The Beauty and Challenge of Being Catholic

May 1, 2008

We depart from our usual format and listen to a spectrum of lay Catholic voices on the force of this vast and ancient tradition on their lives, the way they struggle with it, the sources of their love for it. Even to be a “lapsed Catholic,” we hear, is a complex state of being.

We received hundreds of essays in response to our query about what anchors and unsettles our Catholic audience. So we asked some of you to speak about your tradition. The moving reflections we heard prompted us to depart from our usual format and bring you a fabric of voices from the Church itself.

Gee, two of the three stories I read were very negative.

I just finished a hearing of the primary broadcast program. I would say that it was very honest and real to the experience of Catholics from a variety of perspectives. It did seem to focus more on the journey of cradle Catholics than converts. Ultimately, I found it a heartening presentation of the worthiness of Catholicism, even when what certain stories offered was a view about the personal challenges of struggling with this culture and faith. In the end, that is the human story, though, and what we must all work our way through. Surely, even when some commentators haven’t entirely embraced all aspects in every step along the way, what shines through is the profound, everlasting effect which Catholicism has had on them.

Give the show a listen!

The interview with Fr. Donald Senior is also quite insightful with some excellent quotes which could be pulled out.

Sister Schuth makes some interesting observations about the historic seminarian compared to the contemporary seminarian as well as the contrast (and intersection points) of the cultic and servant/leader models of priesthood.

She also talks insightfully about how, though we have focused a lot in the U.S. on the population of immigrant Hispanic Catholics, we have perhaps not yet learned to adapt to the concurrent influx of Asian immigrants.

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