Lay Witness Magazine

Ask CUF: Must a Catholic Wedding be Held in a Church Building?

Eric Stoutz From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine These questions point to tensions that can arise between culture and the Church. In particular, the various notions people bring into wedding planning sometimes clash with the liturgy of the Church. Hollywood, royalty, and fairy tales have been a primary influence on many Catholics. The following characterizations of the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage can be foreign ideas: The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles. … Continue reading

Book Reviews – May/June 2010

Various From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Choosing Beauty: A 30-Day Spiritual Makeover by Gina Loehr (Servant, 2009) Feminine beauty, which men love to behold and women long to have, “shines most clearly when we live in harmony with” our Creator. Inspired by her own experience of giving up makeup one Lent after realizing she had an unhealthy attachment to wearing it to feel beautiful, Gina Loehr wrote Choosing Beauty: A 30- Day Spiritual Makeover for Women. Loehr presents 30 days of reflections on cultivating feminine beauty through growth in virtue. She bases her book on developing … Continue reading

Catholic Mentor Moms – How to Find One, How to Be One

Mary Rice Hasson From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “I want my Mom!” No, that wasn’t the wail of a four-year- old. . . . It was the inner wail of a young mom with a two-week-old baby, two toddlers under three, and a husband heading out the door for an unavoidable business trip. For the first time in my motherhood, I had more children than hands and felt barely able to take care of myself, much less three very wonderful, but very dependent, children. My mom, unfortunately, left the week before—headed home 542 miles away to … Continue reading

Grieving Joy – Finding Peace in Miscarriage

Maura Colleen McKeegan From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine I don’t know why our third child stopped growing in my womb. All I know is that her birthday came far too soon, and the short months when our heartbeats intertwined feel like a dream. It’s a loss of a different order, mourning someone I’ve never met. I’m missing memories we’ll never make, time together we’ll never have. Longing to see the child I’ll never hold, I wonder: What color were her eyes going to be? How would her laugh have sounded? Would she have been quiet or … Continue reading

In Brief – May/June 2010

CUF From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Hospital Loses “Catholic” Status The Diocese of Baker, Oregon, has discontinued its sponsorship of a hospital in the Diocese due to its “failure to adhere to some Church teachings,” reports the Catholic Sentinel. The hospital offers women tubal ligations, a sterilization procedure. The St. Charles Medical Center was founded 92 years ago by a women’s religious order. In the 1970s, St. Charles became a community nonprofit organization with Catholic sponsorship, voluntarily following Catholic principles and practices as expressed in the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” (ERDs) … Continue reading

Literary Witnesses: Sin and the Church

David Mills From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine “I think that the Church is the only thing that is going to make the terrible world we are coming to endurable,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. But then she added, “The only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the body of Christ and that on this we are fed.” All the writers we are looking at here, the converts as well as the born Catholics, wrote about the Church as she is without batting an eye, without a hint that there was anything abnormal about … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz

This huge painting (11’8″ × 15′), circa 1586, is one of El Greco’s finest. It was commissioned for the side chapel of the church of Santo Tomé in the town of Orgaz, near Toledo, Spain. The elongated figures are one of the most distinctive features of El Greco’s style. They tend to be shaped like flames of fire, which expresses a sursum corda (“lift up your hearts”). The soul soars upward. This painting, so richly modulated and on several levels (mainly three), is nevertheless completely unified. The middle level is a portrait gallery of notable men of Toledo in their … Continue reading

Master Catechist: The Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., with Michael Mohr From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. Hardon recognized the importance of associating the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus with devotions to the Sacred Heart. He spent many hours of his day in prayerful adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, usually prepared his presentations (conferences, sermons, writings) before the Blessed Sacrament, and encouraged his Marian Catechists to do the same. He zealously encouraged priests and laity to consecrate themselves and their families to the Sacred Heart and to establish … Continue reading

Open Mike: Girl Crazy

Mike Sullivan From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine As my wife is entering the last trimester of pregnancy with our ninth baby—and seventh girl—I must admit that the two boys and I are feeling really outnumbered. My wife and I often joke about how grateful we are that the boys, now aged ten and seven, have each other to “bounce off of.” And one thing is certain: The boys will know how to treat a lady! Being a dad to seven daughters is no easy challenge, and it takes all the masculine force I can muster to … Continue reading

Priestly Vocations

Web Exclusive Fr. Richard Neilson From the May/Jun 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine (When Fr. Neilson gave this homily at a CUF holy hour in Scarsdale, New York, in 1986, the Church in America was already experiencing the effects of a diminishing number of priests. Today, we continue to experience that shortage, yet we also see even greater signs of the revival that Fr. Neilson notes at the close of his homily. Regardless of the current numbers, vocations come from God, and Fr. Neilson points to our duty as a community to nourish those vocations.) All of you are … Continue reading