Last week over at my Being Saint Joseph Podcast I talked about Zach Braff’s new Kickstarter to support “Wish I Was Here” his follow-up to “Garden State”, which is billed as a sequel in tone but not story. In a little over three days Zach managed to raise over 2 million dollars and is still going. Let’s contrast that with the Kickstarter that I came across yesterday. Father Claude Burns who is also known as Fr. Pontifex is working with Spirit Juice Studios to produce his follow-up album and create a first-class music video. Father Burns is trying to raise $42,000 and after four days he has 57 backers and $2,241. I first came across Father Burns when he and Spirit Juice recorded a response to the viral video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” called “Why I Love Religion, and Love Jesus“. I have been familiar with Spirit Juice Studios for some time since they did some work for Greg and Jennifer Willits and their “The Catholic’s Next Door” radio show. If you are unfamiliar with their work, do yourself a favor and go checkout their website.
What I’m struggling to understand is that in a Church of 2 billion Catholics, with 77.7 million of those members in the United States alone how can a project like Fr. Pontifex’s have such a hard time raising funds? Now understandably only a small percentage of those who claim to be Catholic are active and an even smaller part of that number feel the need to support the New Evangelization. But even at that smaller percentage we as a community of missionaries should have no problem helping to promote and raise funds for each other. One of the original goals of Austin Catholic New Media is to do this at a local level. If we are serious about our mission I think there are a few things that have to be said.
- First of all stop the in-fighting. We are all on the same team here and if you haven’t figured it out by now no one is getting rich off of any of this work. So instead of taking people’s ideas and passing them off as your own, why not just help the person who had the idea in the first place get the project off the ground.
- Be honest. If a blog, podcast, video project, etc is not very good be charitable but also be honest with that person or group. No one ever got better at something by being told everything they did was great.
- Put your money where your mouth is and encourage others to do the same. The work of the New Evangelization isn’t cheap, especially if you want it to be done the right way. Everything we produced should be on par if not better then what people normally consume everyday. This takes time, commitment and money. Don’t think just because all you can give to your favorite apostolate is a dollar that it isn’t appreciated and that they won’t get every bit of juice out of that dollar that they can.
Think about it. If only a small percentage of Catholics in the United States were able to donate just $1 to Father Burns or similar projects he would have more then enough funds to get his new album and video off the ground. And lest you think I would say all of this without taking my own advice:
— Jason Elizondo (@jdzondo) May 2, 2013