For the past three days, I’ve been at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumberg, Illinois for the combined Catholic Writers Guild Live! Conference/Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show. This is the 21st year of conferences for the Catholic Marketing Network and the eighth year for the Catholic Writers Guild.

Not only is it a chance for me to see friends and colleagues, but also it’s a time for me – to all of us – to share information, learn new things, encourage one another, and recharge our batteries for the year ahead.

Why is that so important? Because working in Catholic media and publishing can be truly tough at times. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, and if I dare speak for others, I think we think all enjoy and believe in what we do. That’s why we do it.

Many years ago, a colleague suggested that I write things that were generally Christian instead of things that would be specifically Catholic. I’d make more money that way, she said, and I’d reach a broader audience.

Perhaps.

But, then I wouldn’t be true to myself or to the mission that I believe God has given me. How can I be anything but what I am – Catholic down to my very core? If I tried to root out the “Catholic” in what I write and speak, it would all be stinted and empty. This isn’t to say that Christian writing is stinted or empty. On the contrary, I have many non-Catholic Christian friends, and I have great admiration for them.

That’s just not who I am. And, I believe it’s not the “who” that others are who diligently work in Catholic media. What we do is a conscious choice that requires hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. For the most part, we do what we do with small staffs on shoestring budgets and less pay that our secular counterparts.

Why? So that we can bring forth the Truth in our uniquely Catholic perspective not just in the pew, but out into the world at large.

I remember once being lectured by a young man who declared it was “sinful” for anyone to accept money for writing or speaking the Truth in terms of the Catholic faith. He was adamant in his stance, albeit a naïve one.

Consider this. If everything accomplished by Catholic media and publishing was done in our spare time apart from our “day jobs,” then very little of any significance would get done. Our energies would be concentrated on supporting ourselves and our families rather than ministering to those who eagerly await (and desperately need) the Truth.

That’s why those who work in the industry need your support and why we need the support of each other. Without that mutual support – financially and publicly – we can’t do what we do and do it well for the glory of God.

I’m proud to work in Catholic media and publishing, and proud of all my colleagues who do. It was great to have participated in the conference in Schaumburg, to meet again with friends both old and new, and to regenerate for another year so that we can all continue to bring you the Truth in all that we do.

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To learn more about the Catholic Writers Guild:

https://catholicwritersguild.org/

To learn more about the Catholic Marketing Network:

http://www.catholicmarketing.com/