It has been said that there is a time of year that is very good for giving a money sermon, it is called winter. And the preacher must prepare his church for this sermon. In some places, like Kansas, we must check the weather and make sure it will be cold out. We can have a seventy degree day here in January, and this will not work. Saturday afternoon we could go into the church and turn the thermostat down to fifty. We want people to be cold, while we preach to them, so they get the idea we are barely making it money wise. Some might recommend summer, but do we really want people’s hands too sweaty to write a check?
“Give me neither beggary, nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life.” (Proverbs 30:8)
All kidding aside, running the Vatican in Exile, VIE Catholic Radio and our other ministries requires money. Some have asked how we support our own selves and the work of the Church. In 2010 Phil Friedl and I started the press project through Createspace, a division of Amazon. Basically we published our own works and republished out of copyright Catholic books. We have published over 2,000 books since we began. About two hundred of these books are also published in a Kindle edition. This produces an income sufficient to support our personal living expenses, such as food, clothing and shelter. And usually we have just barely enough to cover the expenses of the work of the Church.
Fifteen months ago an opportunity came by for a part time job for me. I decided to take it, because expenses have increased. I net about a hundred dollars a week as an independent living worker, working two five hour shifts a week.
If I stopped supporting the Church, I could live reasonably comfortable, but I do not believe I should do that. Saint Paul asks: “Who serveth as a soldier at any time, at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth the flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” (I Corinthians 9:7) Pope Michael does. We support the Church, the Church has never supported Us on a regular basis. Gifts come in here and there but very sporadically. Currently the Church costs me a thousand dollars a month.
Well, we have run into a problem. Although the house needs work, that is not the problem. We are working on a solution to that problem. No this one is more immediate. Some time back Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing, so people could take their Kindle books to the paperback market. More recently Amazon decided to transfer all of the books on Createspace to Kindle Direct Publishing. The transfer became effective the first of December. And here is the problem. Createspace paid one month after the money is earned, but Kindle pays two months after it is earned. Basically one month (January) we will get paid nothing as part of the transfer. So we have no money to operate on in February.
Before going on, we would like to thank those who helped with our recent roof problems. And also those who are contributing, whether it is ten dollars or a hundred, every bit helps. An estimate has come in on the roof repair, $5,300, which will eat up the majority of the insurance money, although that was expected. While continuing with repairs, We notice some other issues that need to be addressed. This is to be expected in a house that is about a hundred and twenty-five years old.
We would like to ask all of you to give us a little something every month. This would give us some breathing room and enable us to continue doing what we are doing.
Some of you might ask, why not put Father Francis Dominic to work to ease the situation. He already has a full time job, preaching the Word of God. When he first moved here he did work, but found he was getting nothing done for God. He is a blessing not only to you, but also to me. He is responsible for running the websites, beginning with the Vatican in Exile. Www.vaticaninexile.com And then he is working on the Traditional Catechism website. https://www.traditionalcatechism.com/index.php And then he runs the internet radio station. And this also takes time, a lot of time. https://www.viecatholicradio.com/ In his spare time, he is visiting people here locally and running our local mission. https://www.sainthelencatholicmission.org/ If you are friends with him on Facebook, you know he posts a devotion for every day. I have shared some, because they are so good. He brings a unique view to things and presents it quite well.
I record a weekly sermon for the radio and compose the Pope Speaks and another piece for the Olive Tree. And then there is correspondence and it takes time to figure out what to say to people to encourage them on their road to heaven.
When the opportunity was presented to me, I decided that Father Francis Dominic’s work is more valuable than what I can contribute. Basically after over thirty years at this, first trying to get a papal election together, and then being elected, has been a lot of work. And frankly my productivity has slowed down.
Henry Edward Cardinal Manning said: “Priests who have only a handful of souls may become theologians and authors, and may serve the Church more lastingly by their writings than by their activity. Leisure and tranquility are two necessary conditions for sacred study.” Then he quotes Saint Augustine: “The charm of leisure must not be indolent vacancy of mind, but the investigation or discovery of truth, that thus every man may make solid attainments without grudging others to do the same.” We have read several books on sacred study. One book says that two to possibly six hours are the amount of productive time. Another tells us that this requires the consecration of our whole life, and this is quite true. When we are not writing, we are studying the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. We are consulting the Fathers of the Church, other saints, etc.
Saint Paul says: “But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.” (I Corinthians 7:33) When I am having to care for secular concerns, I feel divided as well. Basically the days that I work are shot, especially the one day a month, when I take my client to Kansas City. Although I only get paid for five hours, I am out ten or more hours. And occasionally we have two runs to Kansas City. On the other days, I might get something done before going in at eleven. Coming back after four, I am usually not productive.
And then my mother is 90 and I need to spend some time with her, which usually blows another day out of the water each week. We have Mass at Thornton Place on Sundays now, which takes part of that day. Soon we will be going south for a family in southern Kansas, as much as our budget will allow. Then a couple of hours go to shopping each week, which minimizes part of another day.
There are other projects and needs that need to be addressed, but there simply are not the funds to pursue them. I recall a book written by Bishop Francis Clement Kelly, third Bishop of Oklahoma, entitled, The Forgotten Commandment. In his book he said he had a pile of letters with good ideas for projects in the diocese, but will have to say no, because there is simply not enough money.
We have asked for your prayers for the needs of the Church, now we ask for help on another level. Be assured of our continued prayers for all from here.
Link for Father Francis Dominic.
“Giving to Gods Work”
And also a link to the donation page: