It really is remarkable.
Here we are, already heading into October and with just two months left in the Church’s Year of St. Joseph. I’ve been devoted to the Patron of the Catholic Church for years, ever since his intercession healed me of a dangerous blockage in my heart. I know he saved my life. I remember the final stress test with the cardiologist. He said, “There is no longer any blockage to the blood flow to your heart.” I said, “How is that possible?” He replied, “I don’t know.” I certainly knew.
Now, I have a new reason to be grateful for his prayers, and I am deeply moved with gratitude to be able to share the news with you.
Even in this second year of the pandemic, with long months of unrest and uncertainty and suffering certainly taking a toll, let me assure you of this: that the Lord is on His throne, that He hears the prayers of His saints, that He is even now restoring all things to Himself. My friends, the Lord is doing something in and through this storm.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is 43:19)
During this year of devotion and consecration to St. Joseph, the Avila Foundation has experienced unprecedented growth. Our reach has grown, the numbers of students at the Avila Institute are swelling, our events are scheduled years out, our books are best-sellers.
Our High Calling program, which prepares discerning men for seminary, has doubled its enrollment and is now serving almost 100 men from around the country. Take a moment to ponder the impact of men heading into the priesthood who know how to pray, who have begun or been profoundly strengthened in their interior life. What will be the impact of priests who are on fire for God on the future of the Church?
Thanks to your prayers and support, we’re making more of an impact than ever.
Because the need for authentic Catholic teaching and spiritual direction doesn’t disappear in times of suffering and darkness.
It is the answer.
You know this. It’s why you’re here. God is using you to make all this possible.
And so, in response to the need, our team has grown, too, and risen to the occasion. But we’ve been stretched to our limits in our current office space, (which also happens to be the Burke home!) and it’s been clear for a while now: we need to move. We have been a “garage” startup for long enough. This very frugal approach has benefitted us greatly in getting the word out. But now is the time for change.
We need offices for our employees who’ve been good-naturedly answering your emails from the kitchen table and wherever they could find a workspace. We need a chapel that doesn’t quadruple as a recording studio, meeting space, and virtual classroom.
And for a long time, we’ve desired and prayed for a place to welcome you, with space for live classes and retreats. A place where you could come and stay and experience peace and prayer.
St. Joseph came through in a big way—and I believe, he came through to honor his spouse.
We recently closed on a beautiful, serene property in Montgomery, Alabama which will soon be dedicated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We are amazed and grateful at God’s astonishing provision and how we couldn’t have designed anything better. After all, He likes to remind us that He knows what we need even before we do. Through St. Joseph, He is laying the foundations for the future of the Avila Foundation. Just as the Lord is laying the foundation to heal and restore the Church.
I invite you to trust with us, dream with us, to thank God with us, to be a part of something far bigger than we are: the rebuilding of the Church one restored soul at a time.
Yours in the One Who Brings Forth Fruit,
Unum Est Neccesarium
(For more information on how to help heal and restore the Church through this new work of God, reach out to email@example.com.)
Photo courtesy of Dan Burke.