Merrimack, N.H., Feb 28, 2013 / 04:03 am (CNA).- A U.S. theology professor’s new book seeks to revitalize society through the “integrated whole of the Catholic vision,” found in the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Dr. Ryan Topping of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H., said that the task of evangelizing formerly Christian societies “requires effort on all fronts.”
“Bishops have their part, as do religious, as do politicians; but it is in the field of the family that most of us need to begin our work,” he told CNA Feb. 26.
Topping’s new publication, “Rebuilding Catholic Culture,” was released in January by Sophia Institute Press.
It outlines his belief is that Catholic tradition, as it is found in the Creed and in the Church’s liturgy, moral teachings, and mystical practice, must be recovered if Western culture is to be shaped by Catholicism again.
The book concludes that the four practical measures which need to be taken so that Western culture can be evangelized are an end to abortion; having more children; teaching them Latin; and building beautiful churches.
The first three all concern the rearing of children and family life – the first school of prayer – to which much of Topping’s thought is directed.
“The first vocation crisis is in the family,” he said. Recognizing that grace builds on nature, he pointed out that prayer before meals only makes sense when families bother to eat together. But “in many homes basic civilities – like eating together – are no longer habitual.”
Small natural acts like eating as a family are the first steps toward sanctity, and towards evangelization, he said. He highlighted the the link between culture and cult – worship. “For Catholic family life, this means that all our routines must, somehow, be ordered to or flow from the Mass,” he said.
I may have to look into this book. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything mentioned in the article, I do agree with much of it and he makes some good points in my view. Catechesis, and living the Faith as a family is a huge step in the right direction. A renewed sense of sacredness in the liturgy (which I believe can happen in the vernacular) church architecture, music, reading the classics, etc. would also be massive steps to take.