Save Us from Sour-Faced Catholics & Silent Priests

Joel and I often say that the “attitude” of this blog embodies what a practicing Catholic ought to be — intentionally, joyfully, and faithfully Catholic all the time. Our blog posts attempt to be the antidote to the perception that piety is boring or that the Church is filled with “sour-faced saints,” as St. Teresa of Avila warns us of becoming.

The recent Health & Human Services’ mandate that orders almost every employer and insurer in the United States to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, has resulted in so much debate across the country. I have seen quite enough sour-faced Catholics arguing for AND against this issue.

So lately I am constantly reminding myself: ditch the sour-face, Lisa! Be joyful, loving, and boldly share the beauty of the Church’s teaching on contraception with others. It is a gift to be freely shared — give it away and share with love.

You may have you seen this video from Fr. Leo that has fired up many Catholics in the social media universe. Father Leo boldly attacks this subject with wit and intellect . . . no sour-faced saint here.

I’ve heard many reports from Catholics across the country that their priest FINALLY preached on contraception. Thank you President Obama for pushing the men in black to this point! While many are hearing the Good News for the first time ever, there are still many who have not been gifted with the truth. So what can we continue to do?

Dr. Janet Smith has a great post over at that lists several ways to encourage your priests to preach on contraception. Here are a few of her ideas:

  • “Pray and fast!
  • Give him a copy of Dr. Smith’s CD: Contraception: Why Not.
  • Provide him with Jenn Giroux’s “Deadly Health Risks for Women” on the abortifacient properties of chemical contraceptives and their serious health risks.
  • Recommend that he put in the bulletin a terrific insert produced by the US bishops some years back: Married Love and the Gift of Life.
  • Recommend that he put Smith’s pamphlet “Sex and Contraception” in the pamphlet rack or on the tables in the back of the Church.
  • Approach him nicely about this, and if able, offer to pay for costs involved.”

Here in the Des Moines area, we are blessed with at least two priests who are preaching on this topic. We recently shared Fr. Aquinas’ homily on the HHS mandate and Fr. Zach Kautzky was bravely preaching on natural family planning before it was cool to do so (listen to his July 4, 2011 homily).

And to the lay faithful: let’s get behind our bishops and priests who are speaking out and sharing the truth. Do your part by learning about AND praying for obedience to the Church’s teaching on natural family planning. Share this information lovingly with our fellow brothers and sisters — remember, it’s the Church’s gift to be freely given away (unlike contraception!). If your pastor isn’t preaching or teaching on contraception, encourage and support him, pray for him, share Dr. Smith’s ideas with him.

And for goodness sake, please don’t be sour-faced when doing all this. Something so beautiful deserves to be shared with joy after all!

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  1. Sue says

    Fr. Kautzky hit another homerun last nite at Ash Wednesday Mass. I understand there’s another good homily coming this weekend on contraception. Amen!

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