New documentary calls on lay Catholics to become civic leaders

Catholic lay leaders An advertisement from the new documentary on Catholic lay leadership, "The Hour of the Laity," created by Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. | Courtesy of Tepeyac Leadership, Inc.

What is the role of Catholic laity? Some may say to attend Mass, to raise their children in the faith, and to practice the Church’s teachings in their homes and family lives. A new documentary film is offering another perspective. 

“The Hour of the Laity” focuses on the urgent need for lay Catholics to engage in society as civic leaders. The 13-minute film, created by Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. (TLI), brings prominent Catholic leaders together to encourage viewers to take on this vocational challenge and use their time, talents, and resources to spread the “values of the Gospel.”  

“We are trying to change the chip in the minds of lay Catholics to help them think about more effective and strategic ways to advance the mission of the Church,” said Cristofer Pereyra, CEO of TLI.

The film features Bishop Emeritus of Phoenix and TLI’s founder Thomas Olmsted; Father Luke Mata, vicar of Opus Dei in California; Deacon Charlie Echeverry; author Erin Monnin, and Pereyra himself, among other lay Catholics. 

“The more that we see problems in society, especially with regard to masculinity, femininity, family, marriage, if that’s happening we cannot remain silent about this,” Olmsted says in the film.

Mata adds, “You would be failing God to do God’s will if each and every single lay man and woman is not being a leader where they are. You can’t run away from it.” 

The speakers in the film highlight one particular area in which lay Catholics can make a real impact on society — through board service, especially school boards.

Pereyra also points out three areas of importance for lay Catholics to lead in civil society: having an understanding of the Church’s teachings both on Catholic social doctrine and human dignity, and making a lifelong commitment to grow in virtue. 

Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. was created six years ago with the mission of teaching faithful lay Catholics how to be effective leaders in society. The Tepeyac Leadership Initiative offers a five-month-long training program designed specifically for lay Catholics. As the initiative explains on its website, the goal is to educate participants “in the core teachings of the Church and their concrete application to the career world.” 

You can watch the full documentary here

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