Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
I don’t normally publish something like this here, but since the Register has such a big readership, and there is so little time, and hey! I’m a fan of all things Chesterton I thought, “Why not?”
In all of the American Chesterton Society’s good work, one of the most exciting things we have ever gotten involved in is helping to start a new high school. Chesterton Academy is just completing its second year of operations in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. We featured a cover story about it in Gilbert Magazine not long ago, but it has received other national press because of its uniquely integrated curriculum, its comprehensive approach to classical learning, its faith-based education, its affordable tuition and the fact that it is a grass roots effort. We are trying to fix what’s wrong with the world, and we’re doing more than sitting around and talking about it.
(For more information about Chesterton Academy, visit our website here.
I am contacting you today because we have just received an amazing fund-raising opportunity. A Minneapolis entrepreneur named Andrew Redleaf has announced that he is offering the school a challenge grant of up to $75,000. That means that for every dollar we raise from now until June 15, 2010, he will match it, dollar-for-dollar, up to $75,000. This means we can raise $150,000 for the school. This is gigantic for us because we are a modest operation that makes a little go a long ways.
There are several reasons why this is significant, but perhaps the most important one is that this school has impressed Mr. Redleaf, who is looking at this venture of ours as a total outsider. He is not Catholic (he was raised Jewish), and he has not studied Chesterton. But he likes what we’re doing. You can find the full story on Mr. Redleaf and his amazing offer to us here.
We have less than a month to raise the money for this matching grant. I know that times are tough, but I am calling on you to help us in any way you can. Please make a tax-deductible contribution today. Any amount will be helpful.
We will be very grateful for your help.
President, American Chesterton Society