As a passionate Catholic, I want my faith to touch every part of my life. Sometimes I’m so intense about this, I try to find products and services provided by fellow Catholics. My reasoning extends beyond just wanting Catholic themed products. I want to give my business to like minded people and to organizations I can trust have ethically produced their products. In the past, it wasn’t that easy finding companies with a Catholic foundation. For businesses, it was seen as a professional stunt to associate yourself with a religion, especially Catholic. However, more and more entrepreneurs have taken the plunge into starting a business with clear Catholic values and are being successful.
I am experiencing this myself. When I was hunting for a corporate 9-5 job, I was told to delete “Catholic” from my resume, portfolio website, and blog. Especially in today’s political climate, even mentioning “Catholic” on a resume could automatically land you in the reject pile. It made me sad. Now that I own my own business, I am free to express my faith with my professional work. Actually, considering who my customer is, I think it’s required I show my faith! Talking about my faith and showing off Catholic graphic design work has led to increased business.
People have figured out that there is money in selling products meant for Catholics because Catholic have money! I know, it’s a shocker (especially with the state of tithing, but I digress). Like I said: when someone is passionate about an aspect of their life, they want it to permeate into the rest of their lives. There are products being made and services being offered by Catholics using today’s best standards in marketing, technology, production, craft, etc. With access to the internet, it’s easier than ever to give business to such niche companies.
I wanted to share with you a few Catholic businesses that are totally killin’ it.
On demand services have grown tremendously in the past few years. It seems like every mainstream station and tech company has one. Peacock, Disney, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Apple, Amazon… but not all practices and decisions made by these mainstream companies are completely moral. Aggressive production timelines, minimal pay, questionable subject material, endorsements and donations to controversial organizations, and many more objections could be made to justify boycotting entertainment giants. But if someone boycotts these companies, are they doomed to an on-demand-less life? There’s actually a streaming alternative out there for Catholics. No, not just PureFlix. Something created just for Catholic content.
FORMED has all sorts of videos geared toward those interested in Catholicism. Movie biographies on saints, formation material, childrens’ programming… That’s only scratching the surface. It’s worth checking out. Your parish might even have a subscription already. A word of caution: not all of their videos are of Hollywood cinematic quality but there are some gems in their library. Start with The Wild Goose and The Search. Those two are cinematic masterpieces.
FORMED is owned by the Augustine Institute, a Catholic organization creating high-quality content to help the modern lay person understand the faith better.
Apps that guide meditation have become increasingly popular lately. It’s interesting to think the secular culture is rediscovering the usefulness of quieting the mind, a practice used by Christians throughout the ages. However, many of these apps use methods from other religions. Not exactly a practice approved by the Church for good reasons I won’t discuss here. I interpret not including Christian practices in these apps as an act of persecution and discrimination (but again, I digress). There isn’t just a Christian meditation app out there, there’s a Catholic prayer app available to download for free.
Hallow is a beautiful app. From it’s incredible app design to peaceful voice actors and brilliantly written content, I recommend everyone with a smartphone to download it. They have prayers from the rosary, to guided visualizations, to journaling. For every prayer, you’re able to select a male or female voice, music or no music, 5, 10, or 15 minutes, and more.They’ve recently added music and bedtime stories read to you by your favorite Catholic speakers (Fr. Mike, anyone?). That’s all on just the free subscription. Buying a premium plan gets you so much more. If you have a smartphone, finding an excuse not to pray everyday becomes very difficult knowing Hallow exists.
I have personally met these founders. They are wonderful people who want to provide a beautiful product in line with church teaching.
3 & 4. CatholicPysch Institute and AALFA Family Clinic
I don’t know about you but when I start looking for a Catholic therapist or doctor, I want to find a Catholic professional. It grinds my gears when doctors push contraceptives or other questionable remedies at me like it’s no big deal. It’s not always necessarily anything personal against the doctors. Sometimes they just don’t know what we know, but why not cut to the chase and just get a doctor who is already on the same page?
