Congratulations to ERP and Lay Witness!

Catholics United for the Faith is happy to announce that our outreaches Emmaus Road Publishing and Lay Witness magazine have been honored again this year with several Catholic Press Association awards.

Lay Witness columnist Emily Stimpson took the first place award for Best Regular Column in a General Interest magazine for her series “A New Evangelization.” Her book, The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years, also won a CPA award in the Gender Issues category (third place).

Emmaus Road won two of the spots in the Family Issues category for books. William B. May’s Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue won first place and Nancy Hume’s Bible study for engaged couples, Build Your House on Rock, took third place.

Congratulations to the winners! You can subscribe to the award-winning Lay Witness here  and browse through the great Catholic books available through Emmaus Road Publishing.

New Cathedral Plans for Steubenville!

This evening after celebrating Mass to kick off the second annual Fortnight for Freedom promoting religious liberty, Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton unveiled plans for the renovation of Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Steubenville.

“The Diocese of Steubenville was established in 1944,” the Bishop told those in attendance. “But we will comb through the archival records and ideally be able to acknowledge all parishes that existed within the diocesan pastoral footprint prior to 1944.” Bishop Monforton said that “all parishes have equal importance in building up the Kingdom” and said he hoped the renovated cathedral would serve as a “living archive” of each parish in the diocese.

Seeking to update the Romanesque architecture is only one part of the ambitious project. The bishop of this 40,000 member diocese expressed a desire that the renovated cathedral will also contribute to the renewal of the local community, and a “renewal of our commitment to personal holiness, sacred service, and unity of purpose.”

A CUF Patron for All Seasons

Tomorrow, June 22, is the feast of one of the patrons of Catholics United for the Faith: St. Thomas More. Most of us are familiar with the story of this English layman beheaded during the reign of Henry VIII.

When More refused to betray the eternal truth about marriage, he unknowingly became the patron of those in our culture today seeking to preserve and defend the institution of marriage. How providential that CUF’s founders had the inspiration to take More on as an intercessor and patron of this apostolate, especially when once again God’s plan for marriage has fallen out of fashion.

CUF continues to preserve and defend the institution of marriage, not only by assisting our members through our Catholic Responses department with questions regarding the sacrament, but also through formative articles in Lay Witness magazine (including a regular column this year by Dr. John Bergsma on the biblical understanding of marriage), and excellent resources from Emmaus Road Publishing (such as Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue and Build Your House on Rock).

If you are committed to defending marriage, please consider joining CUF and assisting in our efforts.

St. Thomas More, pray for us!

A Conversion Story You Won’t Want to Miss!

Oklahoma native Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D., was an Episcopal clergyman from 1950–1963. In 1963 he was received with his wife, Ruth, and their five children into the Catholic Church. Twenty years later, he was ordained to the priesthood of the Catholic Church, with a dispensation from the rule of celibacy under the Pastoral Provision.

Fr. Ryland served as a naval officer in WWII, as professor of theology at the University of San Diego from 1969–1991, and as adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1991–1994 and 1998–2000. He has been chaplain and board member of Catholics United for the Faith and the Coming Home Network International for over a decade.

His exciting journey to Catholicism is detailed in his newly released memoir, Drawn from Shadows Into Truth, now available from Emmaus Road Publishing.

A fascinating autobiography in the spirit of Bl. John Henry Newman, Drawn from Shadows Into Truth: A Memoir is the captivating narrative of Father Ryland’s quest for Jesus Christ and the One Church He founded is a spiritual and intellectual adventure—from a poor Oklahoma farm boy to a naval officer to a Protestant minister to a Harvard lawyer to a married Catholic priest with five children, twenty-two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Pick it up, and you’ll be unable to put it down!

St. Rita, Pray for Marriages!

Today is the feast of St. Rita of Cascia, an extraordinary woman of devotion and perseverance.

For almost 20 years, Rita (Born Margherita Lotti) patiently prayed for the conversion of her husband, who persistently abused her. After her husband was murdered, this saintly woman eventually entered a religious community in the Augustinian tradition. Rita died on this day in 1457 and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900.

Whatever our primary vocations may be, Rita’s example demonstrates prayerful long-suffering we would do well to imitate. But, in particular, those experiencing trouble in their marriages find a friend in this powerful intercessor. Let us ask St. Rita to intervene at the throne of God for all those struggling with difficult situations in their married life.

St. Rita, pray for us!


“Fulfillment of All Desire” Still Inspiring

More than half a decade after its publication, The Fulfillment of All Desire is still introducing readers to the spiritual treasury of the Church’s teaching on prayer. One of those readers, Brett Metzler, credits Ralph Martin’s book with leading him to the seminary.

Now a seminarian at St. Joseph’s in Covington, LA, Metzler learned how to articulate his desire for God and discern a call to the priesthood while reading Fulfillment during his college years.

CBS Dallas/Fort Worth published a lovely article on Metzler’s experience as a seminarian. Read the full story here.