I was privileged to play a small part in the establishment of CUF in New York four decades ago. CUF is one of the few Catholic organizations that has held fast to its mission in total loyalty to the Church. I recommend CUF enthusiastically in the highest terms.
Dr. Charles E. Rice
Whereas revolutionaries aim at changing the world while refusing to change themselves, the way CUF proposed was to start “at home”, cooperating with God’s grace with one’s own conversion. . . . Forty years ago, the seed was planted. Today, we are gratefully acknowledging that it has brought a rich harvest. CUF can look back upon the work accomplished and thank its founder, H. Lyman Stebbins who is now enjoying the fruits of his labor of love. Long live CUF!
Alice von Hildebrand
Thank you for providing the Faith & Life catechism series. This series proclaims the beauty and wonder of God, and the fullness of truth of the Catholic faith. Thanks to this series, my grandchildren are learning to love our Catholic faith. There is no finer catechetical series available, in my opinion. If you didn’t publish one other thing, the Faith & Life series would have been enough. Thank you for this excellent series. May God continue to bless Catholics United for the Faith.
Laurie A, Manhardt, PhD
I strongly endorse Catholics United for the Faith for their many activities in support of the authentic Teaching of our Catholic Church.
+Father John F. Harvey, OSFS
Forty years! How tumultuous they have been in the Church-and how much good CUF has done in that time! CUF has become one of the most respected and trusted lay-run organizations in the country. Always faithful to the Magisterium, CUF has been a fountain of information and solace for countless people, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Only God has a ledger of how many lives have been turned around, both intellectually and morally, by CUF’s work, but I am sure the ledger is a very fat book filled with very small print.
Congratulations and Prayerful Best Wishes to all at Catholics United for the Faith as you celebrate your 40th anniversary! Your teaching apostolate has been a great blessing to the Church in the United States. During this Year of Saint Paul, I am reminded of the apostle’s words to Timothy urging him to preach the word “in season and out of season” and to “be unfailing…in teaching.” The mission of CUF to “support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church” is a holy one and an essential part of the new evangelization. I pray that your good work will continue to bear much good fruit. Thank you for your fidelity to Christ and His Church. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you as you “proclaim Christ to every generation!”
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Your apostolate is a gem in the crown of the Church. . . . Most especially you have approached your task of teaching the Faith as Christ taught, with clarity and love. May your work continue to be guided by the Holy Spirit and bring forth countless blessings to the Church.
Reverend Edmund F. McCaffrey, Ph.D.
For over forty years Catholics United for the Faith has stood in the breach proudly defending the truth of our holy Catholic faith in fidelity to the Holy Father and the Magisterium. In the dark days of chaos following the second Vatican Council . . . Catholics united for the faith served as a beacon of light. When the history of the late 20th century is written, no doubt Catholics United for the Faith will be recognized to have played a key role in helping preserve the Faith and pass on the torch of fidelity to a new generation.
Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, STD, KGCHS
Catholics United for the Faith has realized, as few others have, that our baptism and confirmation as Catholics, together with our devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist “commission” us to bear the standard of Christ and to work for the kingdom of justice, of love and of peace that Christ came to establish among humankind.
The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
I support Catholic United for the Faith as a strong voice promoting Catholic truth and a wise resource for communicating with pastors and bishops.
Rev. Michael Scanlan, T.O.R.
As a member of your Episcopal Advisory Board, I have been blessed by the various ways that CUF reaches out to assist me in my work as a diocesan bishop. Emmaus Road Publishing has certainly been a great gift and I find the faith facts and timely materials in your magazine to be excellent. Thank you for all you do to support, defend, and advance the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
I have been associated with Catholics United for the Faith for about 25 years and find myself with continuing gratitude for their continuing contribution to good and authentic catechesis and proclamation of our Catholic faith. I congratulate all who participate on the 40th anniversary of this fine organization and with you at least 40 more good and faithful years.
