Catholic Leadership

The Catholic Vote: Our Moral Obligations and What’s at Stake this Election


“As Catholics, we bring the richness of our faith to the public square. We draw from both faith and reason as we seek to affirm the dignity of the human person and the common good of all.” 1 There seems to be a lot of confusion in the Catholic Church surrounding the upcoming election. Priests and bishops are supporting both candidates, congregations are hearing mixed messages, and people are looking for truth in the wrong places. With this election being one that will change history and our country as we know it (whether for the better or worse is [...]

The Catholic Vote: Our Moral Obligations and What’s at Stake this Election2020-10-20T10:34:22-07:00

Prayers for Such a Time as This


A global pandemic, racial injustices, and an election year each on their own are enough to make anyone crazy. But this year brought us all of it. We’ve had to adapt to new ways of living and “being.” We’ve watched and experienced true devastation. Our faith and hope have been challenged in ways that we never thought possible or perhaps never expected in our lifetime…And the year isn’t over yet. It’s easy to get caught up in everything, to add fuel to the fire, to be angry. And there are plenty of people doing this already. But as Catholics, [...]

Prayers for Such a Time as This2020-09-30T10:58:36-07:00

What Do Sales and the Gospel Have In Common?


Disclaimer: This blog post is not about selling indulgences. “The Catholic Church does not now nor has it ever approved the sale of indulgences. This is to be distinguished from the undeniable fact that individual Catholics (perhaps the best known of them being the German Dominican Johann Tetzel [1465-1519]) did sell indulgences–but in doing so they acted contrary to explicit Church regulations. This practice is utterly opposed to the Catholic Church’s teaching on indulgences, and it cannot be regarded as a teaching or practice of the Church.” ( When I was in University, people naturally asked me what I majored [...]

What Do Sales and the Gospel Have In Common?2020-09-18T08:44:16-07:00

Disciples in Training


This was the speech given by Denise Barajas, President of the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative Class of 2020 in California, at the graduation ceremony for the 2020 TLI cohort in California. ___ Good evening, everyone. I am honored to be named the first president of the Los Angeles TLI cohort. I want to take this time to thank Archbishop Gomez for welcoming TLI into our Archdiocese, Bishop Olmsted for starting this amazing initiative along with Cristofer, our fearless leader, who has had to deal with so many changes but took them up graciously and persevered in helping us seamlessly finish [...]

Disciples in Training2020-08-27T08:58:56-07:00

We Are Called to be Servant Leaders


This was the speech given by George McNeely, President of the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative Class of 2019 in Arizona, at the graduation ceremony for the 2019 TLI cohort in Arizona. ___ Bishop Olmsted and distinguished guests, First and foremost, on behalf of the TLI Class of 2019, TLI Director Cristofer Pereyra, thank you for your courage and endurance. To paraphrase Alexandre Havard from his book, Virtuous Leadership, “Courage is the sacrifice of self for the realization of prudent and just goals. Endurance, as the essence of courage, requires a strong proactive spirit in which man’s deepest strength reveals itself.” [...]

We Are Called to be Servant Leaders2020-08-06T15:37:46-07:00

Stillness: A Reflection


In this moment of silence there is a stillness all around me. I can breathe in deeply while letting the crisp air fill my lungs. It’s peaceful, nice and quiet. Refreshing, to say the least. This moment. This silence. It goes from one minute to two to three and while breathing it in there is something else here. Movement. Movement in the stillness. But that movement doesn't come from outside distractions but from inside of me. Not in one particular place but all within me. It’s loud and I just want to move for my mind to be occupied [...]

Stillness: A Reflection2020-07-20T09:35:10-07:00

Catholic Leadership Amidst a “Paradigm Shock”


This was the speech given by Luke Kircher, President of the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative Class of 2020 in Arizona, at the graduation ceremony for the 2020 TLI cohort in Arizona. ___ In the tradition of TLI, I’d like to start how we begin all TLI gatherings – with our opening prayer… “O Mother, strengthen the faith of our brothers and sisters in the laity, so that in every field of social, professional, cultural, and political life they may act in accordance with the truth and the law brought by your Son to mankind.” The Holy Spirit works through each [...]

Catholic Leadership Amidst a “Paradigm Shock”2020-07-10T09:37:29-07:00

Words of Gratitude


This was the speech given by Gustavo Estrella, President of the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative Class of 2018, at the graduation ceremony for the 2018 TLI cohort. ___ Thank God for our Bishop, Thomas Olmsted, for his visionary leadership and remarkable foresight in arming the people of the Diocese of Phoenix with faith-forming programs, such as TLI, in order to advance the mission of the Church. Your passion and tireless efforts to the mission of evangelization are an inspiration. We are very fortunate to have a dedicated leader at the helm such as Bishop Olmsted. Thank God for Cristofer Pereyra [...]

Words of Gratitude2020-06-15T08:16:28-07:00

An Opportunity to Respond with Love


No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you stand on the current events in our country, this time in history is a time we will all look back on and remember. What happened yesterday in Phoenix, Scottsdale, San Jose, Chicago, Tampa, and many other places is heartbreaking. This situation is hitting close to home for many people. For me, it’s knowing that some of my friends have had to post up outside their businesses and bear arms in the midst of the chaos. Many individuals have committed criminal acts—thieving, looting, and rioting—under the guise of “protesting” [...]

An Opportunity to Respond with Love2020-06-02T15:24:39-07:00

The Feminine Genius


I was in my first semester of my freshman year at Arizona State University. As a Catholic who desired to continue living my faith in college, I hoped to find a community of people desiring the same thing. However, my shy personality combined with how overwhelming this new college experience was made me too scared to venture over to the Catholic Newman Center on campus. About a month in to the semester, by what I believe was Divine providence, a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary, Anna, met me on campus and invited me to the women’s Bible [...]

The Feminine Genius2020-05-29T09:33:39-07:00
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