studied in the most prestigious theological school in Jerusalem. He may have been a member of the Sanhedrin, Judaism’s supreme court in the first century. But he did all of this as a layman. He could never lay claim to priesthood-nor could he hope for a priestly “vocation”-as he was born into the tribe of Benjamin, and the priesthood of Israel was restricted to the tribe of Levi. For centuries, the Levitical priests alone had been … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Can Catholics Marry Protestants?

Can Catholics Marry Protestants? Is this where the term mixed marriage comes from? Strictly speaking, a “mixed” marriage is between two baptized persons, one Catholic and one non-Catholic. The term can be used to refer to a union between a baptized Catholic and a non-baptized person, a situation that is properly called “disparity of cult.” In secular circles, the term is often used to refer to marriages between persons of different races. To avoid ambiguities and to signify positive aspects, “mixed” marriages are increasingly referred to as “interchurch” marriages. Protestants may come to mind with regard to mixed marriages, but … Continue reading

CUF Link – May/June 2009

CUF From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine CUF President Mike Sullivan has been traveling across the country visiting CUF chapters. Sullivan’s overarching theme was the essential role of the laity in the new evangelization. He explained how CUF founder H. Lyman Stebbins’ gentlemanly apostolic zeal translates to CUF’s work today, and how, by following Stebbins’ lead, Catholics can be effective in the Church and the world. Sullivan spoke about the purpose and mission of lay apostolates. Through various means, Catholics use their gifts and expertise to bring Christ to the world. What lay apostolates share is a … Continue reading

Family Catechetics – Devotion to Mary, Fidelity to God Almighty

by Msgr. Eugene Kevane “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior” (Lk. 1:46). These opening words of Mary’s Magnificat set the tone for family catechetics. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church. Therefore, she is the spiritual Mother of the little children whom you catechize, the children who soon will be the adult Catholics of tomorrow. For many reasons, Mary must be the animating and motivating force in family catechetics. When you teach your children the truths of the Catholic faith about Jesus her Son, you are giving … Continue reading

From the Editor’s Desk – May/June 2009

Sarah Rozman From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine It started with an icon of the Theotokos, a graduation gift from a friend. How pretty, I thought, but what am I going to do with it? What do I need her for? A few months later, another icon, a birthday present, this time of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Same thought. Later, I received a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as an ornament of the same. Then there was a poster-sized icon of the Holy Family (this one I bought for myself ). About a … Continue reading

Heroes and Saints

Donald DeMarco From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine It is a truism that children need role models. Parents, surely, are solemnly obliged to fill this role. But children also need models that are larger than life. Hence, the enduring place of myths and fairy tales. Their only glaring weakness, however, is that their robust and immortal characters are not real. When we look to real people who are larger than life, we are confronted with a choice between secular heroes and genuine saints. The usual problem with the former is that they are seriously flawed, particularly in … Continue reading

In Brief – May/June 2009

CUF From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The death on January 24 of renowned moral theologian Msgr. William B. Smith is a great loss. He was a CUF advisor and a close friend of CUF founder H. Lyman Stebbins, who often sought Msgr. Smith’s counsel. He encouraged the work of CUF over the years, and at a dinner in 2007 he praised the “noble” apostolate of CUF. The late Cardinal John J. O’Connor of New York called Msgr. Smith “the greatest moral theologian in the United States.” He was also well known for his series of talks … Continue reading

Literary Witnesses: Living in Ordinary Time

David Mills From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine It is an amazing story, this life, death, and Resurrection we’ve just celebrated. As Dorothy Sayers wrote with some indignation at all the people, secular and Christian both, who think the whole thing boring: “That God should play the tyrant over man is a dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find Him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed. “Any journalist, … Continue reading

Looking At A Masterpiece: St. Paul’s Conversion on the Way to Damascus

Toward the end of the year of St. Paul we look at this masterpiece (1601)by Caravaggio. At first it may seem odd to see Saul from this perspective, turned away from us, on his back. Also, why the prominence of the horse, which seems somewhat bewildered by what has happened? In the Psalms, the horse is symbolic of strength and power (c.f. 33:17;147:10). We say “riding on a high horse,” meaning in an attitude of pride. Jesus is never pictured on a horse, only on a donkey. But the young Saul, here in rich clothing, was in a state of … Continue reading

May: The Month of Mary

CUF From the May/Jun 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.” -St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies “Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? . . . We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see … Continue reading