Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki starts with some history in the Herald of Hope column of a recent issue of the Archdiocese's of Milwaukee's Catholic Herald.
"From the earliest beginnings of the Church, individuals came forward in the defense of the Church’s teachings. They were referred to as 'apologists.' They present the reasonableness of the Church’s position. We sometimes forget that we have a duty to defend the Church’s teaching. Many of the early Church Fathers presented the teachings of the Church, which were not only convincing but compelling. It encouraged the Christian faithful to live the teachings in the face of society’s opposition."He eventually names names.
"Matthew Kelly, whose multiple books are free and widely distributed, much like the pamphlets of the evangelicals, is one. But Kelly, an Australian, is unabashedly Roman Catholic, and his works not only give insight to the reasonableness of the professed Catholic faith but a basis for the promotion of the faith in the communities in which we live. He is proud to be a Catholic and resonates with Catholics who love their Church. Kelly has a popular following and has been a tireless promoter of the faith."By "free" I assume he means available for purchase in bulk for free distribution. A generous member of my parish has done this a number of times.
"Patrick Madrid’s daily national program is heard on Relevant Radio. He has authored a multitude of books, one which is actually entitled, How to do Apologetics. I particularly enjoyed Pope Fiction, a 1999 work that deals directly with answers to myths and misconceptions about the papacy. He tackles Church teachings on Purgatory, the importance of tradition and the saints, to mention a few. He is well worth reading and arms the faithful in thoughtful responses to today’s criticisms."Not all apologists are lay.
"Bishop Robert Barron of 'Word on Fire' is a committed intellectual and advocate of the importance of the Church Teachings. Bishop Barron, who is a longtime friend, has been a consistent champion of interpreting the positions of the Church in a manner acceptable and understandable to our younger generations. He has been a great voice at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the importance of communications to the next generation of Catholic leaders. His philosophical training grounds his approach. I would encourage you to view his website, Word on Fire' and listen to his Sunday homilies. He is a teacher who excites his listeners. He has a group of devoted followers who understand the importance of sharing the faith."And finally,
"But before Kelly, Madrid and Barron, was Peter Kreeft. During the period of the 70s and 80s, there was a lack of attention to Catholic Teachings. Catholics, who at one time knew their catechism by rote, now were hard-pressed to answer simple questions about the faith. It was into this vast wasteland that Peter Kreeft was an almost lone voice directing individuals in their understanding of the importance and reasonableness of the Church’s teachings."Dr. Kreeft's website includes links to Featured Writings and Featured Audios and to his books available for purchase.