First, some good news! They won’t be open for Pentecost, but Los Angeles churches have a plan for opening in time for Trinity Sunday, praise the Lord! (Trinity Sunday is in fact the absolute “deadline” for receiving communion during the Easter season. It warms the cockles of my heart to think that the powers that be around here might have taken that into consideration.)

From the archives: Pentecost is Bigger Than Christmas

I’m seeing lots of other plans for opening in cities across the world, and creative solutions, and bishops advocating for the faithful when local governments don’t understand Catholic Truths. There’s a lot to be grateful for!

Reader Christine had a fun idea for Pentecost to bring us a bit of togetherness. Whether or not our dioceses have access to the sacraments, whether or not our personal circumstances allow us to participate in the sacraments . . . we are united in faith and spirit. On Pentecost (5/31) let’s show some of that fire 🔥! Light a candle, have a bonfire, on your own, or with a few friends or family members, and share it with the hashtag #pentecostflames and #catholicallyear I’d love to see this shared far and wide! Feel free to share my image or create your own. 🕊 💨 🔥 💦

Blessing of a Bonfire Booklet of Prayers, Blessings & Bible Readings {Digital Download}

And, second . . . I joined Patreon. But for a pretty good reason, I think. You can let me tell you about it here while Barbara offers you her crackers, or read on below. Or just click through to Patreon now.

Anyway, Patreon, is a platform that allows people to sponsor their favorite artists and creators so that those people can spend more time creating and less time hustling. It’s a cool idea. Don’t we all want to imagine ourselves as old timey patrons of the arts, sitting on our ancestral estates, helping out starving artists and bringing beauty into the world?

But that’s actually why I haven’t joined Patreon before now, even though you guys are so sweet and a few of you have suggested it. I just have to assume that the vast majority of you guys don’t have ancestral estates. I’m not starving and I don’t even really consider myself an artist. I’m more of a haver of whims and opinions and a compiler of things and that just doesn’t quite feel the same. I’ve always thought of this as a hobby and an apostolate and something I want to be doing anyway.

But, to be fair, it’s kind of an expensive hobby.

I started blogging back in January of 2013, just after blogs were declared dead. Social media is a great and very cost-effective way to reach people. But I still love longer format blogging and have no plans to abandon it. For many years my blogging expenses on google’s blogger platform held steady at $25 per year. That’s pretty cheap for a hobby.

But then google stopped supporting blogger. You can still have a blog there, but if something goes sideways with the platform they’re just not going to fix it, and all those years of posts could just disappear forever. So I made the decision to migrate to WordPress and invest in a better site there. I have an IT guy now, and a virtual assistant to help me with behind the scenes stuff. I have subscriptions to PicMonkey (for my graphics), Adobe (for formatting printables), and Mailchimp (for the new liturgical living newsletter) all related to the blog. Some of those expenses increase as the number of followers increases. And now that I reach so many more people, I spend over 300 times that original $25 a year to keep my website going and create and share that content. (And that’s not counting expenses related to creating the series of Liturgical living videos from last year.)

So I’ve got the shop and especially the monthly prayer booklets and the sales from those cover the expenses of the blog, but only if I can come up with new things to create that people want to buy every month, because the website upkeep is monthly. And that means I’m hustling to try to create new shop content and spending time on staging and photography and listings and all that gives me less time to work on blog posts and YouTube videos, which is content that I get excited about and I know you guys want.

And still, I didn’t want to pull the trigger on Patreon because this system was working. It was time consuming, but working. The way I’ve sometimes seen it used by YouTubers, patrons get early access to content and get exclusive content that the “regular people” don’t get. And I really wasn’t looking to do that. I want everyone to have the same access to my blog posts and videos and for everyone to be able to get in touch with me.

But then multiple people started asking about if I could provide subscriptions to some of the monthly liturgical living printables, so they wouldn’t have to go to the shop and make purchases each month. It turns out that Patreon seems AWESOME for that.

So, what does all this mean for you? Maybe nothing. All the free blog and video content stays free. The printable posters and booklets in the shop are still available and still priced the same for now. But if you think you could spare as little as $3 a month, I can get you a new liturgical printable poster every month, without having to spend time on staging and photography and listings. For $7 a month, you get a new dated liturgical clipart calendar every month, like the ones I’ve offered for Lent and Advent. And there are higher tiers with other rewards, like signed hard copies of my books (or not signed. That’s up to you) and all the tiers get discounts on all the digital products in the shop.

I usually have 1-2 big public speaking events each month and I had an inventory of all those books which are currently just taking up space in the garage. So hopefully this will be a way to get them into people’s hands.

In case you haven’t seen them before, here is an example of a Catholic quote image, this one is St. John the Baptist for June. They’ll vary each month.

And this is what the clipart calendar looks like. These will vary in color, but the style will be just like this each month. I went ahead and took some photos of the June set, but the benefit of the Patreon subscription model is that in future months, I can just create and share them, without staging, photographing, and listing. These monthly sets will only be available on Patreon.

My hope is that this platform will allow me to eventually offer updated monthly prayer booklets, maybe start workshopping recipes with you guys for the someday-going-to-happen cookbook, and be able to spend more time on writing books and blog posts and creating video content, because I’m spending less time on the hustle.

And in case you’re wondering why I had makeup on on a random quarantine Thursday, it’s because Jim and I were working on our talk for the Catholic Marriage Summit. It’s an amazing online program featuring some really amazing speakers like Scott and Kimberly Hahn, as well as the Darrows, Chapmans, Tomeos, and Fradds! It will be presented for free online June 11-13, but there’s also an all access pass available for purchase if you’d like more workshop-type content and access to the talks for a longer period of time. Anyway, it’s free to sign up. Check it out here.

Finally: Please do not feel obligated to become a patron! Nothing is going to change here content-wise, and I know not everyone HAS a few extra bucks a month. But, the monthly printable bundles are only going to be available through Patreon right now. So, if that’s something you’re interested in, or you’re not, but you just want to help support my content for other people, please consider subscribing to Catholic All Year over on Patreon. Thank you so much!