Holy cow, 2018 was a dumpster fire on rocket skates, wasn’t it?
In my first look at the coming year back in January, I predicted that 2018 was “going to be weird. It’s going to be a year of defying expectations. Of things not going at all the way we think they will.”
I think that wound up being fairly prescient.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself — a year-end review of the most important stories may be in order before we put the last nail in the 2018 coffin — but I’ll say right now that the one-two punch of McCarrick and Viganò are the stories of the year. The re-opening of the sex abuse crisis is laying bare levels of corruption in the Church that even the cynics are raising eyebrows about.
What about you? What do you think was the defining moment for the Church in 2018? And do you agree, as I also predicted back in January, that this was “the beginning of the end for Francis and Friends”?
I’ll be honest. We’re arriving at the finish line this year in more of an ungraceful skid than a glorious sprint. I have found myself these past couple of months more exhausted than I’ve ever been. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. For both personal and professional reasons, 2018 has been a slugfest. I’ve tried very hard not to let it show in my work, but my family and I have moved three times this year as we’ve tried to get settled someplace permanent. Today is the first day since August that I’ve had a functional office to work from. I even got the microphone out of mothballs. The soundboard has been unwrapped. It’s time for podcasts again. (Maybe even videos, if you can stand to look at me.)
I’m thankful that it’s Advent. That Christmas is around the corner. It’s time to take a rest. To be with family and friends, and to lick our wounds. The breaking stories will keep coming — though hopefully at a slower pace for the next couple of week.
And I think we all need to do some soul searching.
What is it that we want 1P5 to be in 2019?
It’s a question that is always on my mind. I’ve promised our audience several times that we would focus on the better things, looking for signs of hope amidst the ruins. And every. single. time, I find myself drawn into some breaking scandal that emerges just days (or hours) after I say it.
We have to cover the big stories. We don’t have to browbeat our community day in and day out with bad news. We know that the Church has been co-opted by evil men. Do we need to track their every foul utterance, or should we really just watch for the larger trends? The big pushes?
What do you think?
And when it comes to hope, what fills you with it? Where are the stories that make you joyful to be a Catholic among the wreckage? What gives you the tenacity to dig in your heels, grip your sword, and fight on? How can we help?
As the year comes to a close, my inbox is filling with fundraising campaigns from other worthwhile Catholic outlets. They are larger publications, looking to raise huge sums. $250,000. $500,000. I’ve seen both of those big numbers today.
I try not to hit up our intrepid readers until the 15th of the month, but in a very real sense, we are competing for your hard-earned money, and if we wait, we know your resources are limited and it may be too late. We’re small. We don’t pump out ten articles a day. But if you value us, I hope you’ll consider keeping us going.
2019 will mark our 5 year anniversary online. It’s a milestone. We charged into this fight nearly alone in 2014, and it now appears we’ve got allies on every side. That’s the power of truth. That’s the power of content funded and driven by the people. We began with so many doubters and detractors, but we’re still here because you want us to be, and you have kept us going. And that’s the only reason. We have nobody to keep happy but our audience and God. Nobody but you. We don’t need, want, or care about our relationship with the bishops. We don’t have big donors buying us favors we can only repay by dancing to their tune.
Our new head office is in a converted garage bay at my house. Simple. Small. Effective. There’s no corporate office. No company lease. OnePeterFive is a federation of freelancers, working from wherever we are, collaborating via the Internet as a digital David to take on Goliath.
And to be honest, we like it this way. Never before has something like this been possible. The traditional power structures have passed away. Only the truth matters now.
So before you give to these other big publications, we ask that you consider making a tax-deductible donation to push us over the top. Help us to finish the year on a strong financial footing, as we seek to expand our stable of writers and offer more and better content in 2019.
We don’t need to raise $250,000, or $500,000. We need to raise just $12,130.04 as of this writing to meet our monthly goal and keep us in the fight as we ready ourselves for next year.
We know that not everyone who gives in support of our work is eligible for the tax deduction, but for those who are, we want to remind you that OnePeterFive is a is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All US donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law — and this month is the last chance to get those in for 2018.
And finally, whether or not you can contribute financially, please know that we need your prayers now more than ever. In turn, we will pray for all of you.
As we finish out the year, all of us at OnePeterFive would like to wish you a grace-filled advent, a blessed and merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!
Publisher & Executive Director
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.