Revised Midterm

So You're Interested in the Catholic League?

The fact that you picked up this pamphlet is already a great start! This handout was created by members of the Catholic League to give prospective members an idea of what it means to be a part of our community. Within it, you will read some stories from members about their personal experiences in the Catholic League, and how it affected them. Being apprehensive about joining a new community of people is a natural reaction, and you may be wondering if you will fit in with the members of the Catholic League or if this organization is worth your time. While I can assure the League is a welcoming place where individuals discuss ideas and accept new members daily, I'll let you read about some of my personal experiences so you can better decide for yourself. First, you should get an idea of what we're really all about here at the Catholic League.

What is Our Goal?

Simply put, the Catholic League aims to protect the religious and civil rights of Catholics, and any others who are wrongly targeted, often by utilizing a newspaper article or other types of media that are widely seen. Being Catholic can be difficult in our modern time, with stigmas associated with our religion, so our job is to protect and defend those people who are trying to live their lives as good Catholics. Sometimes the media will take our religion (and other beautiful religions) and degrade them to something much less than they really are, and we are here to speak out and say that we will not sit idly by as we are criticized and mocked for our faith.

Wow! That may seem like a great deal on your plate from the start, but let me assure you, it's not so dry and technical as it may look at first glance. Our organization is full of good-hearted people who want to carry out their faith in their everyday lives and help others to do the same. All of this may still sound somewhat vague, but the best way for you to understand what the Catholic League does is to get an insider scoop of what our group meetings are like.

What are the Meetings Like?

Catholic League meetings take place throughout the country everyday in various forums. The League is made up of chapters, which are local groups that make up the overall national organization. The best way for you to have an understanding of this group is to see what goes on at the lowest level, the chapter meetings.

Each meeting begins with a prayer that was written especially for the Catholic League in which we pray to Mary Our Mother for strength to carry out her will and propagate the faith. Most groups have a leader (or moderator on the school level) who organizes the meetings and keeps the discussion on topic and focused on what is most important. The moderator will briefly mention upcoming events that the group will have the opportunity to participate in. These are usually religiously affiliated programs, but they will be mentioned more in the next section, "What Does the Catholic League Really Do?" After announcements have been made, members of the club are welcome to come to the front of the room with an article that pertains to Catholicism or the Catholic League and discuss its content with everyone. This sharing of ideas promotes thought and discussion among participants in the meeting, and sometimes action.

Many of the articles that are discussed are relevant to the Catholic League responding to individuals or groups who have slandered us, and then of course the Catholic League's response (the emblem of our organization is in fact a sword and shield, but I like to think of it as being in defense since Catholics tend to be the victims of media ploys and rumors). For example, a man once sponsored a billboard that was very anti-Catholic and which mocked the Nativity scene in New York City. The billboard read, "You Know It's a Myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason!" The Catholic League responded by subsequently paying for another billboard afterwards that showed the Nativity scene with the caption: "You Know It's Real. This Season Celebrate Jesus." Part of being Catholic is standing up for what we believe in, especially when others mock us or degrade our religion.

After the articles are read, the group usually discusses how the Catholic League responded to the offense, and members share thoughts about whether the situation could have been handled better or if we could have done anything differently for a more preferred result. Often times, the actions of the Catholic League are decided by our president, Bill Donahue, the vocal leader of the community and the publisher of The Catalyst, the official Catholic League journal which many members subscribe to in order to stay informed of current activities of the League. Most official business of the Catholic League takes place at the higher level, with people like Bill Donahue who are in a place to control the group's funds and carry out large decisions in defense of our faith.

How do you know if this group is for you?

You've now learned who the Catholic League is and what happens at a typical meeting, but if you are still unsure about joining our cause, it would serve you well to see what Catholic League members on the chapter level of the community can do to fulfill our duties as Catholics. However, since you are curious this very minute, I can tell you that most League members take their faith very seriously, and they are united under the common goal of wanting to help those in need. Just like many other associations throughout history, the Catholic League fights to correct injustice and cruelty in the world, in hopes to spread the Good News of our Lord.

What Does the Catholic League Really Do?

An outgoing and strong-willed association, our Catholic League has lasted and been successful in its many endeavors because it has a strong support system, like me and my peers, and possibly you! Without many members supporting the group's activities, the Catholic League would have crumbled under pressure many years ago, but it has endured some very tough times in Church history. Any success the League has had can be attributed to our strong faith and power in numbers. So let me give you some insight as to what average members of the Catholic League do to support and defend our faith, and, believe it or not, we have a lot of fun in the process!

Many chapters of the League will host workshops to support the pro-life cause that the Church defends and to educate members as to why abortion is objectively wrong. Many chapters also choose to support pro-life rallies and movements, the largest of which is the March on Washington, which takes place in late January and is attended by hundreds of thousands of people. I personally have been to the March on Washington four times, and I can confirm that is a fantastic experience to be among people who share your views and to be united under a common goal. People tend to pray and sing hymns during the march, and other groups and religions will join in as well to make the country aware of the evils and sadness that accompanies an abortion. As a member of the League, I felt like I was a part of something much bigger than myself and it was refreshing to share in this activity with people who were just like me.

Is the Catholic League for You?!

Towards the beginning of my time with the Catholic League, I was slightly unsure about whether or not the group was for me, and I couldn't decide if this organization was truly something I was supposed to be a part of; many people had some very extreme views on Church matters. After a week or two, I grew to know my peers in the group and the moderator of the chapter a bit better, and I realized a simple fact: all the people at the meeting were similar in the fact that they had the welfare of the Church and its people as their top priority. I quickly made friends among the group members, and shortly after I joined, it seemed as if I had always been in the Catholic League - that's how welcoming the group is!

So while you may be unsure about joining a new community, let me tell you that our community is made up of genuine people who are trying to do the best they can. We have a friendly environment, full of discussions about current events and Church issues, and together, we defend the Church against people who wish to see its demise. My experience has been rewarding and very satisfying, especially when we come together as a community for a cause, and I'm sure if you join us as well, you will have the same great experience I have had!

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