Most Reverend John J. Myers
It is easy for me to affirm the group, Catholics United for the Faith, in both their zeal for Christ and His Church, and their willingness to remain loyal to the teachings of Christ and His successors. The past presidents and members have been faithful in practice and love of the liturgy and in reverence and devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It has been a joy to be one of the Episcopal Advisors, joining with so many good and faithful Bishops, Priests, and Lay Catholics who make up the various advisory groups.
Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz
The integrity of CUF’s authentic gospel witness gives credibility to its mission of helping Catholics to “think with the Church.”
Mother Regina Marie, OCD
Since the Church’s earliest years, some have tried to be disciples on their own terms by rejecting the apostolic faith, apostolic governance or both. I am deeply grateful for all that CUF has done to help Catholics “think with the Church” so that their unity with Christ in His church might be a source of encouragement and hope for others.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI
I want to express my gratitude for the many catechetical resources that CUF has made available to people including Lay Witness, Faith and Life series and many other publications. CUF and its apostolate have been able and zealous partners with the Church in sharing the light of Christ and the truth of the Gospel with all people.
Most Reverend David A. Zubik
For the past four decades Catholics United for the Faith has raised our minds and hearts to Jesus present in this life and the next! For this we are grateful…and await the efforts of Catholics United for the Faith during the next forty years.
Rev. Msgr. Charles Mangan
I could go on endorsing the CUF Apostolate in so many ways. However, I think it best for me to just encourage you to become an active member and find out for yourself what a valuable assistance it is for you, your family and others in answering your questions about our Catholic Faith.
CUF is to be highly commended for 40 years of faithful witness to the teachings of Christ and His Church. It has taken courage, discernment, and persevering charity to continue to speak the truth in love all these years. Many have been helped.
CUF’s founder, Lyman Stebbins, radiated a supernatural optimism. He understood that the Holy Spirit is telling us something important in the documents of Vatican II: That it’s time to live our vocations as Christians, to go out and evangelize the world. CUF has faithfully answered the vision of its founder. For forty years it has provided both inspiration and much needed apologetic tools.
George Sim Johnston
The inspiration that guided Lyman Stebbins forty yeas ago has produced incalculable results, and all for the exaltation of Holy Church. Many of the teachings and reforms in the pontificate of Benedict XVI are fulfilling the aspirations of Catholics United for the Faith which was ahead of its time by not being bound to fads. CUF has been a model of how humble confidence in God’s grace refuses to be discouraged, or to lapse into resentment, but in all things rejoices in hope.
Rev. George W. Rutler
For forty years CUF has been true to the original vision of Lyman Stebbins, to “think with the Church”. CUF has carried out this mission sometimes in the face of great opposition and suffering with great intelligence and grace. Both in this general mission and in the more special outreaches like Lay Witness and the Faith and Life catechism series, CUF has proved itself in the face of changing times a champion of magisterial teaching. It is my pleasure to be associated with this continuing mission.
Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.
As Catholics United for the Faith approaches its 40th anniversary, I am writing to congratulate you on your consistent commitment to, and love for, the Church. “Thinking with the Church” has been a part of authentic Catholic life through the Christian centuries. May the Lord bless you with great success in the years ahead.
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Holy Mother Church recognizes the importance and value of social communications to bring the Word of God as expressed through the teachings of the Church to all peoples throughout the world. This is manifested through the proper use of the various forms of the media to reach all segments of society to achieve this very purpose.
We are all called to bring Christ to others by virtue of our Baptism. In essence we are called to be evangelizers in our daily lives, both individually and collectively. Consequently all forms of social communications are instruments that must be used for evangelization not only for ourselves but for others as well.
It is in this context CUF provides an important and much needed role to authentically bring Christ to the Catholic laity and to the general public through its publications, website and various programs. The good works CUF provides not only should be endorsed, but also supported as well.
Fr. Albert Tremari, SJC
When I think of Catholics United for the Faith, I think of three things. It has been faithful, neither equivocating on Humanae Vitae nor going into schism because of widespread liturgical abuses. It has been steady–like the Rock on which it is founded. It has survived for 40 years of unprecedented dissent and upheaval right within the Church.
