OR Text “TGB” to 410-438-8751
Dear Friends and Family,
On May 2, 2019, at 8:31 a.m., an email came into my box from a woman I will call “Betty.” Betty and I met two years ago. She came to morning Mass at the Basilica. She was homeless.
Thanks be to God, she was able to get off the streets. It was an amazing story. She ended up getting housing, an internship, and then a job.
But her story took a turn for the worse…
Betty emailed me from her room at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore. She was diagnosed with stage-4 brain cancer and not given much time to live.
I went to see her right away.
After I had given her the sacraments and talked for a long while, I got up to leave. As I got to the door, I remembered something…
I had a relic of Saint Teresa of Calcutta with me. A friend had borrowed it and gave it back to me just as I was walking out the door to go visit Betty in the hospital. I had stuck it in my shirt pocket.
I pulled the relic out of my pocket and took it to Betty’s bedside. I explained to her that Mother Teresa would ask people just like her to be her most powerful missionaries. Mother would ask them to offer their sufferings in union with Christ for her holy work with the poor in Calcutta. She called these people her “other selves,” because they completed her work through their powerful offering to God.
For the last 12 months, two friends and I have been working tirelessly to found a Missionary Program in Baltimore to spread the Gospel, help the homeless, and comfort the addicted. It is called Source of All Hope Mission. Everything was ready to begin, except one thing…I didn’t have the missionaries. I needed a couple men to give up a year of their lives and commit to doing this holy work. Without the men, this was all a pipe dream.
Then the Holy Spirit inspired me to ask Betty something crazy…
Will You Offer Your Cancer and Suffering for Source of All Hope?
If anyone knew what it is like to be on the streets of Baltimore and need help, Betty did. So, I asked her, “Will you offer all your suffering in these final days for the success of our work to evangelize Baltimore? Will you offer your cancer so we can bring Christ to the homeless and the addicts and the unbelievers of our City? And will you offer your pain so that we can find young men who will say YES to becoming missionaries on the street?”
Betty responded with a HUGE smile, “Father, I will do so with everything in my heart. I want to be a Source of All Hope Missionary!”
Within two weeks, I had two men commit to this radical apostolate. Three days later, Betty died.
She offered everything for our mission. Her prayers were answered. We are now ready to launch Source of All Hope Mission on Aug. 15, 2019. Thanks to Betty’s offering, these men and I will hit the streets of Baltimore—to bring Christ to all we meet.
What happened with Betty is a miracle. It is a miracle that will have a massive impact on Baltimore! And this miracle, I believe, proves that God is in charge of this apostolate. Now all we have to do is one more thing—and it is the SAME thing that Mother Teresa had to do on Sept. 10, 1946. Once she did it, the entire world changed for the better!
On August 15 We Will Do the Exact Same Thing Mother Teresa Did on Sept 10, 1946—and Baltimore Will Change (for the Better!)
At the age of 18, Mother Teresa of Calcutta joined the Sisters of Loreto. Once you enter a religious community, you stay in the same community until you die. But God had other plans for Mother Teresa.
On Sept. 10, 1946 Mother was on a train headed for Calcutta, India. She thought she was going to continue teaching young girls in the impoverished village, as she had for years with the Loreto Sisters.
But while on the train, God gave Mother Teresa an inspiration that would lead her to become the greatest saint of our time.
In the depth of her soul, God said to her, “Come be My light.” He asked her to leave the Sisters of Loreto and to start a new, radical community—the Missionaries of Charity. He wanted Mother Teresa to radiate His love to the poorest souls in India—those who had nothing, those who lived in the “holes” of Calcutta, and those who did not even know of God’s existence.
Without knowing how any of this would work, SHE SAID YES.
This is the one thing God asked of her and she did it. She Said YES! And her YES allowed God to do the rest.
Today there are 3,842 Missionaries of Charity in 120 countries. Literally millions of lives have improved because Mother Teresa said YES to God. And on Sept. 4, 2016, she was canonized a saint.
God has asked for the same here in Baltimore.
On Dec. 12, 2016—the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe—Archbishop Lori asked me to become the rector at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore City. Like Calcutta in the 1940s, I saw awful poverty on the streets of Baltimore. I saw drug addicts, homeless, and a generation that is ignorant of God’s love for them. Like in Calcutta, there are many “holes” where people are living—in conditions you cannot imagine. (Imagine sleeping outside or in an abandoned house and having cockroaches and rats walk over you. This is reality.)
In my own prayer, the Lord spoke very clearly. “Love them. Bring them to Me. Start a missionary program that will teach the poorest of the poor about their dignity and about my love. Bring my light to this city. Open the Basilica to them. Show them what is true, good, and beautiful.”
