Family Before Apostolate


From the latest issue of Lay Witness...

Family Before Apostolate
Pro-Life Activism Begins at Home

Pete Vere and Jacqueline Rapp
From the May/June 2006 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine

Along with Jacqueline, her husband, Keith, and Fr. Phil, a priest who happened to be one of our mutual friends from canon law school, I found myself savouring the country buffet. Months had passed since the four of us had last gathered for some fun and fellowship. The conversation was not as heavy as what some might expect from three canonists and a catechist. From "The Lumberjack Games" and smoked barbeque to Belgian Trappist ale and the subtlety with which "The Wiggles" promotes a Catholic worldview, we all bantered back and forth, laughing and arguing between mouthfuls of country fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and boiled turnip greens.

Suddenly, Pachabel’s "Canon" interrupted the evening’s festivities. Recognizing the number, I grabbed my cell phone and excused myself from the conversation at our dinner table. The caller on the other end was well known in Catholic circles. Sounding distraught, "John" shared how spouse and children were rebelling against the long hours spent away from home. It seems that he spent most of this time on the circuit, promoting a pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family Catholic apostolate among the laity.


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Great article, Pete. I left my job with the diocese because I was getting married and realized that I had no hope of ever supporting a family if I stuck with them. I don't regret the decision to leave, but I do wish I could have continued to work for the Church. I guess we all work for the Church, though -- we're just not all employed by the Church.

One of the most important parts of your outside apostolate is creating Exhibit 1, your own personal lived example that a proper Catholic life can be lived. All the conferences in the world will not make up for a broken family at home.

Thank you for such a wonderful article. When I was single, I used to always hear Tim Murphy, of the Pro-Life Action League use those wise words, "Pro-life begins at home." I miss pro-life work but then I guess I am doing it. It's so true that we have to watch it when we leave our families for even a "good" cause. Also, we always have to be vigilant about our marriage. Speaking of, guess I'd better get off the internet.

I hope that "John" isn't going to wait until after his conference to address his marital difficulties. If I were him I would cancel my whole involvement with it immediately and turn first to his marriage without delay.

Loved the article, linked to it on our blog as well.

Eric, one of the hardest things for people to remember (me too, because I am our parish treasurer, etc) is that very FEW are chosen to do "church work." All of us are called to do God's work, and most of us must do it in the really hard place--the secular world. I find it is often forgotten by people who work within the Diocese, or even within the parish itself. There's a feeling--"Well, if everyone did as much as I do....." They do. Or they should do. But we don't see it. I'm not explaining myself clearly......

And Alison, I agree you're doing pro-life work! And also remember the seasons of life. My life, with a grown son, is so much different from when I had a small one. I have time now for things I didn't have time for then. Things always change, and opportunities are available at every stage.

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on July 15, 2006 11:22 PM.

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