May God continue to bless CUF as an organization and its many members, and during the next 40 years may it be increasingly recognized by the Church at every level as a great aid to authentic reform and renewal within the Church.
John F. Kippley
After 40 years, Catholics United for the Faith continues to deliver on its promise to help Catholics “think with the Church.” In a day and age, especially, when “faith” and “reason” are touted as enemies by secular elites, the Catholic Church knows that the two are harmonious since both come from God. CUF’s ongoing record of adhering faithfully to all that Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium propose for the faithful as true — and helping the faithful to articulate these truths — is to be commended.
Fr. Wade L. J. Menezes, CPM
The story is told of Cardinal Consalvi, chief advisor to Pope Pius VII, whom an irate Napoleon had carted off to Paris. There he berated the poor man at great and hysterical length on the myriad evils of the Church. “And if you refuse to do as I say,” he bellowed, “I shall destroy the Church!” To which his Eminence serenely replied: “Sire, in nearly two millennia, not even we priests could accomplish that.”
History records that within two years Napoleon would face permanent exile, while Pius and his brave minister were borne in triumph to Rome. History, says T.S. Eliot, reveals many “cunning corridors,” that we can neither see nor predict. Faith alone enables us to weather the storms and crises that rise up to bedevil God’s holy Church; faith in Jesus Christ, whose bride and her beloved sons and daughters he will not suffer to see destroyed.
Such has been the adamantine conviction of the men and women who, for forty years now, have gathered together in defense of our common faith. The struggle for the soul of the Post-Conciliar Church that began in 1968 with the brave and gentle H. Lyman Stebbins, a splendid warrior whom I was honored to know, has not diminished in the years since his death. The furies loosed by the enemies of the Church having intensified on so many fronts, the urgency of the apostolate undertaken by CUF is greater than ever. Let us thank God for such resolute fidelity shown by so many for so long. May they ever be found worthy of the flame that consumes them.
We as Catholics need a better understanding of the what the Church teaches. Articulating the Church’s teachings in a clear, concise and faithful manner is the cornerstone of the CUF apostolate. I am proud to share in its mission and to be associated with those who support us.
Thomas J. Pernice
In a day and age when Catholicism is being challenged in many quarters, it is more than refreshing-it is a godsend-to have Catholics United for the Faith. Always loyal to the Church, it provides the clergy and the laity with accurate and timely information about issues that every Catholic needs to know. Fortunately, it has many avenues to get its message across, and that is why it is so effective. May its next 40 years be as successful as its first 40 years.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D
I have long admired Catholics United for the Faith (CUF). CUF began “proclaiming Christ to every generation” since 1968-two years after I was ordained a priest. What I most admired over the years is CUF’s constant fidelity to the Magisterium. Since 1968 we have experienced many challenges to our faith which have manifested the need for the Magisterium. As we move further into this 21st Century, we should thank God every day for His gift of the Magisterium without which Church unity would not be possible. It is my prayer that all affiliated with CUF continue to grow in the knowledge and love of their Catholic faith and find strength in the exercise of divine charity as you come closer to the Eucharistic face of Jesus, the Source of the world’s holiness. Ad Multos Annos.
Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery
I want to congratulate Catholics United for the Faith for its historic contribution to the Catholic Church in our nation. Many Catholics don’t realize that CUF was the first organization formed to defend the Church against the outbreak of dissent at the end of Vatican II. Many of us who have worked in Catholic apostolates have been following in the footsteps of Lyman Stebbins and the national membership of CUF. May you celebrate 40 more years doing what you do so well.
Deal W. Hudson
I give thanks to God for forty years of Catholics United for the Faith. As a former intern for the organization, I can attest to the immense value of its work. From Lay Witness magazine to Emmaus Road Publishing to the Faith and Life catechetical series, CUF has done tremendous work in building up the faith of lay Catholics. CUF’s faithfulness to the Magisterium has been a beacon of light for countless believers, beginning in 1968 with its ardent support of Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae and Credo of the People of God. Never hesitating to speak the truth in love, Catholics United for the Faith has also been a reliable partner in the pro-life movement. Amidst cultural confusion, Catholics United for the Faith has provided trustworthy faith formation materials, and is a “go-to” organization for Catholics who want to know and understand the Church’s teachings. Since its inception, Catholics United for the Faith has stayed faithful to founder H. Lyman Stebbins’ vision to think with the Church. May the Lord of life continue to bless Catholics United for the Faith and make its work fruitful for the salvation of souls!
