Lay Witness Magazine

An Interview with Catholics United for the Faith President Emeritus James Likoudis: For His Church and for His Glory

September 26, 2013 marks the forty-fifth anniversary of Catholics United for the Faith. As president of CUF from 1987-1995, James Likoudis faithfully helped execute our mission to “support, advance, and defend the efforts of the Teaching Church.” He continues to serve CUF as a member of the apostolate’s Board of Directors and as a contributor to Lay Witness. How did you first become involved in Catholics United for the Faith? My wife Ruth and I moved back to Buffalo, New York in 1968 after teaching for seven years at a Franciscan minor seminary. When I began teaching at then-Rosary Hill … Continue reading

Don’t Be Good

The problem with being good is that you think that’s good enough. But being good is not good enough. Jesus Christ looked at the Scribes and Pharisees–who were very good and nice and respectable and He said to His disciples, “You see them? You’ve got to be better than them.” In other words, their goodness wasn’t good enough. If you think being good is good enough, you’re not good enough. The problem with being good is that it is putting the cart before the horse. We see people who are holy like Mother Teresa and we notice that she does … Continue reading

Lagging Behind the Times

It is supremely ironic that secular newspapers that take great pride in being in tune with the times, up-to-date and au courant, can be, when writing about the Catholic Church, 2,000 years behind the times. Pope Francis made the comment, “Who am I to judge?” on his flight back from World Youth Day in Brazil. The remark related to people with same-sex inclinations who are looking for God. Some secular newspapers found the Pope’s comment “novel,” but added that the Church, nonetheless, has not changed her doctrine “that homosexuality is a sin.” The Church, of course, has never taught that … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Blind Leading the Blind

Since we are approaching the end of the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, it is appropriate by way of contrast to dwell on the calamity of the loss of faith in God, when the eyes of the heart are no longer enlightened. (Cf. Eph 1:18) Here is a parable which is being played out right now in our day. This painting (1568) by the Flemish master Pieter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525-1569) now hangs in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples, Italy. Though the subject is not of an obvious type of elevated beauty, it does … Continue reading

Master Catechist: The Apostolate of the Rosary

Servant of God Fr. John Hardon continually reminded us that the perfect and model catechist is our Blessed Mother, even though she seldom is mentioned in Sacred Scripture for her specific actions. It was her indomitable faith, her constant prayer and her selfless effort to always do the will of God that made her a perfect channel of grace to her contemporaries, and to all her children in every generation. It is her Rosary, often referred to as “Mary’s Catechism,” that has become for us a means of becoming more effective channels of grace to our contemporaries. Mary, Queen of … Continue reading

Open Mike: No One Needs Our Pity

I recently received a letter from a man named Joseph. He shared with me that he is now serving the fourteenth year of a twenty-five years to life imprisonment sentence in a state penitentiary. He went on to tell me that he converted to the Catholic faith twelve years ago while in prison. Joseph was very grateful for the Catholic materials we’ve sent him over the years and he asked us to pray for the new Catholic chaplain who would replace the one who had just retired. He also asked for our assistance in answering the questions of his Protestant … Continue reading


(Free Press, 2013) Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation of Heretics is a deeply informative, wide-ranging look at American Christianity, from the heights of a culture of mere Christianity and common orthodoxy in the wake of the World Wars to the decline of institutional Christianity and the proliferation of dissent from the 1960s forward. Douthat argues that many of our present national pathologies—including the dictatorship of relativism, the culture of death, the ongoing financial crises, and our sometimes apocalyptic, sometimes messianic political culture—can be traced in part to the failure of Christians to embrace the fullness of … Continue reading

Talking with Bishop Peter J. Jugis

Recently Mike Sullivan had the opportunity to sit down with CUF episcopal advisor Bishop Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte, North   Carolina. Born and raised in Charlotte, Bishop Jugis has made the focus of his time serving the people of the diocese on four themes: catechesis, evangelization, promoting vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood, and the liturgy. Here Bishop Jugis and Sullivan discuss the Year of Faith as well as two other points of interest for the bishop: evangelization and liturgy. As the Year of Faith comes to a close, could you share with … Continue reading

The Art of Living: “I Don’t Feel Called”

It’s something I’ve heard many Christians— especially college students and young adults—say in recent years. “I feel called to be a leader.” “I feel God is calling me to marriage.” “I don’t feel called to go on this retreat.” “I don’t feel called to be a part of this Bible study group.” While discerning God’s will is certainly important, I sometimes I wonder how much this “I don’t feel called” talk really has to do with a divine call and how much it is about one’s own feelings and fears, likes and dislikes. In other words, how much does “I … Continue reading

The Church Protects Your Happiness (Whether You Like it Or Not); Chesterton on the Value of Doctrine in Catholic Social Teaching

One of the common objections to Christianity involving itself in questions of social justice is that the Christian is so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly use. He is not thought to have the required expertise to say anything relevant about earthly arrangements because he has his mind on heaven, and this makes him kind of dim-witted. Turning to Catholic social teaching to address the complexity of social life is felt to be like bringing arithmetic to an algebra problem. So the Christian religion is what one would turn to for private consolation, but it is not what … Continue reading