You read plenty of stories on Catholic Exchange, but do you know our story?
You’d never guess.
Once upon a time we were launched as e3mil.com (Evangelization for the Third Millennium), one of the first internet portals ever created for spreading the Catholic Faith right before the turn of the millennium.
We were a for-profit corporation on a Wall Street I.P.O track but fell victim to the historic dot.com crash of 2000. Investment vanished and we were suddenly in a desperate fight for survival.
A small core of committed workers put their hands to the plow and converted the popular site into a non-profit, donor-driven model and kept it powering away throughout the 2000s through thick and thin.
Necessity being the mother of invention, we launched Catholic Scripture Study with Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins, published A Guide to the Passion, which sold a million copies, and produced the Champions of Faith baseball documentaries that set a new standard for Catholic media production—all while presenting fresh spiritual articles every day on the website.
Early in the 2010s we shifted our management over to Sophia Institute Press, and now, more than 20 years since launch, Catholic Exchange is what you read today: a font of encouragement, inspiration, and tools for spiritual growth for Catholics like you, who, in the midst of busy lives, have their eyes fixed on heaven and sainthood.
Catholic Exchange is a noble tree on the internet landscape that has borne tremendous fruit for the Kingdom!
But let’s go back even farther, into the essence of our founding, which is more remarkable still. For it’s only by the grace of God that Catholic Exchange was ever founded in the first place.
You see, our founder, Daniel Daou, almost lost his life as a child in Lebanon. In 1973, he and his whole family were wounded and nearly killed when the bomb that began the 20-year Lebanese conflict hit their house. Daou was left with facial paralysis and shrapnel in his heart.
Soon after, the family escaped to France, where Daou had his next loss: his faith. Though raised in a devout family, he was influenced by the secular environment around him and as a teenager stopped going to Mass.
It wasn’t until he moved to the United States, where Daou met some evangelicals, that he began the journey back to the Church. At first, he was drawn in by his new friends’ love and support to live like them, but in time a holy priest, and Daou’s love for Mary and the Eucharist, drew him all the way back home to the Catholic faith.
Even still, launching a Catholic apostolate seemed far from Daou’s plans. He was a computer guy. By the age of 30 he had grown his family business, a leader in healthcare information technology services, into a multi-million dollar company.
But he had a secret: “I had actually promised God that, if I ever found myself financially secure, I would serve him all my life, full time.”
And so, the vision for what has become Catholic Exchange was born. Today, with some of the best and most readable Catholic content available—for free—and an archive of thousands of incredible inspirational articles to draw on, we are indeed bringing the Gospel to the world.
There were many points along the way when this life-changing apostolate faced existential crises, but God would always be faithful and provide us what we would need to survive, and sometimes thrive, and continue nourishing hungry, searching souls.
We happen to be at such a place again.
We are once again dependent upon the generosity of our readers to support our acclaimed podcast and continue publishing our online content. Without your help this spring, we cannot keep going.
We need to raise $60,000 today to keep paying our bills—which include our micro-staff, website hosting, phones, author stipends, and other incidental business costs. We don’t have big advertisers: We are reader-supported.
We don’t ask every month or even every week. We come to you just twice a year, and the Easter season of joy is one of those times.
To help us fund this portal of faith that has produced so much fruit and touched so many souls over the past 23 years, will you please make a tax-deductible gift to Catholic Exchange today? Can you donate $250 or $500, or $1,000? Or could you give $25, $50, or $100? No gift is too small – or too large!
Only you and God know what you can give at this moment to our humble request. Please ask Him. And be as generous as you can.
We have a great story, one that’s still being written to this day. But we need you to keep the story going.
Your generosity will help others be touched by our work, as has the generosity of so many before you.
Your friend in Christ,
Kristen Van Uden