As Catholics we often times use the stock response of I’ll pray for you, but what we really mean is, that’s nice… leave me alone.
So what brings on this statement of condemnation, why so judgmental? Well, I am an owner of a Catholic business and was partners in a Catholic Book/Gift shop in the past (notice I said past, that’s because it no longer is). The years of hear this phrase has now gotten to me. Lets start with the Gift shop…
A few years back my sister a mutual friend and I opened up a Catholic Gift shop (STATIC Gift’s) in Plymouth Michigan, a nice little town with an upscale downtown area. We opened up just off of the main drag. We sold books gifts and other Catholic/Christian goods. We offered free coffee and tea and exceptional customer service. What few regulars we had (who am I kidding, what few customers we had) always commented on our friendly at home feeling we had, we even has a fire place (electric) and comfy seating to just relax a-spell. It was a perfect place to come and just enjoy and hopeful purchase gifts and books. The problem was, most Catholics spent little but offered to pray lots.
At first we said thank you and took that as a good sign, that they too would return. But they never did return, and one can only hope that they did offer up their prayers. Towards the end when we would be offered their prayers as opposed to money we would shoot back (either out loud or in our minds), “Thanks, we need prayers, but we also need money to pay the rent, we tried to send the prayers to the land lord, but he didn’t want them” .
The day came that we had to close down the store, the prayers just weren’t paying the bills.
Now I am the owner of STATIC Solutions, LLC, a educational programming company that has created a one-of-a-kind faith based program for Middle School youth. (Yes I like the name STATIC, it stands for Students Tacking Action Together In Christ). This past July I started my marketing campaign for sell the program, and as of yet have only sold it to one parish (the parish were it has been in use for the last 4 years). I have many friends that work in parishes and some who even work with youth, yet all i hear from them is “I’ll pray for you” “It looks great, love it, I’ll Pray for you”. Once again Thanks for the prayers but I need money to keep this going, prayers will not pay for the website nor for new development with in the program or more marketing to get it known.
Now I am not asking anyone to purchase the program just because they know me or are friends with me, but I am asking for a little more help than I will pray for you….
To me it seems the we Catholics do not support Catholics, I have seen this over and over, nit just individuals but also other Catholic based companies. We tried to forge relationships with other Catholic companies when we had our store and all to often ran in to brick walls, mainly with companies that could help us grow or help us promote our shop. We even had local parishes shun us… It was a very sad commentary on the Catholic community.
We all should be supporting our faith in and out of the church building, this means donating to your local Catholic radio or shopping at a Catholic Book store or finding catholic businesses on-line and using there services.
The faith is not just what we do on Sunday, but what we do all week. Now I am not saying that to be a good Catholic you have to buy only Catholic books or videos, but I do think we have an obligation to help support them, to offer more than just our prayers… How easy is that, I’ll pray for you…. Thanks I need all I can get, but I could also use a little help in the money department….
Once again please do not take this as a “I only want money” statement, it is not, it is more of a statement of our (mean Catholics) lack of response to our faith outside of the 4 walls of the local parish.
So now I have ranted and raved, I feel a little better, and now I ask all of you Catholics reading this blog, please pray for me and my new adventure but also look at the STATIC site (www.staticplace.com) and if you home school see if it will work for you and please send the site you your local parish and let them know about the STATIC Program or if you know of other Catholic companies that may be able to help get the word out let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send them to the site.
Thanks and God Bless
and I will pray for you…