The Power of the Laity

With much clamoring about more power sharing (code words for a church which votes on everything) the true vocaiton of the laity is often overlooked.

Vatican II is very clear, as are the writings of JPII, the the very nature of the lay persons call is secular in nature and the fulfillment of their vocation is found in the temporal order. Ie. Working for God does not mean quitting your job and being employed by the some parish or diocese. The fullness of the vocation of the laity is lived in the temporal realm and ordering secular affairs to the kingdom of God.

Why this big build up. The text of the following article will show you what the potential of the lived lay vocation can do.

Builders in Austin, TX Boycott to Stop New Abortion Business

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 24, 2003

Austin, TX ( — In a boycott that may be the first of its kind, a group of builders
and contractors in Austin, Texas have banded together to stop construction on a new abortion

Workers were slated to begin construction on Tuesday of a new $6.2 million Planned Parenthood
abortion facility.

“We’re going to do everything we can to stop it, slow it down and make it more expensive,” said
Chris Danze, owner of Maldonado and Danze, Inc. an Austin concrete contractor.

Danze is chairman of the Austin Area Pro-Life Concrete Contractors and Suppliers Association. He
said every concrete supplier within 60 miles of Austin has indicated it will not supply materials
or labor to the project.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business, though it doesn’t have a facility
that does them in Austin. The new building was scheduled to open in the fall of 2004.

The boycott is a surprise in a liberal city that bucks the pro-life trend of the rest of the
state. However, a Planned Parenthood representative claims the project still has the support of
most city residents.

“Our plans are underway and we have a great deal of support from our community,” said Danielle
Tierney. “Tactics like this sometimes come with the territory,” of providing abortions, she told
the Associated Press.

Another Planned Parenthood spokesman says the boycott won’t interfere with the timetable for

“It will not delay the start of this project,” Glenda Parks said.

Danze indicated his group contacted more than 750 Austin and San Antonio-area contractors asking
if they would participate. So far 80 have joined the boycott officially. Danze says others aren’t
joining officially but they won’t be supplying materials or labor for the construction project.

“You don’t walk on to a job that the purpose of the project is going to be something that is going
to dehumanize women and children, and in fact, destroy lives,” Danze said.

“There will be resistance. Our hope is that we can stop the project, if not slow it down, and make
it more expensive,” Danze added.

Elizabeth Graham, associate director of Texas Right to Life, said her group applauds the actions
of the contractors.

“We encourage all Texans to boycott businesses who support and encourage the anti-woman agenda of
Planned Parenthood,” Graham told

However, Graham says Planned Parenthood is still pursuing a lawsuit to obtain state tax dollars
and skirt a new pro-life law prohibiting abortion businesses from obtaining state family planning

“Planned Parenthood is currently attempting to use the court system to obtain millions of dollars
from Texans redirected by the Texas legislature despite the fact that it received $5million in
private funds,” Graham explained.

Graham said a large donor bequeathed $17 million for their Houston operation.


8 Responses to “The Power of the Laity”

  1. John Says:

    Now *that* is cool!

  2. Del Says:

    I, too, applaud the action of the contractors, but how is it that refusal to provide material and services on moral grounds to a “legal” business is not illegal discrimination? I guess my understanding of the totally out of control legal system in the US is confused.

  3. Ben Callicoat Says:

    Great story, Fr. Todd. I’m a fan of yours. But it brings up a question: what are you planning for your homily for Respect Life Sunday?

    Will you tell your parishioners like it is (i.e., that abortion is the murder of the innocent – at a rate of 4,000 killings per day in this country alone), or will you opt for the safer route of comparing abortion to capital punishment – as if the two things were morally equivalent?

    A Fan in Tulsa

  4. Todd Says:

    Peace, all.

    It can be very safe to condemn abortion to an audience that either supports the condemnation or remains too timid to speak out. Preaching on capital punishment can be potentially more challenging, for many Catholics of good will hold it as a possibility, if not a moral good.

    More apt would be to ask if a priest would touch this nugget:
    – The Genesis 1 creation story emphasizes that the man and woman should be fertile and multiply.
    – The Genesis 2 creation story (this weekend’s) focuses instead on the fulfilling relationship between the man and the woman.
    How does this emphasis on the relationship — initiated and created by God — square with formerly acceptable notions of marriage. And of course, what Respect for Life (a non-liturgical factor) has to do with any of this. I’m glad I’m not preaching this weekend.

  5. Father Todd Reitmeyer Says:

    You can look back at past homilies and get some ideas. I am sitting down to work on it tomorrow. I will probably focus on abortion and voting. My state has Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle as senators. There is a disconnect that needs to be remedied.

    We shall see.

  6. Tim Says:

    It’s great that you, Fr. Todd, intend to preach “the full Gospel.” I believe that you agree with me that strictly equating abortion and capital punishment is incorrect. Peace be with you!

  7. Father Todd Reitmeyer Says:

    Sure I would Tim. Capital Punishment, as an end, is morally acceptable under the right circumstances. Abortion never is.

  8. Lynn Says:

    I commend them for their creativity and courage!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: