Today I wanted to provide some news and updates regarding Where Peter Is. We are continuing to work hard to provide quality Catholic content for you every day, our traffic continues to increase, and I am extremely grateful to God for the opportunity to do this work in support of the Church and the Catholic faith. This website has truly been a labor of love and all of our contributors have volunteered their time and talent to truly make a real difference in how Pope Francis and his teachings have been received and understood in the last three years.

The fourth quarter of 2021 will prove crucial for this work. We are working through the process of becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, filling out the forms and paperwork, selecting a board of directors, writing up bylaws, etc. I am not a businessman, and this is far from my area of expertise. People have been telling me to monetize for years, but honestly I would do it for free forever if I could. To date, not a single contributor has taken a dime for their work on this site. Every penny we have spent from your generous contributions via Patreon and Paypal have, to date, gone into operation costs.

I have also been working as a freelance writer and graphic designer to help make ends meet, but as time goes on and with my vision failing, it’s become clear that staring at a screen for 80 hours a week will not be a long-term solution. Rachel Amiri has graciously devoted much of her time, working as our production editor and livestream host, and will be our first hire once we have employees. We also would like to, in the future, offer contributors some compensation for their excellent work. Having organizational infrastructure will be vital in making that happen. If you believe in our mission, please consider becoming a Patreon sponsor.

It is in the process of becoming more effective, organized, and professional that we have decided to close the comments section of the site this weekend. While I know that many readers have built up a community there and have gotten to know one another, we are also regularly bombarded by troll comments, and comment moderation is a chore that I never look forward to. We will maintain an archive, and I have been told that your own Disqus comments will remain in your Disqus history. With that said, we do have an alternative way to maintain that community atmosphere free from trolls.

Our friend Dominic DeSouza of SmartCatholics has created an online community for faithful Catholics, and within that community he has added a Where Peter Is group, and every article on this site is automatically posted there. So each of those posts can serve as a discussion forum for the article. Joining is free. SmartCatholics is one of the fastest-growing Catholic online communities. Its vision is to support the Catholic Church and Pope Francis, to help Catholics regroup, and to create resources to renew our hope. As Dominic describes the community, “We’re smart, magnetic first-responders, and having a good time!”

At the bottom of every post, you will see a link to our SmartCatholics group, our Facebook page, and our Twitter Page. We hope you will use one of those three options to keep the discussion going.

I recently did a podcast with Dominic to discuss the move away from the comments section and into this community.

Also, I will be appearing on the Reason and Theology podcast with Michael Lofton tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern to discuss my recent piece on Fr. James Altman and Mel Gibson.

Image: Adobe Stock

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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.

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