Well-known radio talk show host, author and apologist Patrick Madrid will speak Sept. 20 at Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe.
The daylong event will feature a series of three talks on Catholic apologetics followed by a question and answer session.
Madrid, host of the “Right Here, Right Now” program on Immaculate Heart Radio, said he believes the number one issue facing the Church today is an aggressive increase in godlessness.[quote_box_right]
Day of Reflection with Patrick Madrid
Where: Holy Spirit Church 1800 E. Libra Dr., Tempe
When: Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. Mass, followed by presentations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Whether it’s militant atheism or militant secularism, God is being pushed out of society,” Madrid said. “What little ways He has been in society are rapidly being vacated.”
Catholics must counter these attitudes with “the love of Jesus and the message that God does exist,” Madrid said. “We have the better arguments.”
The day of reflection is open to Catholics throughout the diocese and will provide attendees with tools to present the faith in a convincing way.
“They will be energized, encouraged and informed,” Madrid said. “It will be fun, inspiring and faith-building.”
Steve Greene, director of the Kino Catechetical Institute, hopes many people will take the time to attend the event.
“Apologetics is particularly aimed at enabling you to present the truth of the faith in a compelling way,” Greene said. “Sooner or later, most Catholics are going to find themselves in a conversation where they may be called upon to explain the faith to others. There’s always more room to grow in that skill.
“Even someone who is well formed in the faith — you can never touch bottom in the ocean of the truth. There’s always more to learn,” Greene added.
Angela Gaetano, director of parish leadership support for the Diocese of Phoenix, lauded the efforts of Madrid to educate the laity.
“This is an excellent opportunity to be able to take a day to learn a lot about your faith and how to explain it,” she said.
Lay people are called not just to holiness, but also to be witnesses to the faith.
“We go places and evangelize where a parish priest can never be, such as our workplace, as well as family and friends,” Gaetano said.
Being prepared to share the faith is key, Greene said. Presentations like Madrid’s have a way of examining common questions about and challenges to the faith, he said. Relying on what was learned years ago in a religious education class might not stand up to vigorous debate.
Catechists who attend the event are eligible to receive a certificate of completion they can use for recertification purposes. Any attendee wishing to receive the certificate should ask for Judy Webber or Kathy Smits at the book table. The event is free but an offering will be taken.