When God asks something of you, the only acceptable answer is YES. So I got to work—first to open the Basilica up and then to found a missionary program to extend God’s love to the streets of Baltimore. Did I know how this would all work out? No. Was I scared and overwhelmed? Yes. But God asked me to do this!
A lot has happened since December 2016.
Today the Basilica doors are open until 8 p.m. Monday thru Friday. We have added Eucharistic adoration, confession, and devotions to the Blessed Mother. The doors of our Basilica are open to the people of Baltimore—rich and poor alike. Jesus is here for His people. But now it’s time to take Jesus to the streets, to the people who can’t get to Him. And it’s time to make the Basilica a place of all that is True, Good, and Beautiful—so we can attract souls to Christ and have their lives changed.
Source of All Hope Missionary Program Will Launch on Aug. 15, 2019
On Aug. 15, 2019 (the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), we will do what God asked—start a missionary program in Baltimore. We will say YES!
In just a few weeks, we will launch the Source Mission Center—situated literally feet behind the first cathedral in the United States. On this groundbreaking day, at least two young men will move in. They will give up a year of job and schooling to live a radical life of prayer and then bring the light of Christ to the people of Baltimore—the poorest of the poor.
Like the Missionaries of Charity, these men are heroes. They are saying YES to doing something very few people want to do: evangelize and love the poor. But we know what happens when someone says YES to God. The world changes! Baltimore is about to change—for the better!
So what will our Source missionaries’ lives look like? Good question.
A Day in the Life on the Streets of Baltimore…
Like the Missionaries of Charity, these missionaries will live in community by a rule of life, which we developed. (You can click HERE to read that rule of life!) They will pray the Mass, a holy hour, and a rosary every day. In other words, before they ever minister to others, they will be formed in virtue and prayer. And once they have been formed, they will take Jesus to the people on the streets—to feed and form them.
Each day, our Source Missionaries will physically walk the streets of Baltimore. The goal is simple:
Let everyone know of their dignity in Christ. Bring souls to Him. He is the divine physician. He can heal everyone. He can heal our city. In every person we meet, we will see Christ in them. That is the mantra we will live by. “Christ In All.”
But God won’t do this without our YES! Mine. And yours.
Mother Teresa didn’t do everything on her own. She needed LOTS of people of goodwill to help her with everything—ministering to the poor, raising funds, and prayers.
We need the same here at Source of All Hope. But before I explain exactly what help we need, let me tell you what I have to do to say “YES” to God.
The True, Good, and Beautiful
Starting a mission program in Baltimore is radical. But that’s NOT ALL God is asking of us. He is asking that we use the Basilica of the Assumption to inspire people with all that is TRUE, GOOD, and BEAUTIFUL. These are called the “transcendentals.” The True, Good and Beautiful literally transcend people from the things of the world to the heights of heaven!
God is asking us to do ALL these things! But to accomplish this task, I need 325 people to help.
I Need Help to Bring BEAUTY to the Poor and Homeless
To inspire people with the BEAUTY of our Catholic faith, the Church itself needs to reflect the vast beauty of God. We are trying to make our Basilica beautiful! For instance, last year on the feast of the Assumption, we hired a professional artist to create a chalk rendering of the Blessed Virgin Mary being assumed into heaven…and we did this OUTSIDE, for all to see! HUNDREDS came! BEAUTY attracts! And in a city suffering from violence and ugliness, beauty is not just a “luxury,” it is a necessity. It heals.
Of course, beautiful art takes various forms.
This past year we hosted a half-dozen sacred music concerts—to inspire people by the beauty of Gregorian Chant and Polyphony. These forgotten art forms provide a world of difference from the usual sounds of the City: sirens, traffic, and people literally screaming at one another due to the effects of drugs and mental illness. Take a listen to this 3-minute clip of what you find in the Basilica:
God desires us to manifest His beauty in art and music! Your help will allow us to do exactly that—paint Baltimore in God’s beauty.
Imagine A Sacred Music Concert for and by the Homeless!
I want to repair our 200-year-old Roosevelt organ so we can host sacred music concerts for and by the homeless. Right now, this historic organ is literally being held together by DUCT tape. This must change!
We have begun the exploratory work to find out how much it will cost to restore this beautiful instrument. Beyond this, we need $70,000 a year to have a music program that will inspire people—on Sundays and throughout the year. The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives. If that is true, do we invest in the Mass to make it beautiful? Do we invest in sacred music to inspire people to come to deeper truths about the Eucharist and the faith?
I want to invest in music to promote the Eucharist. They go hand and hand!
Will you help us provide beauty in Baltimore City? Will you help me make the Basilica a place where people can encounter God in His beauty?
Bringing the Truth to the Poor and Homeless (including Strippers!)
While beauty attracts people to God, so does the Truth!
