How You Can Help Me
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Update, 11/17/19: This is a very old piece, from the beginning of my time writing this blog. I have learned a lot since I posted this back in January 2019, but most of the suggestions still ring true. Today, I would also add two things to this list:
First, if you live in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, please connect with Awake, our local ministry of committed Catholics responding to the crisis in our Church. This is the best way to get involved to make a difference in our own little corner of the Church.
Second, if you want to make a financial contribution to the support of this blog, please consider doing so through my Patreon page. Thanks for your help making this work financially sustainable for our family!
Thank you so much for all of the affirmation and support you have offered me in the past few weeks. I am so grateful to be surrounded (both physically and virtually) by such an incredible community of thoughtful, engaged, and faithful people who care about me and care about this work.
Several of you have asked how you can help support me right now. Thank you for asking! I actually have quite a few ideas, so for those of you who want to help in some small way, read on for suggestions!
(By the way, I am also planning a post with concrete recommendations for actions the laity can take to work for the renewal of the Church. That’s a much bigger project that needs more time to develop, but please know that those ideas are coming. In the meantime, these are just ideas for how you can support me personally in this work.)
Help Me Learn
Inform: If you come across an article, website, blog post, news item, or resource I should know about (even if you think I’ve probably already seen it), please send it my way! I am trying to read and learn everything I can, but I know there are probably perspectives and current news I am missing. Thank you to everyone who is already sending things along to me! (If you want to be extra helpful, share the link with me via email or a comment on the blog, rather than a Facebook post or message. It’s harder for me to keep track of everything on Facebook!) Bonus points if you share good news of a priest, bishop, lay person, or organization that is taking concrete positive steps to help. There is a lot of good work happening around the country already, but a lot of it is under the radar. I am trying to gather best practices that we can all learn from.
Contribute: Tell me what you think! I am trying to listen to as many points of view as possible - Your thoughts, feelings, experience, and insights help form my perspective. (This is especially true if you disagree with me or you think there’s something I am missing in my approach.) Comment on the blog, send me an email, or invite me to get together and talk - I’d love to listen!
Connect: Suggest a person I should talk to. Do you know someone that cares a lot about this issue, has a perspective I may not have heard, works in a position with some influence, or has a unique experience to share? Please help me get connected! I have had many great conversations already, but I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I want to bring together as many voices as possible.
Spread The Word
(I hope this doesn’t feel self-promotional, but right now writing is my best tool for reaching out to others and building engagement. So, please help me get my blog to as many people as possible!)
Share: Pick the blog post that resonates with you the most and have the courage to share it publicly on social media (especially if you’re active somewhere other than Facebook, since that’s the only social media site I use). Besides sharing on your personal page, think about any groups you are part of that might be interested and share there as well. I know it can be uncomfortable, especially if you don’t usually post anything controversial, but think about it this way - If people know you are Catholic, do they know that you care about this issue and are doing what you can to help? Or do they think you’re happy with things the way they are? Don’t you want your friends and family to know that there are lay Catholics who care and are fighting for a better Church? (If you're not ready to do this, liking and commenting on my Facebook posts also helps more people see them.)
Email/Text: Think of any conversation you have had about the clergy abuse scandal in the past few months. Send an email or text to those people you talked to, suggesting they check out my blog. Or send a group email to whatever Catholic groups you are part of, pointing them this way.
Subscribe: Don’t forget to subscribe to notifications for my blog. If you’ve just been seeing my posts on Facebook, remember that you can’t guarantee the social media algorithms will always bring my posts to your attention. Email notifications are the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Collaborate With Me
Comment: Be brave! Post your reactions, ideas, criticisms, and questions in the blog comments or on the Facebook page. I would love to build more open dialogue about these questions, but that takes people being willing to put their comments up for others to see and engage with.
Suggest: I have a million ideas for blog posts (and not nearly enough time to write them all), but I want to prioritize writing what will be most helpful to you. Is there something factual you can’t quite figure out from reading the news stories? Are you wondering what I think about a particular issue? Would you like some help navigating a particular aspect of this, emotionally or spiritually? Let me know (in a comment below) what you’re interested in talking about, and I’ll prioritize that.
Edit: I am a complete novice at this blogging thing! I feel pretty confident in my writing skills, but building a functioning website has definitely been a challenge. If you see something that looks wrong or isn’t working correctly on the website, please let me know. Of course, it would cause this grammar-nerd serious distress if I misplaced an apostrophe or something, so if you catch a writing mistake, let me know that too.
Engage: If you’re reading this blog, I know you care about the renewal of the Church. I believe every person in the Catholic Church today has a responsibility to be informed about the abuse crisis and do what they can to help, but God will call each person in a different way. For some folks, all you can do right now is read this blog, pray, and watch for opportunities to speak up or be an advocate in your personal life. However, if you want to do a little more, if you’d be willing to give an hour or two at some point to collaborating with me and taking action, let me know. I am happy to meet in person or talk on the phone. Please pray about what you can commit to this work, and let me know if you want to be invited to take the next step with me.
Most importantly, if you want to help, please, please pray for me! Please ask God give to give me strength, courage, and wisdom. Pray for me to grow in the virtues of humility, prudence, and hope. While you’re at it, pray for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. This is messy, painful work, and I know I need God’s grace to do it well while remaining pure of heart. Please pray that I remain close to Jesus, no matter what.
Thank you for your support on this journey.
Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ...
You are Christ's body, and individually parts of it.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27