Priests just can’t do the job by themselves, the group says.
problem with many of us [Catholics]. We put everything on the shoulders
of priests," Siy, 52, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "Worse, we
rest our faith solely on priests and we focus on rituals. We are what
they call ‘sacramentalized but not evangelized,’” not knowing the true
meaning behind the rituals.
Since its founding in 2000, the group offers help in apologetics, which is the defense of the truth of Christian doctrines.
"Many of us have a deep faith but it stops there. We no longer know how to respond if we're asked to defend it," Siy said.
The group offers
nine to 12 courses covering the sacred Scripture, sacred and Church
tradition, salvation history, the Blessed Mother, the papacy and
The group came
together because of their faith. Siy, a management consultant in the
chemical industry, had started a small Catholic bookstore, Totus, six
years ago. He invited a handful of regular customers to a meeting to
give him an idea of the books they liked, but they decided instead to
form a group of "defenders of the faith," reported the Inquirer.
The group, whose
members come from a variety of professions, focuses mainly on Catholics
who have joined evangelical denominations and the rapidly-growing
new Catholic group in the Philippines is helping to bring erstwhile
Catholics back to their faith. Founder Henry Siy and his mostly lay
companions, known as Defensores Fides, (Defenders of the Faith) have
been working mostly on a one-on-one basis, to invite Catholics back.