It has been about 24 hours since I posted about the changes I am facing. HERE
Please read that.
At the end of that post, I invited notes from you.
I am floored at the outpouring of kindness. Your observations about how the blog has been useful to you are amazing…. conversions to the Church… support to enter or remain in seminary… young priests saying what they’ve gained…. so many “reverts” and people who have gone to confession after a long time or who now go more often. And more.
Thank you. It is a boost to read your comments and they’ve brightened my day all day long as they have come in.
Can I show you a few excerpts?
I can understand what’s on your mind. I’m a year or two behind you, but I’ve been thinking about how my life will eventually end and what I’ll have to show for it while I’m standing at St. Peter’s desk. With no wife, no children, and no nieces or nephews, unless my sister survives me or God has a truly miraculous surprise planned for me, chances are that whatever material things I’ve accumulated over the years will wind up in a refuse bin, and even much of the non-material things I’ve accomplished may be quickly forgotten. The only difference is that my duty for now is to stay put with my parents (who are in their 80’s, quite healthy, and have no intention of moving) and my sister and her husband, even though I’d like to get myself into a red state that might not be as crazy as the rest of the country. The message from God to me there is that we can’t always run away; sometimes, we have to face the demons, and sometimes we have to do our penance.
I’m a longtime reader of your blog. I just wanted to let you know
that your writings was instrumental in me becoming Catholic. My life has been filled with grace as a result. My 3 year old daughter is consequently being raised Catholic as a well. Two souls who will put in a good word for you!
I wish you the very best in your coming life adjustments. Along with the rest of your readers, I will continue to pray for you.
Fr. Z: As you solicited in your update, I write to tell you that your
blog has been incredibly helpful to me over time. As a veteran, I
admire your devotion to duty and your clarity about the mission. As a
baptized believer in Christ who enjoys “a certain, although imperfect,
communion with the Catholic Church,” your posts are uniquely
catechetical and a source of hope for me. The changes you announced
seem like good ones. Please know that my feeble prayers are offered on
your behalf. Take care and best wishes during this phase of the
Father Z, Your blog has been very helpful to me, a convert of 10
years. In particular, I recently asked you about my mom and a priest
who was insisting she attend RCIA initiation rites in person, despite
her health risks. You responded immediately and I acted on your
guidance, which gave my mom the confidence to petition the priest
again. He relented, and all is well as we await her arrival home at
Bless you Fr Z – we will indeed be praying for you. I will tell you this blog has been exceedingly helpful to me. If nothing else, your mention of the Seven Sisters apostolate was a game changer for our whole diocese! I look to you for pearls like that, and your insights on current events and all things liturgical are a point of reference for me that I rely on to to keep my bearings, along with the insights of a select few other individuals. I especially appreciate that at the same time you are orthodox, you are charitable. And funny. I also love that you’re a Ham radio guy, and I regularly forward those postings to my father, who has been at it since the 60’s (maybe, the 50’s?) and built his own 50 ft tower in the backyard when I was young.
Yes, your blog / apostolate has been extremely helpful to me. You have
helped me to see the beauty of and need to reclaim the fullness of our
tradition. You have provided a faithful lens to view what is happening
in the Church and the World. Your counsel to GO TO CONFESSION often
comes when I need to hear it the most. You have modeled a pastor’s
heart in your writings and have you have brought joy to my heart in
sharing things like meals you’ve prepared and snippets from your
travels. I, too, empathize with the “loss of mojo” and feeling a bit
of aimlessness (such is my current state as well), so my heart and
prayers go out to you as your figure things out and bear this
particular Cross to which the Lord seems to be leading you. Rest
assured of my prayers for you and my GRATITUDE for the gift of your
There would not be a liturgical renaissance in the Anglosphere without
Father Z. You taught two generations of us what we were denied by
those who were supposed to teach us these things. As a result, the
Tradition is preserved. You’re like a Benedictine monk in Ireland
copying Plato and wondering if anyone will ever care. You do more good
than you know.
You ask how your *blog* has helped people, but I must ignore that
instruction because we go back a bit further than that. In 2001-2002,
I was 20 years old, a junior in college, in my first relationship, and
studying abroad thousands of miles from my family. As I tried to
navigate all of that while remaining true to my faith, I turned to the
internet for help–a place where I felt safe asking all of the
questions I had. Somehow I found the “Ask Father Question Box” and I
learned so much from reading through the Q&A. At one point I think I
myself asked if a rosary would be an appropriate gift for my then
boyfriend, an Anglican. He is now my husband, and a Catholic. The “Ask
Father” posts are still among my favorite on the blog.
God bless you, Father. I’ve just come back from Confession with my
boys and I prayed a “Hail Holy Queen” for you while I was there.
I want you to know that your blog has been a huge blessing to me and
my whole family!
We will be praying for you as you enter the next phase of your
I joined the church about 20 years ago, I have learned more about the
faith from you than from anyone else!
There isn’t room here to list all the important things you have taught
me but I will share a few highlights.
I wrote to you many years ago asking how to accept my crosses and you
wrote back on the blog with a wonderful piece about “Steeling
ourselves” and not coming down from our crosses.
I printed many copies of that post and I still refer to that advice
My husband (his middle name is Joseph) is a hard-working, blue collar
guy. He loves it when you mention St. Joseph and he appreciates the
fact that you believe that St. Joseph must have been physically tough
to have protected Jesus and Mary!
Your blog was also a blessing when he was ill. He had a very serious
heart problem and was blessed by prayers through your Urgent Prayer
I thought of you when I was at Mass tonight. Our pastor’s homily was
about Andrew bringing Peter to Jesus and how his greatest wish is to
make it to heaven and to see people there that he helped on their
journey to Jesus.
My thoughts went to you and how I hope to meet you in heaven and to
thank you in person for all the help you have given me on my journey!
If the blog has been helpful to you, please drop me a note? So that I can spot your email quickly, please put in the subject line:
That phrase, by the way, stems in part from the Preface for the Dead, in the Requiem Mass. Vita mutatur non tollitur… life is changed, non ended. We have lots of little deaths and resurrections in life. With Christ we have nothing to fear.