“I support 1P5 because of your original, authentically Catholic content. 1P5 is my favorite site, hands down, for Catholic commentary.”
I have a story to tell you, and I hope you’ll stick with me, because it gets way more interesting than I expected.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but it’s a weird business model to work every day, providing content for free, and hoping people will voluntarily offer something to cover your costs in return. Can you imagine if McDonald’s just handed out free meals all day, every day, and hoped a few folks would throw some money in the jar?
I wonder how much they’d get.
Here at 1P5, we really strive to provide obvious value. I don’t want to ask you for anything if I think we’re not giving you something first. When it comes time to seek your help, though, I never like to simply say, “Hey, please give money to our thing so we can keep doing that thing.” I want you to know the story of who we’re serving, and how it benefits them. I want you to be able to make a connection between your gifts in support of our work and those who depend on us.
But we’re not exactly drilling clean water wells in Africa here. I don’t have photos of the children whose lives are made better by what we do. We provide information, news, and commentary. So I asked myself: “How do I tell this story better?”
Then the answer came to me: reach out to those who have supported 1P5 already, and ask them why they were willing to contribute their hard-earned dollars to help our effort. So yesterday, I sent out an email asking exactly that.
I didn’t know what to expect, but wow! I’m already overwhelmed with the responses. Here are just a few:
Ginny writes, “Straight answers to questions. Keeps me informed. Orthodox.”
Barb says, “I believe you are authentically Catholic, provide timely and accurate information, and don’t avoid the truth.”
Jodie says, “I support 1P5 because it’s important to back REAL Catholic journalism like yourselves and Church Militant, that work to expose the rot in Holy Mother Church. Otherwise how can we clean house?”
Mike writes, “I have 1Peter5 at the top of my links that I check out almost every day. Love your humor on the short videos you put out. We traditional Catholics need that in these darkened times. I enjoy reading most of your contributors. They give me much to ponder over and think about.”
Julie says, “I support 1P5 because of your original, authentically Catholic content. 1P5 is my favorite site, hands down, for Catholic commentary.”
Barry writes, “In an age of significant confusion and ignorance surrounding society globally [despite the revelation and activity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ]….I have found 1P5 to be a modern day sign of contradiction and an oasis of sanity amidst the deafening madness of relativistic noise. A source of comfort for the housebound and infirm.”
Ann says, “I like (that’s an understatement) OnePeterFive because it is smart, visually well presented, and it upholds the truth of the real Catholic Church. Reading your articles and essays encourages me that there are many other Catholics out there who value traditional Catholicism as I do, who understand the perils we face today from sloppy and even heretical preaching, and from the strange maneuvers of the Vatican. Thank you for this excellent source of bold and insightful journalism!”
A reader who wishes to remain anonymous replies: “I currently work for the church in the diocesan pastoral offices of my diocese. Needless to say, the last year has been a trying one and with so much coming to light it’s been a battle at times to keep my faith amidst doubts. I rely on sources that I know will talk about the issues without putting on any rose colored glasses, sources that I know won’t back away from telling the truth but at the same time aren’t out to attack any and everyone who might have made a mistake. I see 1P5 as one of those sources. I am concerned about many of the issues I see coming up in the church especially because I work with many parishes and have an opportunity to see the diversity in the local church for the good and the bad. There is so little understanding of the foundations of the Catholic Church out there and it can get defeating. Reading 1P5 is a source of comfort for me because it helps to remind me of the deep truths of the tradition of our Faith.”
And finally, Gerard writes, “I support 1P5 because it has been my essential guide and source for info on Church issues, liturgical commentary, and stories from Catholics who are striving to live their Catholic faith. And my following of 1P5 has coincided with my journey into better understanding of the state of Church affairs and most importantly, my discovery and growing love for the Traditional Latin Mass. … While I have been learning about traditional piety and liturgical practices, One Peter Five has provided a wealth of knowledge and information for me on what to read, how to live out the faith, etc. There are so many topics on this site and it covers a broad spectrum of Catholic life, unlike other websites which tend to focus on one or a few aspects only.”
These are only a handful of the replies I received since yesterday. I have over a hundred more like these, and they’re still coming in!
