Defending the Faith as a Catholic Professional

Defending the Faith as a Catholic professional in the workplace requires self-control and courage. In this article we are going to go over three things not to do, and three things to do in the face of attack on the Church in the workplace.

Three Things NOT to Do

1. Avoid Condescension

There you are eating lunch with some friends at work or maybe taking a break in between meetings, when someone attacks the Faith out of the blue. As Catholics we are used to these situations. But still, they can get our blood boiling. Often the attacks come from a place of ignorance and so it can be easy to respond by being condescending and belittling. But the truth is that responding like this does more harm than good and doesn’t help you defend the Faith as a Catholic professional.

Every one of us has experienced condescension. Condescension can destroy any chance of evangelization because it leaves the other person feeling dismissed, disrespected, and domineered. As Catholics, we are to be convicted that we have the truth in Jesus Christ and His Church. We are even required to respond to false attacks with the truth of the Gospel. But this doesn’t mean we get to be condescending, especially in the workplace where it can damage relationships and opportunities for further evangelization. It is helpful to keep in mind Philippians 2:3-4,

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.”

Remember that when we defend the Faith it’s not about making the other person realize how wrong they are, but about showing them how true Jesus Christ is.

2. Steer Clear of Aggressiveness

In our modern world, our go to reaction to any threat tends to be anger. We are easily enraged and often respond to others with aggression. This can be understandable, especially when faced with unjust attacks on the Church in the workplace. But we need to remember that the great saints and spiritual writers of the Church often talk about the dangers of anger. It’s not that we cannot be upset, only that anger often leads to sin. Remember, “Be angry, but do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

But how do we know our anger is crossing into sin or not? Well, again, Ephesians can offer some guidance. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to live the truth in love. In other words, when we respond to false attacks by presenting the truth it should always be done out of love for the other and for God. If our response is not oriented toward love, then it is likely leading more toward sin.

At the end of the day, it is important that we refrain from adopting an aggressive stance that fails to love the other person. This means speaking the truth in love.

3. Don’t Neglect Professionalism

Titus 2:7-8 lays out the main point of this section perfectly. It says, “[show] yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us.”

Maintaining our professional conduct in the midst of attacks on the Church is one of the best means to defending the Faith as a Catholic Professional. If we remain professional, acting with integrity as regards our teaching, dignity, and speech, then we will have witnessed to the truth of Christ. This, often even more than words, can be convicting for the one who attacked the Church.

It’s important that we neither let attacks on the Faith lead us to respond in inappropriate and unprofessional ways, nor that we let it distract us from carrying out our essential duties. If we fail to do this, then we give others a chance to say something bad about us which can only further undermine the Faith and your professional position.

Three Things TO Do

1. Educate Yourself

If we want to be able to defend the Faith anywhere, then we need to “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for your hope…” (1 Peter 4:15). This is true for all Catholics, including Catholic professionals looking to defend the Faith.

Just like having a good game in a sport begins with practice weeks before the game, we also need to be well prepared with our Faith. It is important that we understand our Faith and know why it is we believe what we believe and hope for what we hope for. If we do not understand these things, then when we meet challenges and go to defend our faith we might be without words and left with nothing but frustration and anger. It is pivotal that we are always learning more about our Faith and why we believe what we believe so we can share it with others.

So be sure to equip yourself with a deep understanding of Catholic teachings. And cultivate the ability to articulate them clearly by discussing the Faith often with friends and loved ones. This will enable you to engage in informed discussions and address misconceptions about the Catholic Church.

2. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel

Defending the Faith as a Catholic professional can be daunting. We can get nervous because people often will respond with hostility or confusion. Following Jesus can even damage your reputation in the eyes of some of your co-workers.

It’s okay to feel nervous. But it isn’t okay to let those nerves stop us from defending the Faith as Catholic professionals. We need to say with St. Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

We may not always feel calm, cool, and collected, but if we courageously choose to defend the Faith in the workplace, then we are saying, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel!”

3. Lead by Example

Our Faith is not something we are meant to be ashamed of. And it is certainly nothing we should ever hide. This doesn’t just mean defending the Faith from attacks by giving intellectual arguments, but it also means living out our lives with the heart of Christ. Jesus tells us, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).

When we live with real, authentic, personal sanctity we give the greatest defense of the Faith. Nothing spreads the Gospel like true holiness, and nothing is harder to refute than a Christ-like heart. This means that a central part of handling workplace persecution as a Catholic professional is a good prayer life.

As Catholic professionals, the best way to defend the faith is to live out your call to be like Jesus.


Jesus wants us to be His hands and feet in the world, and sometimes this means defending the Faith. Defending the Faith as a Catholic professional is not an easy task. There are many pitfalls to avoid and quite a few things to keep in mind. Stay away from condescension, aggressiveness, and don’t neglect professionalism. And make sure you are well educated, not ashamed of the Gospel, and lead by example. If you do this then you will defend the Faith as a Catholic professional with self-control and courage



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