A Message to Our Readers

Dear Friends,

We recently marked the seventh anniversary of the birth of The Catholic Thing . When I wrote the inaugural column in 2008, I had no idea where we would be years later. But I knew one thing: we needed a steady, reliable, accessible voice explaining Catholic things and current issues in an online format. I’m biased – I admit it – and no one can expect to bat 1.000. But I think we can say that our slugging percentage is pretty high – and that we have lived up to the original mission.

After seven years, people in the academic world take a break, a “sabbatical” from their regular duties, usually to tackle some project of research or writing that requires extended leisure time. At TCT, we don’t take time off. We’re here every day, without fail, with the very best commentary and analysis that we can bring you.

And we don’t neglect the bigger things either: my 591-page book A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century will be published in the Fall; and our colleagues Brad Miner and George Marlin have just finished an equally long manuscript on the archbishops of New York, which you’ll hear more of very soon.

And that doesn’t even take into account the other essays, speeches, debates, media appearances, we’re involved with on a regular basis. I’ll be covering the pope’s visit to American in September for EWTN and doing a daily report on it here. But TCT receives no remuneration for that time or labor. Many people have also asked whether I’ll do a day-by-day report from the Synod in October, as I did last year. I’m hoping to, but that depends on how the financial picture shapes up.

We’re also planning – and will announce details about shortly – the pilgrimage/study trip to Rome right after the Synod, at which we’ll talk with several experts on recent developments in the Vatican, as well as take some time to enjoy together the spiritual and cultural riches of the Eternal City.

As you can see, we’re not afraid of work here, but I am worried about our financial situation. The economy is still sluggish, and this year some of our larger donors seem to have suffered setbacks. So I have to turn to you to help.

If this were a straightforward print magazine – which it could well be – we could charge you a $35 a year subscription, and that would be that. But it’s always been part of our vision for this site that it would be available to anyone who happened in, with the hope that it would encourage some, cause others to think, perhaps convert still others. I still believe in that.

The professionals tell us we go about fundraising all wrong. We’re supposed to make splashy, emotional appeals, like the secular non-profits – essentially scare you into giving. But we’ve always thought our readers deserve better than that from us.

Still, I have to ask for your strongest possible support now, at the very least a $35 contribution via Pay Pal or personal check. Are you in the fortunate position of being able to chip in for 2 or 3 or 4 readers who are not able to contribute themselves, but come here faithfully, every day? Another $70, $105, or $140?

One of the things I’m most grateful for are donors who have enrolled in a monthly giving plan via PayPal. For $10, $25, $50 a month you can make a significant contribution to our work in a way both easy and painless. But don’t let that stop you if you feel you can do a $500 or $1000 or more one-time contribution.

I’m going to be at this the whole month of June or until we think our work is secure for the rest of this pivotal year in the life of the Church and America. There are multiple growing threats in the world these days and we need not only to stop them, but roll them back. At TCT, we’re prepared to stay at our post in this crucial struggle. Are you willing to do your part?

Robert Royal