Do You Feel Called to Defend the Church in the Public Square?

An announcement about a developing project I have some involvement in and would encourage those eligible (45 and younger, New Yorkers in particular) who feel called by this ad to put in an application for:

Do you find yourself at home arguing with TV news anchors, radio hosts, and print columnists, wishing someone would defend your Catholic faith?

Are you a practicing Catholic who prays for clear voices on news programs who actually believes what the Church teaches?

Do you feel called to be one of those defenders?

Catholic voices offers training to “ordinary” Catholics who want to publicly make the case for the Church in truth and love. Based on a successful British program, Catholic Voices do not speak officially for the Church but answer the call for laypeople to publicly witness to their faith as an apostolic project of the New Evangelization.

Catholic Voices is sponsoring a training session May 19-21 for Catholics from the New York and Washington, D.C. areas, who want to succinctly, compellingly, and reasonably express what it means to be truly Catholic. Candidates must be baptized Catholics under age 45 willing to make a time commitment to be available for regular briefings, media training, and spiritual development. The application deadline is April 20.

Some more here.

The effort is an answer to a call Pope Benedict XVI issued in January to U.S. bishops in Rome. He was talking about threats to religious freedom and said:

Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.

He said that:

The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country; as essential components of the new evangelization, these concerns must shape the vision and goals of catechetical programs at every level.

But it is not a new call, it is the call of the laity. To be who we say we are in the world.

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