I’m writing this update to “touch base” early in the baseball season about an exciting new Catholic Exchange project that will appeal to everyone, whether or not you’re a sports fan. But first let me give you our quarterly update on some of our recent accomplishments.
Knocking It out of the Park
The Catholic Exchange website is more popular than ever, having hit new records in March and April with over 300,000 unique visitors each of those months. We're looking forward to serving an even bigger audience when we unveil the long-awaited, improved and updated version of CatholicExchange.com later this year.
Also, as promised, our Catholic Exchange Today podcast is now a nationwide radio program on the Ave Maria Network! The hour-long weekly show is running on a number of Catholic radio stations across the country. If it's not on your favorite Catholic station yet, please call in and request it! Of course, Catholic Exchange Today, along with our daily podcast, Rock Solid with Mark Shea, is always available on the CE website for instant online listening or download. And next month we will be adding a brand-new podcast from CE board member Fr. Stan Fortuna.
Our newest project, which made its debut at our enormously successful, first-ever Catholic Scripture Study conference last month in Charlotte, is a program to introduce our children to the Faith as taught by the Church through the Scriptures. It's called CSS Kids and is produced by the same first-rate team that runs our Catholic Scripture Study (CSS) program (which is now in over 300 parishes!). Sadly, many children's faith formation programs are like a candy-based diet sweet-tasting but lacking any real substance. CSS Kids speaks to youngsters at their level, but offers solid teaching to help them grow into healthy, well-nourished people of faith. We're now offering this program to parishes and study groups across the country.
Catholic Exchange also furthered our mission to influence the culture via the media by helping launch the God or the Girl reality series on the A&E Television Network. CE's legal team worked closely with the producers of the series to ensure that the Catholic Church, its priesthood and the men discerning their vocations were depicted with dignity and respect. The show got a great response. As a Catholic Exchange viewer wrote:
What an awesome accomplishment to get God or the Girl on the air. It was utterly amazing to watch and listen last night I never thought I'd see a positive representation of praying at an abortion clinic on a mainstream cable channel, let alone such a constant stream of favorable comments about Christ and His Priesthood! Your mission to get true Catholicism out of the “niche” media model has taken a GIANT leap forward with this show. M. Browne, New York, NY
In many ways, God or the Girl playing on A&E represents the best kind of media evangelization. We want to reach people who might never otherwise be inclined to turn on a Catholic TV station or open a Catholic newspaper and let them know that the Church has a message of salvation for them and for all people, that all are invited to the banquet.
Next up at Bat
Our newest project will do just that. Called Champions of Faith, it is a documentary video that looks at how the Catholic faith inspires and elevates some of the top players in Major League Baseball. CE's John Morales, host of our Catholic Exchange Today radio show and veteran TV sportscaster and reporter will host the documentary. Even if you don't know a double from a double play from a double espresso, you'll see inspiring stories, classic game highlights and astonishing interviews with baseball heroes in some cases living legends on how their careers have been strengthened and magnified by their faith in God and the Catholic Church!
We've already begun work on this powerful and unprecedented production, interviewing future Hall of Famer and current Padres catcher Mike Piazza, Royals All-Star first baseman Mike Sweeney, Angels manager and former All-Star catcher Mike Scioscia, and other notables. We also attended the first-ever Vatican Sports and Church Conference in Rome, created by the late Pope John Paul II before the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and talked with pitcher Jeff Suppan of the Cardinals, former Athletics great and current Brewers General Manager Sal Bando, and former Angels catcher Darrell Miller. More interviews with current and past baseball stars will take place throughout the course of this season.
Champions of Faith is providing these true modern-day heroes with a rare opportunity to discuss faith in God, belief in the Eucharist, teamwork, sacrifice, leadership, humility, sportsmanship and the many virtues, values, and spiritual lessons they have learned from the game of baseball. We believe this documentary will inspire young people to be champions in the game of life by putting God first.
Keep Us in the Game
The unfortunate consequence of having all these exciting, faith-filled projects in the works is that we've stretched our resources to the limit. So, dear friends, we need your help more than ever before. We've always been amazed by God's providence and the generosity of the Catholic Exchange audience, and now we need to ask you to be more generous than ever before as we continue our mission to evangelize the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. The vital evangelizing work of Catholic Exchange a non-profit organization is not funded by the Church. Only the support of viewers and friends like you keeps us in the game.
We're deeply grateful for all your help and prayers, which we need now more than ever. Along with the expense of these new and challenging projects, of course, we also need to continue operating the powerful Catholic Exchange website and our uniquely fruitful Catholic Scripture Study program. We humbly ask you to consider the following:
If you haven't helped us yet this year, could you please consider giving now, when we really need your help? Just click here
If you have already made a contribution to Catholic Exchange this year, could you offer something extra at this crucial time to help us with our new projects?
Could you tell a friend or relative about Catholic Exchange and ask that person to match your contribution? To pass the word, click here.
We have always offered the services of the CatholicExchange.com website at no charge, but that does not mean it is free. It costs tens of thousands of dollars each month to keep CE going, yet only a small percentage of our visitors ever make a contribution. If you've never made a gift to Catholic Exchange, I ask you to please find it in your heart to help us now. And if you have given before, I ask you, if it is within your means, to please give something to make up for those who cannot afford to donate at this time.
Here's how to contribute quickly, easily, and securely.
- You can use your credit card online right now to send your gift. Just click here
You can donate over the phone. Just call us toll-free at
You can mail your gift to us at:
P.O. Box 231820
Encinitas, CA 92023
Without your help, CE cannot expand its successful evangelizing programs programs that you helped inspire and seed with your past support! You can help us meet this huge challenge through your prayers and the most generous tax-deductible gift possible.
So please, let me hear from you today. Our work for the Church depends on your help!
Sincerely in Christ,
Editor & President
P.S. Please take a moment to send us the most generous gift possible for this important work at this critical time. Don't our young people deserve the best faith formation materials possible so they don't fall away from the Faith during college? The CSS Kids program will help our children learn to love the Faith, the Catechism and the Bible, while the Champions of Faith documentary will show people of all ages in particular our men and boys that a lively faith and heroic achievement on the playing field of life go hand-in-hand!
Thank you for doing your part to strengthen people's faith during this crucial moment in the history of the Church and the world!