Lay Witness Magazine

A House Built on Rock

Michael J. Miller From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Some saints are alien, hard to love Wild as an eagle, strange as a dove, Too near to heaven for the mind to scan. But Thomas More was a family man. –Phyllis McGinley, “Paterfamilias He almost wasn’t. He considered becoming a Carthusian monk. In the same year when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Thomas More, eldest son of John and Agnes More, entered Oxford University at age fourteen. His sponsor, Archbishop Morton of Canterbury, in whose household he had served for two years as a page, recognized the … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Does the Burial of a Murderer Desecrate Consecrated Ground?

A man who killed his wife and then himself was buried in a Catholic cemetery. Does this burial desecrate consecrated ground? Desecration of a cemetery (or any other sacred place) occurs when some profane or infamous act occurs there. The crime might target some object at the cemetery, such as a mausoleum or a person’s bodily remains. Also, something godless or sordid could take place at the cemetery that would call for a re-consecration (called a “rededication”) of the ground. The bishop is the one to decide whether the crime warrants such a response. Scandal is an important component, and … Continue reading

Hunting Big Game – A Spiritual Compass for Your Journey to God

Fr. Roger J. Scheckel From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine A few years ago, I made a successful black bear hunt in Saskatchewan, Canada. Though I had never tracked bear or hunted in Canada, I was successful because I employed a professional guide. I already possessed basic hunting skills-developed while growing up on the family farm in Wisconsin-but the guide provided knowledge and guidance specific to hunting bear in Canada. I could not have been successful without his assistance. What is true for hunting a Canadian bear may also be true for our spiritual lives: As we … Continue reading

Literary Witness: Thought-Out Thoughts

David Mills From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The man without a settled intellectual commitment-a philosophy-is not therefore free to think about things and come to the truth his intellectually committed peers cannot, argued G. K. Chesterton. His mind is not open. It’s just bound by bonds he cannot see. Without realizing it, such a man inevitably holds a philosophy as strongly as anyone else, but unfortunately for him it is “only the used up scraps of somebody else’s philosophy . . .the broken bits of some incomplete and shattered and often discredited philosophy.” Philosophy “is merely … Continue reading

Making a Dilligent Discernment

Fr. Brett Brannen From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine I asked God if He wants me to be a priest, but He won’t answer me. Why won’t He tell me my vocation? I have a great opportunity to move up in my company and to make a lot more money, but it will mean moving away and many other sacrifices for my entire family. I can’t seem to figure out what Jesus wants me to do. I keep asking Him, but I am not sure if I am hearing His voice . . . or my own. … Continue reading

Master Catechist: Why Are the Catholic Laity Mainly Responsible for Re-evangelization?

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., with Michael Mohr From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine In “The Re-Evangelization of America: A Martyr’s Responsibility of the Laity,” Fr. Hardon asserts that America needs to be re-evangelized because it has become de-Christianized. Restoring the Christian faith to those who no longer believe is necessary. In this excerpt he discusses why this responsibility belongs mainly to the laity.-Michael Mohr Why are the Catholic laity mainly responsible for re-evangelization? The answer is simple to put in words, but not easy to put into practice. Of course, re-evangelization is more demanding. It is … Continue reading

New Zeal for New Zealand – Catholic Family On a Mission in the New Evangelization

Chris Erickson From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Why would a young Catholic couple with college degrees, a promising future, and two small children move their family to a predominantly secular culture where interest in the occult is very high and Catholic culture very weak? Richard, Kelly, Maria Christine (3), and Bernadette Moira (1)Sealy are no ordinary American family. They have committed the next two years of their lives (and possibly three) to the youth of New Zealand at the invitation of Fr. Michael Gielen, a native parish priest. “Our first instinct (after the initial thrill) was … Continue reading

Open Mike: Retreat!

Mike Sullivan From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine When I was growing up, my parents attended annual weekend retreats. We kids would sometimes join them on the last day of the retreat, attend the closing Mass, and join them for brunch. It was always fun for us, and even if the talks were a bit over our heads, the experience left a lasting impression on us. My parents’ habit of making regular retreats manifested their priorities and gave a living example to my siblings and me of their commitment to growing in holiness. Rather than choosing a … Continue reading

Prayer and the Practice of Our Faith

Web Exclusive Fr. Gerald E. Murray From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine John Henry Cardinal Newman, a great English Catholic author of the 19th Century, composed a brief meditation which is relevant to the subject of my talk. This meditation is entitled “A Short Road to Perfection” (Meditations and Devotions, pp. 285-286): “It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection—short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are … Continue reading

Rethinking Joy: The Simple Life

Emily Stimpson From the Sep/Oct 2010 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine I love stuff. God help me, but I do. I love the ice blue cashmere sweater folded in my closet, the shiny stainless steel pots hanging in my kitchen, the antique fan in my living room, and dozens of other odds and ends scattered about my house. I delight in those things. They please me. And, to be perfectly honest, I’m okay with that. Mortifying her love for beautiful things was one of St. Thérèse’s last steps in the journey to sainthood. God and I have much bigger fish … Continue reading