In her recent book, Extreme Makeover, Teresa Tomeo talks about her reintroduction to the Catholic faith of her youth. I did an interview with her touching on many of the issues the HHS mandate has brought up in ways clarifying and confusing. And I saved a little of the recatechetical talk for here:
How do you recatechize yourself, as you and your husband did?
It all begins with Jesus. Truth is a person, as Pope Benedict says, and that person is Jesus. If you don’t have a relationship with God, the attempt to recatechize oneself is only going to go so far. Then one needs to actually take time to access Church documents and study them. Catholics also need to take what the mainstream media, such as the major broadcast networks and newspapers, say about the Church with a huge grain of salt. One of the first things you learn in journalism school is to consider the source. Even when the secular press are trying to present a balanced Church related story, and lately such cases are occurring less and less, they do not have the time or the proper background to report these types of stories well. That’s when they need to go to solid Catholic sources to get their information.
Who have been helpful Catholic role models for you, perhaps among the saints? And why?
My two favorite saints are St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila. Also St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). These were strong women of God who realized they didn’t have to be men in order to make a difference in the Church and in the world. They had no problem speaking up to Church authority, but they did so respectfully and lovingly — and always with the Church’s and mankind’s best interest in mind. They were also extremely honest with God in their prayer lives and very direct in asking for His help.