the intellectual apostolate

I keep a file of quotes worth remembering, and I looked over them tonight while adding another one.  Some of them were old friends; some of them I had completely forgotten.

Here’s one to mull over the next few days.  Mary Ann Glendon, a personal hero of mine, said this six years ago.  The truth of her words is perhaps even more evident these days.

“Poor formation represents a special danger in a society like ours where education in other areas is so advanced.  In contemporary society, if religious formation does not come up to the general level of secular education, we are going to run into trouble defending our beliefs—even to ourselves. We are going to feel helpless when we come up against the secularism and relativism that are so pervasive in our culture. We are going to be tongue-tied when our faith comes under attack.  American Catholics need to rededicate themselves to the intellectual apostolate, not only for the sake of the Church’s mission, but for the sake of a country that has become dangerously careless about the moral foundations on which our freedoms depend.”

Mary Ann Glendon, Traditions in Turmoil

Of the handful of talks I’m giving over the next few months, two of them are going to address, in some capacity, the role of the intellectual life in the life of a Catholic woman.  I’m glad I re-discovered this quote!


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