Friday, March 23, 2007

Periucundum Est Catholicum Esse

Check out these wristbands, brought to you by Tom Hall and his non-profit Catholic organization Catholici Sumus ("We Are Catholic"):

[click image for more information]

Allow me to share with you his vision:
As a devout Catholic I am incensed and hurt by the endless attacks on the Church and unfair treatment in the media. It is outrageous that our society mocks Christian values. Fortunately, through the love of God there is hope.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit and motivated by John Paul's vision for a new missionary age, I am forming a non-profit Catholic organization called Catholici Sumus. The name is Latin for "We Are Catholic." Our mission is simply to be an advocate for the Catholic Faith, and in doing so, help bring people into a closer relationship with Jesus. We aim to be innovative in our approach, among other things supporting Catholic media and using the Internet to reach people.

Our first initiative is to sell wristbands embossed with "Periucundum est Catholicum esse". That's Latin for "It's cool to be Catholic." It is my hope that these wristbands will become a way for Catholics to evangelize. Wearing the bracelet makes a statement. More importantly, every time someone inquires about the purple (the color of penance) band on a friend's wrist it opens the door for dialogue. This can be a welcoming opportunity and unassuming way for people to talk about their Catholic faith. Our vision is to distribute thousands of these wristbands, leading to millions of daily opportunities to share the faith.

All profits will go to support our mission and the Church.

My first question when I read this was, "What will make your organization any different from groups like Catholic League and Catholics United for the Faith, who are already doing the type of work that Tom wishes to do? So, I asked him. Here was his reply:
First, the Catholic League and Catholics United for the Faith are terrific organizations. We do not aim to compete but rather compliment and support these types of groups. If I can differentiate our strategy, we plan to focus on technology and innovation to encourage grass-roots dialogue and build Catholic Faith communities.

Yesterday I listened to Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio speak about the need for Catholics to be more innovative in how we use the media to get the ‘message out.’ His discussion hit squarely at our vision. Why isn’t anyone building YouTube or MySpace for Catholics, or developing effective tools that help keep those addicted to porn from viewing it? Well, we want to do so.

Romans 12:6-8 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Currently, I work with a group of Kellogg professors in advising Global 1000 firms on innovation and business strategy. My background includes serving as Strategy Director at a global Internet marketing firm and I also ran my own web design shop. It is my wish to leverage these skills and knowledge in business innovation, web marketing, and the Internet, to help evangelize our Faith.

God has given me a terrific life. By the grace of God, I intend to do his work and give something back. That is why I recently founded Catholici Sumus, a non-for-profit organization. Our ultimate mission is to develop safe online communities and web sites for Catholics to celebrate, share, and experience their faith. Our first initiative is to distribute purple wristbands embossed the words: Periucundum est Catholicum esse (Latin for “Its cool …terrific…great…to be Catholic.”). Hopefully, by selling these wristbands two things will happen. They will encourage dialogue about Faith. Also, if we sell enough, then we can move on to developing our Catholic web sites. I am excited about the mission and look forward to many good things as the organization evolves and grows.

I can dig it. Tom looks very well-suited and qualified for the job, and I look forward to seeing what type of contribution he will be able to make towards the defense of our Catholic faith. Let's show everyone why it's cool to be Catholic.

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

Moneybags said...

I got the same email!

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