It seems like every couple of weeks someone claims that saints did not have to fundraise.
The funny thing is, saints (especially the apostles) were very influential people, and as a result, could personally benefit from their situation – this includes money – but they didn’t.
Instead, when they did have material wealth, the saints used it for good.
Saint Bellarmine explains how fundraising (the Catholic way) can actually build the Kingdom of God and inspire others to be holy, and that’s what this week’s article is all about:
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In the next few minutes, you’re going to learn three powerful tips on how to improve your Catholic fundraising from the one and only Saint Robert Bellarmine.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, a website that is completely dedicated to helping Catholics just like you with their fundraising. Whether you’re just starting, trying to find new ways of fundraising, or trying to grow your fundraising and you need some tips, you are in the right place.
Before we dive into what Saint Robert Bellarmine has for us, I want to make sure that you download absolutely for free the Ten Commandments to Catholic fundraising. These are ten things that I really recommend that you should be doing because I’ve learned them be very, very helpful. These tips align your fundraising with your faith. It has been downloaded by thousands of people, and it got the thumbs up, so make sure that you download the Ten Commandments. The link is right below.
Okay, Saint Robert Bellarmine. I’m going to be reading my notes, so if you see me looking down on you hear me pause, it’s because I’m reading my notes, which are also included in the link right below. Okay, so he is a saint who was also a Jesuit, I believe. And he was actually friends of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. And he also helped St Francis de Sales. To top it off, he is also a doctor off the church. Therefore he is an extremely important person. Once again we find saints collaborating with saints. They connect, they find one another, and they help each other out. One of the best ways that we can follow their path is by learning what they did and emulate. And so today I want to be talking specifically about a document that he wrote called, The Eternal Happiness of the Saints.
What Saint Robert Bellarmine does in this document is to list what the saints were doing to become saints. And within this document, I think there are three powerful tips on fundraising, donations, receiving things, and how we can align that with poverty of spirit, growing in our spiritual life, and obviously helping our missions grow, expand, and doing more of what God wants us to do: that is saving lives and saying souls. Here are three tips from Saint Robert Bellarmine on how to fundraise.
Number one. Saint Robert Bellarmine recommends that you don’t let money or fundraising define your mission. He lays out the example of Jesus who, being rich, became poor for your sake. He is referencing Corinthians here. He became poor for your sake that through his poverty you might be rich. And one of the crazy things that he brings forth is that Jesus actually allowed Judas to hold the purse. Judas was the one who is managing the funds, and of course, Jesus knew who Judas was. But at the same time, he allowed him to manage the money. Jesus wanted to demonstrate to the apostles that he didn’t really need the money. He knew what Judas was going to do and what he was like. But at the same time, he allowed it. So Jesus is telling us not to be defined by money and if it goes well, great. Saint Bellarmine also references that it would not have been difficult for the apostles to have enriched themselves because people recognized their wisdom, their ability to do miracles, and the power of these men. Again, don’t let the money define you. Also, he’s definitely not saying, I don’t think, to allow somebody to steal your money, so don’t put yourself in that situation. But I do think Jesus was setting the example to say, just keep going. That is recommendation number one.
Number two is this concept that receiving donations is okay. Receiving things that’s not bad. You don’t have to be completely poor in physical things to become holy. And he references two people in particular. He references St Louis the King of France, and he also references state Gregory the Great. Both of these people were very, very prominent, and very, very wealthy, but they used and I’m quoting St Bellarmine here, “They used common garments, fasted frequently, helped the poor, and were severe to themselves.” What does this mean when you receive the donations? Again, don’t let it define you. And don’t buy yourself all these fantastic things, but just make sure that you’re using it for the mission. Having this stuff is okay. There are plenty of prominent wealthy saints. Money is not an issue; however it can be if you allow it to define yourself. So that’s number two; follow the example of St Louis, the great King of France and Saint Gregory the Great.
The third recommendation deals with whom to look for as a donor. We’re all trying to figure out who can be asked, who can give us a big donation. This is all about major donor fundraising, and what St Bellarmine is telling us to do is look for people like, and I might completely butcher her name and I should not because I have Polish roots, but St Hedwiges, Queen of Poland. Again she emulated St Louis King of France and regularly saying the Divine Offices. She fasted daily. She only had one garment which she wore even in the depth of winter, with Sundays and festivals were the exception. She was very, very simplistic with how she lived her life. If you’re looking for major donors, don’t just be looking for people who have large sums of money. Look for people who were are trying to emulate this queen of Poland and who recognizes how to use their affluence. It’s not just looking for any major donor. It’s looking for people who actually believe in your mission, believing the Catholic faith and live it out.
Okay, I hope these three tips have helped you. Please share this with a Catholic organization, a priest, a religious, someone that you think would really benefit from hearing this type of information. Share it, leave a comment, let me know what you think, and I look forward to seeing you next week. God love you.