Card-carrying Catholics

First slide
First slide
Previous Next

MANCHESTER, England - English and Welsh bishops are producing a million "faith cards" to identify the holders as Catholics in the event of an accident.

The credit card-sized items will be distributed during February and March throughout all dioceses, including the Bishopric of the Forces and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The Department for Evangelization and Catechesis of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced Jan. 31 the cards should serve "as a reminder that all baptized are invited to know and share their faith."

On one side, the card features a space for the owner to sign a clear statement that he or she is a Catholic.

The cards also feature a list of six things that Catholics are called to do: pray, share with others the joy of knowing Jesus Christ, celebrate the sacraments regularly, "love my neighbor as well as myself," "use the gifts that I have been given wisely," and "forgive as I have been forgiven."

Along the bottom of the card is a sentence that reads: "In the event of an emergency, please call a Catholic priest."

The reverse of the card features a quote from Blessed John Henry Newman, the 19th-century English cardinal, about the individual vocation that God has given to each person.

"We all carry a variety of cards in our purses and wallets which reflect something of our identity and the things that are important to us," said Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the bishops' Department for Evangelization and Catechesis.

"The faith card for Catholics aims to offer a daily reminder of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ," he said in the press statement. "We can't summarize the whole of our faith in bullet points, but we hope that the card simply inspires people to do, read and learn more."

He also said that carrying a faith card "takes courage; it signals to others, every time you use your wallet or purse, that you believe in God, that your life has a purpose, that you are trying to love and serve your neighbor."

"We hope that Catholics will use it to witness to their faith," he said. "If someone asks a question about Catholicism, a starting point could be to show the card and to take it from there."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970