Fr. Frank Pavone
It is our pleasure to offer our endorsement for Catholics United for the Faith and the fine work which they provide for the Church, not only here in Steubenville but throughout the United States.
During our travels throughout the USA, as we give Missions in parishes, we are always delighted to see that your outreach has reached the laity and religious through your magazines and other material. Here in Steubenville, we consider ourselves extremely blessed to have your presence among us, witnessing to the faith that we profess.
As you celebrate forty years of faithful service, we pray for God’s blessings upon you. We pray too that your work may continue to expand so that more and more souls will come to know the fullness of faith that we profess. May God bless you and all your staff.
Mother M. Wendy McMenamy, Sisters of Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
To be united in the Faith and for the Faith is the grandest of human adventures. That you have for so many years invited so many to join in that adventure is a blessing beyond measure.
+ Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
“He who hears you hears me” (Lk. 10:16). For 40 years, CUF has taken seriously these words to the Apostles and their successors (cf. Acts 1:20-22), particularly as they apply to supporting Peter and his papal successors in leading the Church (cf. Mt. 16:18-19, Is. 22:15-25).
The period following Vatican II was a “perfect storm” re: moral and spiritual matters in the world, a time in which societal and ecclesiastical decline coalesced precipitously. Instead of choosing between competing zeitgeists and thereby veering off erroneously to “the Left” or to “the Right,” CUF remained faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church, never straying from the divinely designated “narrow gate” (cf. Mt. 7:13-14). CUF’s road has often thus been “hard,” but its fidelity has helped foster much life-giving fruit, both temporal and eternal, to all whom it has served and continues to serve through its various outreaches.
For the Church’s sake, I pray that CUF faithfully endures until the Second Coming.
Thomas J. Nash
Born in the midst of the post-Vatican II crisis of doctrine and discipline in the Church, Catholics United for the Faith has persevered and grown over these four decades, becoming a strong positive presence in the life of American Catholicism whose importance increases daily. Through its magazine Lay Witness, its catechis series Faith & Life, the growing number of titles from Emmaus Books, and its other programs and projects, CUF is an effective voice for reason and orthodoxy in confused times. It is notable, too, as a vehicle for commitment to and participation in the mission of the Church on the part of Catholic lay people according to the prescription of the Second Vatican Council. I am pleased to salute this admirable organization.
Catholics United for the Faith for forty years has tirelessly defended the Faith and worked commendably in the area of lay evangelization. It has been a continuous witness both among Catholics and in the broader culture for the timeless truths of the Faith. In the confusion within the Church in the U.S. in the years after the Second Vatican Council, CUF was a shining light and struggled courageously against a forceful tide and much opposition-sadly, even from all too many within the Church itself. It was then and continues to be an outstanding example of the lay apostolate that was envisioned by the Fathers of the Council, but which regrettably is still lacking in so much of the Church in the U.S. and often misunderstood. The Council issued a call to holiness to laity, as much as clergy and religious, and in its forty years CUF has responded with fervor, devotion, and commitment. Its work has at once provided support, education, and spiritual rejuvenation for American Catholics. I pray that its essential work continue for a long time and, in fact, intensify as the Church and Catholic laity face ongoing and new challenges in the future from our secular age. Indeed, it is organizations like CUF that can help lead the effort to re-evangelize the culture and turn back the sweep of secularism.
Stephen M. Krason, Esq., Ph.D.
