A Testimony of Experience
What inspires us? How can we take ownership of our faith and share it with others in an approachable, accessible way? Should we try if we’re not good with words? What is our role as lay people in the evangelizing mission?
If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in good company. The faithful across the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are asking themselves the same things, and many are responding, fulfilling the charge to go out and spread the Good News through creative and inspiring endeavors. Some are answering the call to physically serve those in need, while others are evangelizing the culture through art and beauty. Each mission is unique, but they are all oriented on the same purpose: bringing Christ and His Church to the people.
Pope Francis spoke on this topic this past February during his address to the presidents and representatives of Episcopal Commissions for the Laity, who were participating in the Conference “Pastors and lay faithful called to go forward together.” During that talk he urged for unity between the clergy and lay people.
“The lay apostolate is above all a witness! Testimony of one’s own experience, testimony of prayer, testimony of service to those in need, testimony of closeness to the poor and lonely people, testimony of acceptance, especially on the part of families,” Pope Francis said. “And so we are formed for the mission: going towards others. It is a training ‘in the field’ and at the same time an effective way of spiritual growth. (…) The tragedy for the Church today (is) that Jesus keeps knocking on the door, but from within, so that we let Him go out!”
Inside this issue of the magazine, you will read about laity in all areas of this archdiocese who are witnessing their faith through their God-given talents, including: a baker in Dayton who serves those in need; two mothers in St. Henry working to help families share faith at home; and a growing group of artists in Cincinnati sharing inspirations they receive from the transcendentals of goodness, beauty, and truth.
As Pope Francis said, “The laity live in the world and at the same time are part of the People of God.”
I hope that this issue inspires you, helps you recognize your gifts and their value, and helps you consider how you can use them in your own unique way to share the Good News with the world.