Janette challenged me to list ten great Catholics who lived in my lifetime. I think it is an interesting exercise because there is a natural tendency to think of the canonized saints when thinking of great Catholics--after all, that's what they were recognized for--and by nature, the canonization process usually takes quite a few years. In other words, there aren't very many canonized saints who lived in my lifetime. It is also natural to think of those in authority, but we believe that we all have a vocation, and if my vocation is to raise kids, and I do it well, and in a God-centered way, I am as great a Catholic as the Pope who does his job well. So, who are the great Catholics of my lifetime?
1. The person who taught me the most about what it is to live a Catholic life was my mother. Others may not put her in the relm of "great", but she was great to me.
2. Our former pastor, Fr. David. He first came to our parish as a wet behind the ears fresh from the seminary associate. He had a lot to learn, but he obviously had faith and had the courage to speak out about life issues including birth control. He started me on the road to conversion from that sin. He spent a couple of years with us, went to another parish for several years and then returned to our parish as pastor. He still spoke out about life issues, instituted programs for our teens and took our adoration chapel from a few hours a week to 24/7.
3. The nameless people who say the rosary peacefully outside abortion clinics week after week.
4. Pope John Paul II
5. Mother Theresa
6. I'll second Janette's nomination of Michelle. She is an inspiration to me daily. To learn about her, click on Deo Gratia on my sidebar.
7. Jean Vanier founded L'Arche, a community that serves the developmentally disabled.
8. E.C. is an old friend of my husband's and was a teacher at the Catholic elementary my son attended. He took my son under his wing--but all the kids were crazy about Mr. C. and he obviously cared a lot about them.
9. My son's Godparents. They are old friends of my husband. They were married for five years when they began treatment for infertility. They never lost thier faith in God, nor did they succomb to the temptation to go beyond what the Church allows in that area. They've been great parents to a darling girl who is three months older than my son.
10. The G's. They are a couple in my parish who have three now adult children. They suffered from infertilty for many years before being blessed with their first child. About the time progressive neuromuscular problems started becoming obvious, she was pregnant with their second child, who was afflicted with the same syndrome. Though they tried to avoid having more children, God sent them another. Even though they have three "kids" (now in their 30's I'd guess) who are in wheelchairs and unable speak intelligibly you never see them looking down. She is a Eucharistic minister to the homebound. Then a few years ago, he developed MS. Still, they are in the front pew with the 'kids" every week.
Ok, your turn. Who are ten great Catholics in your lifetime (or 10 great Christians or members of your faith)?