Your support of Renewal Ministries makes us friends in a real sense of the word. We are united in a common mission to bring souls to Christ; brothers and sisters joined in a call from God that is bearing amazing fruit.
The big story of the last year is how – despite the travel cancellations – the Lord enabled us to reach more people and connect with more new supporters than ever before.
When Covid shut everything down in March of 2020, mission trips within the US and especially overseas were canceled and remained canceled for a good while. Domestic travel began to open again early in 2021 – especially in Texas and Florida – and we were permitted to resume travel to these states first. International travel has started to reopen in the last few months, and we have already carried out five international missions.
In order to continue to reach people when travel was not possible, we began devoting more time and energy to creating weekly YouTube videos. A thoroughly unexpected blessing unfolded as Peter and I committed ourselves to post new videos regularly. As of this writing, we have shared 160 Weekly Messages, and our YouTube channel has had over 4.8 million total views!! Although we deeply value in-person events, where more person-to-person interaction can happen than it can through video, the remarkable fact is that we have been able to reach more people through our YouTube videos than we could have ever hoped to reach through in-person events!
We continue to reach and encourage many viewers with our television show, The Choices We Face (TCWF), when it is aired on EWTN and replayed on various video platforms. Additionally, the viewing of TCWF on our YouTube channel has increased by nearly 1,500% in the past year! To appreciate the personal impact on viewers of all our YouTube videos, you can visit the channel itself and read the inspiring comments people post under each video. Here is the link to Renewal Ministries’ YouTube channel: https//:www.youtube.com/c/renewalministriesrm.
Another unexpected and significant “silver lining” from our travel shut down was that I had a chance to write a book that had been on my heart, something I would never have had time to write if I had kept to my travel schedule. That book, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, has been at the top or near the top of Catholic bestseller lists for many months, and the audiobook version continues to be in the Top 20. As of this writing, it is the 15th bestselling Catholic audiobook.
Your donations have enabled us to donate and send A Church in Crisis to more than 150 English-speaking bishops worldwide. One hundred copies were donated and sent to all the bishops, seminary formators, and key priests in Ghana, Africa. In order to help strengthen the Church in Poland to resist the incredible pressure from the European Union to cave to the secular agenda, the book has already been translated into Polish! Accompanied by a personal letter from me to Polish readers, fifty copies of the Polish edition were donated and sent to all the ordinary bishops of Poland. Copies of the letter and the book were also sent to six non-ordinary bishops of Poland, thirty Polish priests, and the Ukrainian bishop of the Greek-Catholic Church. There’s a battle going on, and the Lord is enabling us, with your support, to engage in it in a meaningful way.
Over 600 people have left reviews of A Church in Crisis on Amazon, an extraordinary number of reviews, culminating in an overall five-star rating. I’ve done over seventy interviews about the book with various media outlets, all of which find its content extremely relevant to the situation we are facing in the Church and the world today. Thanks be to God!
Everything else that didn’t require travel continued to go forward. Our outreaches to high school boys and girls continued to meet, in person, socially distanced, outside when necessary, and in our new office space with its conference room when permitted.
Our outreach to young adults continued to function through Zoom meetings and has resumed in-person visits to various chapters and local communities throughout the US and Canada to strengthen and encourage them.
Even our big annual conferences in the United States – our annual Renewal Ministries Gathering here in Ann Arbor and our Lift Jesus Higher Conference typically held in Toronto, Canada – took place with great effect via live video transmission with thousands of people being encouraged.
I was very grateful to be able to travel to give five talks to the priests of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, and I look forward to doing the same at regional priests’ conferences in California in January and Texas in April. I am also looking forward to the privilege of giving the annual retreats for the Friars of the Renewal, the order founded by Fr. Groeschel. The retreats will be given the week after Christmas and the week after Easter. If you would, please, pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all these priests and for a powerful word of the Lord to go forth. I would appreciate that very much. The exact dates are listed in our events’ calendar in this newsletter and on our website.
Peter had the great opportunity to assist at two conferences for bishops held this fall, where he provided significant input and made valuable connections. Peter, Pete Burak, Debbi Herbeck, and I have begun to travel again to local Legatus chapters (organizations of Catholic CEOs) to preach the Gospel. Peter, Pete, and I also were encouraged as we attended a three-day meeting for key Catholic leaders in Georgia, organized by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). A highlight for me was speaking at the Napa Institute Conference, where I had the blessing of doing a selfie with Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in The Chosen! We were also able to host our first seminar in a long-time. The seminar featured Msgr. Charles Pope who spoke to bishops, priests, deacons, and lay leaders about preaching the Gospel amid a culture that contradicts it. Besides those who gathered with us in person in Ann Arbor, many joined us online as well.
Another highlight for us was hosting the annual meeting of our Board of Directors for the United States branch of Renewal Ministries in person in our office in Ann Arbor. It was a particular joy to welcome two new board members, Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV and Danielle M. Brown.
To all our new supporters who found us through our YouTube videos or through reading my book – a hearty welcome! To those who have been with us for several or many years – deep gratitude for your faithful support. Whether you came early in the morning (in the 1980s) to begin working in the vineyard with us or at the last hour (during the past year), your support is deeply appreciated and indispensable to continuing our work.
Many people at the end of the year take stock of their charitable giving. As you consider your won end-of-the-year giving, please keep Renewal Ministries in mind. The battle for souls is heating up. We need to go forward on all fronts and can only do so with your backing.
Gratefully in Christ,