When we found out a few months ago that Aquinas and More was closing, we were very disappointed. Not only is Aquinas and More the best Catholic store on the Internet, with innovative products and marketing, and not only have they been reliable supporters of Catholic new media, but Ian and Paula Rutherford are a very fine Catholic couple raising a great Catholic family.
I was even impressed when Ian wrote a soul-searching and humble post on his blog explaining all the mistakes he made that led him to the point of considering shutting down his business so that others who follow in his footsteps can learn from them. Like I said, humble.
But the end of the story may not be written for Aquinas and More yet. Ian has had another of his great ideas and has started a crowd-sourced funding campaign to save Aquinas and More.
Their goal is to raise $250,000 in two weeks to replenish their inventory, overhaul their website, and otherwise get the business out of the hole it’s in. They’ve demonstrated how, despite their mistakes, if only they could take these steps their business could thrive. After all, they are bringing in a good gross income; it’s just that they’re in a big hole. A quarter million dollars sounds like a lot, but considering they have 30,000 Facebook fans and have more than 200,000 past customers, it’s not impossible.
So they’ve started the “Aquinas and More Angel Campaign” and opened a donation box at http://www.gofundme.com/aquinasangels. In the first week, they’ve raised more than 10% of their goal, but if they’re to make it, they’re going to need a whole more help.
So why should you support Aquinas and More? Consider the following points provided by Ian:
- Aquinas and More is not just a Catholic store – it’s a way of life. We are unabashedly and authentically Catholic in our policies, products, & projects
- It’s the only place where you’ll find a “Good Faith Guarantee” policy– making sure our products are guaranteed to be in conformity with official Church teaching. As a Catholic store, our mission is to clearly present the Faith for our customers.
- Anti-China Policy: Aquinas and More does not buy products from China, guaranteeing money isn’t spend supporting forced abortions and the persecution of Christians in China
- Projects they started:
- “Military Chaplaincy Program”: providing for the spiritual needs of our soldiers defending our lives and liberties with a soldier registry and free shipping
- “Church Supply”: Catholic products for parishes, priests and seminarians
- “Tiber River”: Catholic books reviews from fellow Catholics
- “Behind the Counter” Radio Show: Catholic product advice from the experts
Catholic Literacy: Articles on Saints, being Catholic, Church history, and more
- In the community: For example, Aquinas and More donated a portion of their sales to wildfire relief efforts in Colorado last summer;
- In their family: Paula and I (Ian) Rutherford, have had 10 children in 13 years – need I say more?
Giving to the Aquinas and More Angel Campaign means helping to build and restore an authentic Catholic culture. No where else can you find such a ministry and mission – a living and serving, Catholic approach to shopping.
Aquinas and More is the “New Evangelization” in a nutshell. As part of the Year of Faith, we are called to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message, and go forth and proclaim the Gospel. That is the essence of Aquinas and More.
Supporting the Aquinas and More Angel Campaign means supporting:
- the New Evangelization.;
- makers of Catholic products and other Catholic businesses;
- our parishes and religious;
- Catholic families;
- Catholic writers
So what can you do? You donate what you can, of course. You could also pray. And you can spread the word. This isn’t going to happen without a lot of people giving a little bit. We need more places like Aquinas and More, not fewer.
- aquinasangels: Aquinas and More