CatholicPsych Institute and AALFA Family Clinic are healthcare organizations that have built their practices on Catholic values. Serious practicing Catholic? They’re right there with you. Not only do they understand Catholic values, they’re applying best practices in the latest knowledge in healthcare. They’re intentional about their prescriptions and methods, treating both body and soul with equal emphasis. With a unique understanding of a woman’s cycle and hormones, they are able to help women in ways secular clinics cannot/will not.
I’ve personally worked with CatholicPsych Institute on their Catholic Mindfulness for Students program. As I was reading the content before laying out the material, I was blown away! The programs guide children ages K-12 how to form healthier relationships with themselves, peers, family, and Jesus in phenomenal ways. I would certainly recommend any Catholic school or homeschooling parent this series.
Advertising. A polarizing term between business owners and consumers. As consumers, we feel overwhelmed with the amount of ads we see everyday. On the other hand, as business owners, we feel daunted by the tremendous number of ads we have to compete with just to get our name out there. If a business chooses to do marketing, where does one even start? And if you’re a Catholic company, will secular agencies know the best channels for your niche?
Fuzati is an agency that specializes in marketing, technology, and design for Catholic organizations. From small religious orders to multi-million dollar businesses, Fuzati knows the best places to get a name heard. They own Catholic Memes and uCatholic. They partner with Hallow, March for Life, USCCB, Catholic University of America, and many other well known Catholic organizations. They also run the Catholic Talk Show podcast. They understand the value of excellent graphic design, engaging marketing, and the latest software development methods.
Fuzati is a previous employer of mine so you can trust me when I say these people know what they’re doing and they're absolutely striving for excellence. They had a big influence in my career and I think very highly of them.
5, 6, & 7. Professional Catholic Networking Groups
Finally, I can’t write a blog about Catholic businesses without talking about Catholic business networks!
There are a lot of professional networking groups out there. There are countless in the creative industry. While great conversations are had, not all of them are the kindest toward Christian ideals. It can feel ostracizing at times. Thankfully, there are organizations that understand Catholic values.
The St. Joseph Business Guild is the Catholic professional network in the Twin Cities. They run an online directory of Catholic businesses, job seekers, and individuals (like myself). The aim of this group is to connect Catholics to other Catholics. You can search for Catholic owned restaurants all the way to printing businesses. A hiring business owner could look up a job seeker and vice versa. Partnerships could be made too. Even if you’re an employee in a steady job, I would recommend you get involved with the group! There are sub groups for many different demographics. I belong to the womens and young adult groups.
Young Catholic Professionals is a national organization with chapters all over the US. They hold networking events and seminars with keynotes by successful Catholic professionals. If the Twin Cities didn’t have the St. Joseph Business Guild, I would be eyeing starting our own YCP chapter.
Catholic Creatives is a wonderful national online community of creative Catholics (who would have guessed?). There is an annual conference usually held in Texas gathering some of the most creative Catholic minds in the US. On their Facebook page, they post throughout the week to get you to share your work with others or a prompt to get your creative mind turning. If you are a creative (musical, visual, written, dancer, etc.) you definitely need to join this group RIGHT NOW.
Here are just a few other businesses and organizations I think you should know about:
The power of the internet has made it easier than ever to shop small and shop at businesses that align with your values. Just a simple web search could lead to the next unexpected Catholic organization you never thought you needed. I hope it’s consoling to know there are business owners who believe similar things you do. If you have a chance, you should try to meet some of them. They’re incredibly passionate about their faith and about being game changers in their respective industry. They’ve inspired me to be better at my craft and a stronger Catholic.
I understand being in a Catholic bubble can be detrimental to one’s worldviews and divides the community further. I’m not saying to purge any trace of secularism from your life. I still shop at Target and this left leaning food co-op sometimes. But consider the state of our culture. It’s become more and more hostile to those with conserative values and it takes advantage of the less fortunate in some supply chains. Why not spend your hard earned money with a clear conscience?
Thanks for reading! I want to know your thoughts. Share them in the comments below.