Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

The ten commandments of Catholic apostolic work

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | May 17, 2024

In view of our struggles with our current Queen of Peace Campaign, I am reflecting on the moral responsibilities that go with apostolic work. Instead of merely complaining of the difficulties, I thought I should spell out the moral challenges. The old humorous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow might have been written about those who seek and claim to do Catholic apostolic work:

There was a little girl,
    Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
    When she was good,
    She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.


We claim a high standard, but do we live up to it? Here are my Ten Commandments for those who claim to engage in Catholic apostolic work:

  1. Thou shalt not pretend thine own opinions are Catholic truth (no matter how brilliant thine own mind may be).
  2. Thou shalt not advocate one thing and practice another (no matter how otherwise good thou art).
  3. Thou shalt not put argument ahead of prayer (no matter how right thou art).
  4. Treat with respect those set over thyself in the Church (no matter how obvious their folly).
  5. Thou shalt not undermine another’s faith (no matter what thy pet ideas may be).
  6. Thou shalt not tempt another to rebellion against the Church (no matter how fierce is thine own righteous anger).
  7. Thou shalt not claim credit for another’s good work (no matter how much publicity thou needst).
  8. Thou shalt not discredit others working faithfully in the same vineyard (no matter how much potential income they have diverted).
  9. Thou shalt not excuse thine own passions (no matter how important thine own work seems to thyself).
  10. Thou shalt not grow rich on donations to further apostolic work (no matter how much thou desirest “a few worldly benefits”).

We at are, sadly, imperfect. But we are aware of the responsibility that goes with apostolic work, and we do try to obey these commandments.


We have never sought to operate with immense reserves. Instead, we operate from month to month, or at least from season to season—and we need your help. If we are to continue through the Summer financial doldrums, we must raise about $35,000 in the next two weeks.


Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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