The forty years that thus far measure the life of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) promise a memory of a Catholicism as authentic and timeless as any in her long history. The interplay of her trials and triumphs is nowhere better illustrated than right here, and nowhere more identified with one person than likewise here and now. Mr. Lyman Stebbins founded CUF in 1968, directed it until his death in 1989, and continues still to intercede for it in a blessed eternity. That eternity consists in his presence before the Triune God, in the company of our Blessed Lady and all the angels and saints. Among the saints we note in particular two: St. Thomas More and the Ven. John Henry Newman, the former as patron of the Lay Apostolate, the latter as model of the Clerical Order. Together they typify the labors of the militant pilgrim Church in this world and the rewards of the same triumphant Church in heaven. So may we celebrate this anniversary year with gratitude and honor for this one founder, of whom it can be said: “His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, ‘This was a man!'”
Robert I. Bradley, S.J.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), the community of Thomas Aquinas College sends its heartiest congratulations. CUF is to be highly commended for its courage, fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, and its perseverance in helping to safeguard and deepen the Catholic faith in America in a time of great tumult for the Church and our country. In the years ahead, may God grant abundant graces to all those associated with CUF, and may you continue to faithfully carry out your mission ‘to support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church.’
+ Dr. Thomas Dillon
The founding of Catholics United for the Faith coincided with my entrance into the seminary in 1968. As Pope Benedict has noted on many occasions, 1968 was not a good year for the Church or the world. After a day of liturgical abuses in the chapel and outright heresy in the classroom, many was the night that I cried myself to sleep. Truly, prospects were grim for anyone preparing for the priesthood in those days.
However, the Holy Spirit began to raise up individuals to form associations, with the goal of putting to flight “the smoke of Satan” that Pope Paul VI had seen entering the Church. Lyman Stebbins and CUF played essential roles in that process. When CUF was founded, it was dismissed as little more than a collection of backward-looking malcontents who could not reconcile themselves to modernity. Due to the grace of perseverance, CUF has helped alter the ecclesiastical landscape of the United States, so that CUF itself is now regarded as relatively “mainstream.”
While not yet “home-free,” we certainly have cause to rejoice in the progress that has been made and to take an object lesson from all this, namely, that Church reform has always been a “bottom-up” reality, usually requiring only that good lay folk take seriously their baptismal commitment by acting with courage and conviction.
I doubt that any young man entering the seminary [today] will have to cry himself to sleep. And CUF needs to be applauded for their part in that sea-change.
Very Reverend Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
I am pleased to express my own personal appreciation of and love for the CUF lay apostolate which for 40 years has been a response to Pope Paul VI’s cry amidst the explosion of Dissent in the Church after “Humanae Vitae”, “Where is the Love of the Church?” An eminent convert to the faith, H.Lyman Stebbbins did not hesitate from the very beginning of the Crisis in which the Church was plunged, to respond with his complete dedication. He did so in founding with others Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) and in praying and working to make CUF a vehicle for Catholics to “think with the mind of the Church”, and to act to “support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church.” It must be said that all the activities of CUF have been directed to put flesh and blood on those noble purposes and to enlist Catholic lay people in the great work they were called to by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially its “Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, November 11, 1965).
I myself began as on officer of CUF in 1971 after a teaching career in public and private schools ( I taught for 7 years at the Graymoor Friars Minor Seminary in Upstate New York, and then at Rosary Hill College in the Buffalo, NY, area). In working closely with CUF’s Founder who was profoundly influenced by Benedictine spirituality and the works of John Henry Newman, I think it fair to say that no layman of the time seemed to me to have assimilated so perfectly such great themes of the Council as the universal call to holiness, the fostering of the Visible Unity of all those baptized separated for whatever reason from the Catholic Church; renewed missionary zeal to spread the Catholic Faith; and the struggle to preserve the Family from the disastrous consequences of materialistic secularism and the spread of atheism after the two great World Wars. The voice of the Roman Pontiffs resounded in his ears, and their directives and wisdom would form the essence of all the literature CUF would produce, especially through its house-organ “Lay Witness” with its constant encouragement to readers to “live the Faith”. Loyalty to the Church’s Magisterium and the desire to spread the Faith have been the distinguishing character of CUF from its founding in 1968 and handily embodied in the phrase “the CUF spirit” which insisted on a firm adherence to Catholic truth and always in the context of charity. Lyman died in 1989 after receiving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral the honor of being named a Knight of St. Gregory. “The Holy Father [Pope John Paul II] at the request of Cardinal O’Connor has conferred upon you the Papal award of the Order of St. Gregory. This is a marvellous recognition of the great contribution you have made to the Church for so many years.”
