Episode 10: How to Start an Institutional Apostolate, Part 2—Jeff Mirus

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jul 10, 2018

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This episode is for anyone who believes he is called to found a Catholic apostolate, or anyone who is overseeing one already. In this second part of a two-part interview, CatholicCulture.org founder Jeff Mirus shares more lessons from his decades of experience founding several Catholic organizations.

In the mid-80s he left Christendom College to start a publishing company. Then circumstances forced him to transition away from full-time apostolic work which, though painful at the time, providentially set the stage for him to return on more sustainable terms, leading to the present online apostolate.

Links

Part 1 of the Jeff Mirus interview https://www.catholicculture.org/podcast/index.cfm?id=9

Books mentioned

Fr. William Most, The Consciousness of Christ

Read online: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/most/getwork.cfm?worknum=215

Buy used: https://amzn.to/2N3Kgsy

The Fr. William Most Collection https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/most/

Timothy T. O’Donnell, Heart of the Redeemer https://amzn.to/2zpGrMC

Warren H. Carroll, The Guillotine and the Cross https://amzn.to/2uiShSL

Jeffrey Mirus, Reasons for Hope https://amzn.to/2L0oaXs

Jeffrey Mirus, The Divine Courtship https://amzn.to/2zzsdsL

Dennis Larkin, A Walk to Rome https://amzn.to/2MXqkri

Review of St. Katharine Drexel biography https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1266

Show Notes:

Jeff Mirus interview

3:51

1:20 Summary of Part 1

3:50 Jeff leaves Christendom College to start a publishing company, Trinity Communications

5:54 Why Jeff doesn’t like looking backwards

8:49 Getting Trinity off the ground using Christendom’s mailing list

10:45 Jeff’s two books, Reasons for Hope and The Divine Courtship

11:34 Efficiency of running a small company without a board of trustees and political battles

12:50 Some of the best books Jeff published: Carroll’s The Guillotine and the Cross, Fr. Most’s The Consciousness of Christ, Larkin’s A Walk to Rome, O’Donnell’s Heart of the Redeemer

15:37 Failure of Trinity as a publisher in 1991, Jeff’s realization that he could not do apostolic work full-time

16:34 Jeff learns to program, begins computer consulting and online apostolate, Catholic Resource Network, work for EWTN

19:35 CatholicCulture.org’s predecessor, PetersNet, begins in 1996—funded by computer consulting business

21:24 Trinity does all the programing for Phil Lawler’s Catholic World News, then a separate company

23:16 Importance of making it so Jeff could be removed by other board members if he ever went against the Church

24:27 Why God forced Jeff away from full-time apostolic work in order to put him in a position where he could both support his family and serve the Church without overworking himself

25:33 Programming analogy: Elegant solutions to problems vs. using “brute force”; importance of standing back from problems and learning to delegate and work with a team

30:12 Differences between PetersNet and CatholicCulture.org

32:31 Ethos distinguishing CatholicCulture.org from other faithful Catholic websites when it started in 2003

35:56 Trinity buys Catholic World News in 2006; transition from funding via for-profit company to email-solicited donations just in time for 2008 financial crisis and dissolution of Trinity Consulting

43:19 CatholicCulture.org’s reciprocal model of support; depending on Divine Providence rather than being an institution that exists to perpetuate itself

48:03 Future of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org: transitioning away from Jeff’s leadership

50:01 Final advice for those doing apostolic work: “Unless the LORD builds the house, he labors in vain who builds it.” (Psalm 127)

51:59 This week’s excerpt: St. Katharine Drexel

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All podcast music by Thomas V. Mirus unless otherwise stated.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist, composer, and occasional amateur comedian living in New York City. He produces and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

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