An Open Letter to All of our Users
We’re a little over $30,000 short of meeting our expenses for the first quarter this year, which is the largest first-quarter deficit CatholicCulture.org has ever had. I do not know exactly why that is the case, since we are actually reaching more people than ever. Total individual users grew by over 40% again in 2013 to just over five million persons. Those who benefit indirectly from the inclusion of our material in blogs, radio broadcasts, newsletters and parish bulletins form an even larger group.
So it does not seem that we are lagging because we are not doing a very good job of articulating what it means to think and live Catholic. Of course, attracting financial support is a key component of success, too, and perhaps such difficulties do indicate a serious failure in our mission of enriching Faith, strengthening the Church and forming Catholic culture. If so, CatholicCulture.org cannot pass too quickly from the scene, if I do say so myself.
But if that’s not the case, then everyone who benefits from what we do needs to pitch in, with prayer and financial support. Nor do we need prayer only for money. We need prayer to help us think clearly and write well, to remain faithful while being creative enough to foster Catholic mission in new times with new questions, to accurately represent the mind of the Church—to avoid seeing everything through the lens of one favorite issue, or through our own pet projects and pet peeves.
Still, for those who can afford it, prayer without material commitment is thin gruel. All of us, it seems to me, need to reflect on this—not just in relationship to our work at CatholicCulture.org, but in relationship to what it means to be a follower of Christ. I include myself here. Believe me, I do.
In any case, just saying “Lord, Lord” (Mt 7:27) is not enough at any time, and certainly not in a world which can no longer count on an easily-accessible Catholic presence. CatholicCulture.org is such a presence. It represents (I hope) the kind of muscular Catholicism that encourages people to think and live Catholic, which includes rolling up their sleeves and getting things done. It is ironic, then, when CatholicCulture.org can’t get itself done!
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