Throughout the 1970’s to the present time CUF members and Chapters would attempt to deal with the “spectacle in our time of dissent and disunity within the Church” regarded as “an offense to Christ which we, as His lay apostolate to the world, have an obligation to repair.” (CUF’s Declaration of Purpose issued September 26, 1968). The key areas of Catechetics, sex education of children and youth, liturgy, spirituality, Papal social teaching and Parental rights in education became of vital concern to the CUF leadership. There was the acute need to help Catholics become knowledgeable about the doctrine and discipline of the Church, especially with regards to those things stressed by Vatican II but which had become distorted by those furthering a doctrinal revolution in the Church. Confused Catholics upset by liturgical abuses and unorthodox teachings being taught their children in the Church’s own schools at every level found in CUF fellow Catholics equipped to defend the Catholic faith “handed down from the Apostles” and willing to take public issue with dissenting theologians as well as a hostile Religious Education Establishment wedded to what Cardinal Ratzinger would term a “hermenutics of radical discontinuity” with the Catholic past. Now there is yet another generation of post-conciliar Catholics that is even more ignorant of the Catholic Faith and even more in danger of lapsing from religious practice as the institutions of American society which once supported the traditional family are being swept clean of their religious and moral foundation.
It should be apparent that there is a greater need for the CUF lay apostolate and its inner spirit than ever before. The Crisis in the Church continues with millions of ex-Catholics heralded by the Press as “the largest denomination on the American scene”. The salvation of souls is at stake. As Catholic author George Sims Johnston wrote in 1996, “CUF is one of the few organizations in the Church that has figured out the role of the laity. It is not simply to ‘pray, pay, and obey’ while the clergy go about the “real’ business of Catholicism. It is to strive for a high degree of sanctity in the middle of the world, using the means of formation that have been around for millennia, but which fifty years ago were considered the exclusive province of priests and nuns.”
It was CUF’s concern regarding the disorders in Catechetics which led, for example, to the publication of its splendid “Faith and Life” catechetical series which has helped form a multitude of young Catholics in the truths of the Faith. But Catechesis remains a troubled area with the ignoring in all too many parish religious education programs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). Dissenter theologians on the University and College levels continue to confuse the faithful in doctrinal and moral matters, and liturgical and sacramental abuses continue to scandalize both Catholics and non-Catholics, thereby impeding the real renewal of the Church.
CUF’s Founder desired that every member of CUF be aware of the Church’s call to the laity to serve Christ the King, and to participate via an organized apostolate to help form Catholics intellectually and spiritually with the doctrine of the Church so that they can actively participate in the mission of the Church by prayer, study, and religious instruction of children, youth, and adults in need.
CUF’s Founder died one year after the following words of Pope John Paul the Great were written but they are words which assuredly reflected the courageous knightly inspiration which characterized the desire of H. Lyman Stebbins, KCSG, to serve the Church:
“Because the lay faithful belong to Christ, Lord and King of the Universe, they share in His kingly mission, and are called by Him to spread that Kingdom in history. They exercise their kingship as Christians, above all in the spiritual combat in which they seek to overcome in themselves the kingdom of sin, and then to make a gift of themselves so as to serve, in justice and charity, Jesus Who is Himself present in all His brothers and sisters, above all in the very least.” (Christifidelis Laici, 1988, #14)
As Lyman once wrote: “There are dozens of differing ways of serving the Kingdom of God; CUF’s way is only one of them, but it is what it is; all truly concerned Catholics are invited to join with us in CUF’s special apostolate to “support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church.”
James Likoudis, CUF president emeritus