And in one heck of a coincidence (or pure providence), right after I got done sending out my email request, a friend sent me a screenshot of something that lines up perfectly with my query.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe it fell into my lap like this.
Before I tell you what it is, I think a little backstory is in order.
Mark Shea has been a popular Catholic writer for many years. He’s written a number of books that I’ve been told numerous times have helped people who were converting to the Catholic faith. About a decade ago, Mark and I were both regular columnists for Crisis Magazine. We had a friendly back-and-forth over the traditional Latin Mass, and I genuinely felt that we had mutual respect for each other’s positions. There was one time, in particular, when my family went through a very serious tragedy, and Mark urgently asked his readers for prayers on our behalf. I’ll never forget it.
Unfortunately, something happened at the beginning of the Francis papacy. Although we’d never seen eye to eye, Mark went strongly in one direction and I went in another. When I wrote about the ominous feeling I had the first time I saw Francis at his election, Mark made a point of mocking what I said, even though to my knowledge he’s never addressed my concerns. He’s brought this up a number of times in the years that followed, even though we no longer interact.
Mark and I very clearly no longer see Catholicism on anything close to the same terms, and I’m genuinely sad about that. I wish we could. He is…not enthusiastic, to say the least, about the editorial perspective of sites like 1P5. And that’s exactly why what follows is significant.
Yesterday, Mark posted something about us on his Facebook page. Here’s a screenshot:
While Mark may lament this trend, it’s the first thing that’s given me a glimmer of hope for Catholicism in a long time. The American Church — and truly, the global Church — is already in massive trouble. I know that I’m not happy about it, and neither is Taylor Marshall or Father Z.
The difference between us and guys like Mark is, we’re trying to do something to fix it.
And apparently, a lot of seminarians want to be a part of that effort. We hear from them occasionally, usually in secretive, confidential correspondence. One time, I was able to coax an anonymous article from a seminarian, who was very concerned about the state of the Church — but he was very worried he’d be found out for saying so. The next day, we heard from another who felt the same way.
I know there are countless others for every one we hear from.
We also get supportive messages from priests regularly. Sometimes, we even hear from bishops. And although I don’t know if the numbers in Mark’s post are correct, if they’re even in the ballpark, that’s amazing!
40% reading sites like ours in liberal seminaries? 70-80% in others?
That’s real confirmation that we’re reaching people who matter, and that this work is making a difference.
And we all know the truth of it: we need desperately for our next generation of priests to be informed, awake, and ready to tackle the issues we cover here. (If you’re a seminarian reading this, please feel free to contact me with your thoughts, especially if you’d like me to share them. Your anonymity will be protected!)
And THIS is what you’re funding when you fund 1P5. You’re funding one of the best, most widely read, most influential independent Catholic media outlets in the world today. You’re helping countless people stay sane in a tidal wave of bad news. You’re helping countless people around the world who can’t afford to pay a subscription for the content we produce, but read it every day. You’re helping to shape the minds, hearts, and opinions of our next generation of priests.
That makes you a vital part of the resistance to the infiltration of the Church.
So here’s the pitch: We’re currently at just less than 50% of our fundraising goal. I was crunching some numbers today, and according to my calculations only .07% of people who have ever read this website have made a financial contribution for any amount.
Point zero seven percent.
According to my McDonald’s analogy, that’s a lot of free hamburgers.
If you enjoy 1P5, if you come here often, even if you roll your eyes at fundraising campaigns (I admit that I often do) I’m asking you to make whatever commitment you’re comfortable with to keep us online for another month.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a single dollar. Or even just twenty five cents. One time I had a lady give a single penny, because, as she said, “Every cent counts.” We had roughly 150,000 visitors to this site in the past 30 days. A little bit times a lot of people adds up. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can be a part of this story.
Whatever you decide to do, thank you so much for your readership and your support. God bless you!
Publisher & Executive Director
P.S. – Rather than just leaving comments open on this post where things are easily lost, I’m going to encourage you to send me your own testimonial using our contact form. If you send one in, please use “1P5 Testimonial” in the subject line, and let me know if you’re willing to let me publish your comments in a future post. Thank you!
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.