Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
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Calvin LeMaire wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How do you become an Apologist for the Catholic Church, and how do you make a living?

Calvin

  { How do you become an Apologist for the Catholic Church, and how do you make a living? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Calvin,

Being an apologist is more of an interest or calling, not a job. Every Catholic should be able to give reasons for his faith, and we should all learn what we need to do so. Some people, by education or reading, are prepared to answer questions:

  • in depth
    • with historical background
    • with theological precision, or
    • with approaches that appeal to certain groups.

We do this not to make a living; we are all volunteers. Most catechists in the Church are volunteers, but some are (DRE's) Directors of Religious Education, and they make a modest living through the parish in which they work.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Calvin —

Thanks for the question.

As Mary Ann said, being a Catholic apologist, (Someone who gives good reasons to become a Catholic), is a calling and a vocation.

One would never consider doing what we do, if they didn't have a knowledge and an appreciation for our divine faith and our heritage that dates back to 33 A.D. and beyond.

Sadly, many families, due to poor parental upbringing and poor parish education have never been taught the basic doctrines of the Catholic faith, let alone the finer points of doctrine. Nevertheless, if one has the desire and the interest, there is nothing stopping them from being a Catholic apologist. At a bare minimum, it requires:

  • a good knowledge of Church teaching according to the Magisterium of the Church
  • a good knowledge of the Scriptures
  • being able to distinguish and discern between good and bad Catholic sources:
    people, web sites, books, etc.
  • a willingness to research and find answers
  • living a daily prayer life and, at minimum, living the obliged sacramental life according to the Church.

Finally it requires, having a solid library of references that you can go to for research:

  • Bibles
  • Catechisms
  • books
  • CD's, audio cassette tapes
  • magazines, doctrinal and apologetic
  • old Catholic commentaries, and
  • books on the Early Church Fathers and saints of the Church.

Most importantly, you need is a proper attitude based in humility. This means being willing say:

"I don't know the answer to that question, but let me research it and get back to you."

The other plus of a humble attitude is that we destroy the devil in our lives.

If you do pursue this vocation or avocation, I strongly suggest you seek out like minded Catholics who have this similar interest and work as a team; that's how this web site developed in the Boston area. Back in the 1990's we were having meetings in Waltham, Mass. on how to bring Catholic apologetics to the Archdiocese of Boston; this was obviously done with the approval of Cardinal Law. Sadly, things didn't work out in the long run, so I founded my own Catholic support group called the Christifideles Pizza and Theology Society (CPATS).

Talk to you pastor and the head of evangelization in your diocese about your interest. We started brainstorming ideas with only five people!

Besides having a proper attitude with those who ask you questions, you also have to have a good attitude among the colleagues in your Apologetics team. This means being open to the fact that you may have an incorrect answer. One of the realities of life is, we don't know everything; only God does! Sure!, you can discuss things among your colleagues and have a few mini-family fights on how best to answer a question but the ultimate focus should be on a truthful answer that is faithful to the Church. This is why establishing Catholic support groups is so important and why
I emphasize this on my About Us page.

I would like to see a day where every diocese in the United States has a go-to diocesan database of questions and answers like the ones we have. Lay apostolates, that are separate from the Church, but faithful to the local bishop, cardinal and Holy Father, should also be encouraged and are by Canon Law. I have put together a LinkedIn and Facebook page just for this:

Personally, I would be willing to bet that 95% of the Catholics in our diocese, even in the pews, don't even know what Apologetics is. They would probably ask:

"Why are we apologizing for being a Catholic?"

This has to change before our calling is appreciated.

You said:
How do you make a living?

I currently don't, seeing I've been unemployed so long, this is a vocation for me, though as Mary Ann said, all our work is done on a volunteer basis. No one seems interested in hiring a practicing Catholic in the Boston area.

Nevertheless, if you have been helped by our work and would like to contribute to some of our programs, you can do so here:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/donate

or if you wish to put in a good word for the work we do, you can go here.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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