That would be me. 

I’ve been putting off doing this for a while, but this week changed everything.

Over the last couple days, The Bench experienced some explosive growth and renewed attention — in part, because of the quarantine — and I’ve now had to upgrade to a bigger and more expensive server. (You can tell where this is going, can’t you?)

In the finest of Catholic traditions, I find I now need to take up a collection. The ushers will be passing the basket shortly.

If you can spare some change, or even something made of paper that folds, I’d be profoundly grateful — and it would go a long way to keeping this little enterprise afloat. (I know it would make my wife sleep easier at night, too.)

Many will recall that I abruptly left Patheos in December, when ads for Planned Parenthood began appearing on my page. In late January, I unveiled my own, independent site. I’m not getting a regular check for my blogging anymore, as I did at Patheos (and before that, at Aleteia and Beliefnet) and I’m trying to keep advertising to a minimum (and keep it consistent with my values).

To make a short story long: I’ve got blogging bills to pay. 

A lot of you have been following me for a long time, and I’m incredibly grateful. You have helped make this page what it is today. For nearly 13 years, in a variety of forms and a number of platforms, “The Deacon’s Bench” has tried to offer a balanced and even-handed look at news of the world and of the church. It is the only Catholic blog of its kind created and operated by a veteran journalist who, not insignificantly, is one of the few members of clergy to have a couple Emmy Awards and a pair of Peabodys. (More on all that here.)  Beyond that, it remains the go-to source online for news of the diaconate — ordinations, profiles, developments, advice.

Oh, and homilies, too.

Want to help keep all this going? Here comes the basket: you’ll find a little yellow PayPal donate button on my home page, under The Latest.

And you can also make a gift by visiting this link.

If you can offer nothing else, please remember me in your prayers.

I know we’re all facing challenges right now that none of us anticipated. And it’s a struggle sometimes to hold fast to our faith during times of testing. But I hope I can continue to offer this little corner of the interwebs as a place of information and inspiration.

And I pray very soon all our lives will return to something resembling normal.

Normal would be nice, wouldn’t it?

The other day, James Corden offered this coda to his show, and I leave you with this: a song of uplift and hope for our time. It is ultimately a song of community and reassurance — an anthem to belonging.

I think it is something all of us need right now.

Thank you for belonging to The Deacon’s Bench family of readers — and thank you for your prayerful support. God bless!