The Word Among Us

August 2005 Issue

Soapbox Catholics

The Lay Witness of Sheed and Ward.

By: Gregory K. Roa

Long before the Second Vatican Council encouraged the development of the "lay apostolate," Frank Sheed and his wife, Maisie Ward, were hard at work building the church. For more than five decades, this couple personified what it means to be always ready to give "an accounting for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). They did it in ways that many may have found unconventional, but which we today might call pioneering. As street-corner evangelists, theological commentators, and successful publishers, Sheed and Ward blazed new trails and opened new opportunities for everyday people to give witness to their faith and proclaim to the world that God matters.

Eccentrics for Christ. The Sheed and Ward partnership began in the 1920s on an outdoor stage in central London's Hyde Park. Long before...


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