In the last year, we have brought some of the best Catholic Speakers to the Basilica—to share the truth of Jesus Christ with all who live here.
Jesus Christ said the “truth will set you free.”
Yet sadly, about half of the people who came to the Basilica to hear the truth proclaimed—can’t! Why? We have an antiquated sound system that make it nearly impossible to hear from the pews.
Before the truth can take root in the heart and the soul, it must be heard in the ears! I need your help to make this happen!
To get a new system will cost about $200,000. While this sounds like a lot, isn’t the truth of Jesus Christ worth more than that? The Truth of Christ and His Catholic Church needs to be heard. And it REALLY needs to be heard in Baltimore City!
To do my part to spread the truth, I have created a podcast of all my homilies. It’s yours for FREE!
Every Sunday, I preach the truth about marriage, the sacraments, Mary, sin, heaven, purgatory, and hell. I preach the need for reverence at Mass. I preach that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. THE ONLY WAY! I teach the truth about sexuality and gender. God made us male and female. And He didn’t make a mistake! THIS NEEDS TO BE PREACHED FROM THE HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS before more lives are ruined and souls are lost to Satan.
I make these homilies available so people can get free-and-easy access to the Truth of Christ and His Catholic Church. This is one way to evangelize. But I need your help spread the truth!
Bringing the Good to EVERYONE in Baltimore
The truth is: there is a LOT of good already in Baltimore. The Catholic Church and her charitable arms are all over this great city. But we ALL need to bring the Good of Christ to the streets. Starting Aug. 15, we will do just that. Our plan to evangelize is outlined in a booklet we wrote for the Missionaries. You can read it in full be clicking HERE.
We will form one-on-one relationships with the poor, the addicts and the non-believers alike. We will engage and love the homosexual population in Baltimore. (It just so happens that I am one of only four COURAGE Chaplains in Baltimore—and the Basilica is located in the heart of the gay district of Baltimore. Coincidence? There is no such thing. GOD HAS A PLAN.) He wants his Gospel to reach everyone! Business owners. Residents. Protestants. Muslims. Fallen-away Catholics. EVERYONE!
To have a missionary program, I need to raise $30,000 per missionary. (Right now, I have two missionaries. But I know we will have four in very short order). This money covers all of their costs for a year with the exception of medical insurance. It covers:
How many people do you know who live on $30,000 a year for EVERYTHING? Almost no one. As their priest, I want to raise that money so they do not have to. I want these men to focus on their relationship with God, with growing in virtue and with the apostolate at hand—bringing Jesus Christ to the streets. That’s why I am writing this letter.
So … WILL YOU HELP ME? Will you help these missionaries do this good work? Will you help us shower Baltimore City with all that is TRUE, GOOD, and BEAUTIFUL?
If 325 people step up to help with $100 a month, I can do everything I talked about.
To realistically begin the work God is asking of me, I need to raise $390,000. That’s $200,000 for a sound system, $120,000 for our missionary program and $70,000 for our sacred music program.
If just 325 people step up to help me with this, it would cost each of them $100 a month! So here is what I am asking:
Would you be willing to commit to $100 a month to help us say YES to God and let HIM change Baltimore for the better?
If you are a person of means, would you be willing to make a larger donation?
If $100 a month is too much, I understand! Would you help us with a donation that is possible for your budget?
If you own a company or are a company executive, would you be willing to make a donation and become a partner of all that is True, Good, and Beautiful? If so, we will list you as a SOURCE Partner on our Web site. Already we have some of the biggest companies and charitable organizations in Baltimore supporting us—Agora Inc., Ruck Funeral Home and Catholic Charities.
Regardless of whether you can help me, would you be willing to pass this letter to other people so we can get some exposure?
I pray to God that He will send the right people. As for my part, I will give every cent I have to this work—and every ounce of my own energy to make this dream of spreading the True, Good, and Beautiful a reality in Baltimore. Souls depend on it. Souls depend on our YES—mine and yours.
You are welcome to contact me at any time. My direct office number is: 410-547-3141. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you wish to visit, you may do so. I’d be happy to show you our Source Mission Center, our Basilica and even take you on a tour of the streets.
Finally, in thanksgiving for your generosity, I will pray for you every day. And I will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for you and your intentions every first Saturday of the month.
It is time to set Baltimore on fire with God’s love. It is time to bring all that is True, Good and Beautiful to our city. Will you say YES to God? IT IS TIME!
May God bless you and reward you.
P.S. If you want to read the documents we wrote for the Missionary program, you may do so! I want you to have access to 100% of our project. Here they are: Overview of the Source of All Hope Mission Program, Spiritual Rule of Life for the Missionaries and our Missionary Evangelization Guide for our missionaries. And if you wish to visit the Source Web site, please do so! Click HERE!