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A Seat at the Tables Where Decisions are Made

The Hour of the Laity Poster.

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This October 1, Tepeyac Leadership, Inc. (TLI) will release its awaited short documentary film, The Hour of the Laity, about the urgent need for lay Catholics to engage society as civic leaders. The 13-minute film can be streamed free on TLI’s YouTube and Facebook accounts.

“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 six-year-old Catholic apostolate headed by Pereyra started as a diocesan program in Phoenix. Since the pandemic, TLI has grown into a global leadership-development program with the mission of forming lay Catholic leaders. Pereyra added, “It’s not Catholic leadership for the parish, but for civil society.” The Hour of the Laity is a vocational challenge to the laity to take on leadership roles in the secular world (i.e., board service, public office, philanthropy). Pereyra hopes the film will reach Catholics “who have been given the gifts, talents, and resources to influence society with the values of the Gospel.”

About the message of the documentary, John-Andrew O'Rourke from Blackstone Films, the documentary’s director, has said, “Its urgent message will help the average lay Catholic rethink his or her own role in the Church and in the world. While some of the ideas discussed in this high-level production will sound revolutionary to some, at its heart, the film is really a call to get back to the basics. Lay people have a vocation and a duty in the world which were emphasized by the Second Vatican Council, but which today are unfortunately widely ignored and neglected.”

Who’s in the film?

One of the ecclesiastical advisors to TLI, the Bishop Emeritus of Phoenix as well as TLI’s founder, the Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, is a primary protagonist of the documentary. The other priest in the film is the vicar of Opus Dei in California, Fr. Luke Mata. Also telling the story is entrepreneur, podcast-host, and influential Catholic leader, Deacon Charlie Echeverry. A longer list of lay protagonists is led by the authors of the ground-breaking book Catholic Leadership for Civil Society, Cristofer Pereyra and Erin Monnin.

Commentary from the Clergy

About Pereyra’s work through TLI, the Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, and ecclesiastical advisor to TLI, has said, “As the founder of Tepeyac Leadership Initiative, Pereyra has a deep concern for the formation of Catholic leaders who can bring the Church’s principles and values to bear on their work in public life and in their professions.”

The Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Emeritus of Phoenix has said, “The true call of the laity, the authentic vocation of lay Catholic men and women, is to be ambassadors of Christ in the world, living among everyone else in secular society, while striving for holiness, sanctifying the world, and witnessing to the Gospel wherever they go. This is the aim of TLI.”

The Hour of the Laity shows that lay Catholic leadership is not meant to be lived out within the confines of the Catholic community exclusively, but instead serve as a guiding force which illuminates every aspect of secular society with the Truth of the Gospel. The documentary explains why lay Catholic professionals have a unique responsibility and privileged opportunity to influence the world for Christ. It’s not an optional prerogative, but their duty as baptized children of God. The film goes on to explain that chance and coincidence are not compatible with the Catholic Faith. If God has blessed some lay Catholics with a professional career, then their career must obligatorily become those Catholics’ field of mission. Ultimately, the documentary explores specific fields and concrete ways to carry out Catholic leadership for civil society.

The Hour of the Laity will be available for streaming, free, on October 1, 2022, on YouTube and Facebook.

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