This is the real life origin story of how The Simple Catholic began:
My name is Matthew and I have run The Simple Catholic blog since 2015. It was a fruit born out the suffering from losing my unborn son Jeremiah (miscarriage). Writing was a healing balm for my heart, mind, and soul.
I earned my Master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and had teaching experiences. Personal and family circumstances caused me to leave teaching but the desire to help others learn about Jesus and His Church remained. The blog blossomed into a mission: to inform others about the Catholic faith and show how joy can be found in daily life (even in the suffering).
Finding Strength in My Differences
I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and it is one of my “super-powers” as it allows me to make connections between seemingly unconnected things.
I have had to learn over the years my neurodivergent mind wasn’t a weakness but it can be a strength. Through the help of my wife (a special education teachers) and my four kids along with the Holy Spirit I have been able to learn how to harness my differences and quirkiness with my passion for Catholicism.
In this picture, I celebrated my paper football victory over my oldest son: 60-24. 😀😂
The Healing Power of Humor
Humor is a big part of my life. It acts as a stabilizing force during the times my depression and anxiety flare up.
My favorite show is The Office (a great way to get me attention in the sea of emails I receive is to make a reference to this show). Threat Level Midnight or A.A.R.M are my favorite episodes.
I also enjoy reading (no less than 8 books simultaneously). I’m a literary omnivore but I do tend to enjoy theology, sci-fi, and comic books more than others.
I am also an avid football fan and love tossing the frisbee around.
Because of my ADHD I tend to enjoy lots of other things too:
Watching bees carry pollen
Looking at the moon
Drinking Dr. Pepper, Coffee, and Bai Teas (not together)
Listening to Bon Jovi
Reading anything Marvel
Playing board games
Reading about board games
Watching video about board games
Talking about board games
Making Seinfeld and The Office references on an almost daily basis
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But I still got sick— and my content game never recovered fully
But many times life never works out as planned.
The good guys lose and the bad guys win
By the grace of God and the support of my family, friends, and my faith community I survived the virus.
🎶 Let the good (insane) times roll 🎵
But the hits of craziness kept coming:
Remote learning for my kids (mental health drainer there)
The insane requirement on teachers (my wife is a special education teacher) forced me to rethink my approach to my freelance business.
I knew my limits— pandemic + special needs kids + increasing work demands at my “day” job made it a simple choice— I had to put a pause on consistent writing.
I’ve been living on recycled content (mostly) or less than my 💯 work.
I used to be ranked #92 in Feedspot’s Top Catholic Websites and Bloggers. Now I’m in the top 110. I’m not upset about the ranking loss. But I am a bit frustrated at myself for losing the influence I had to help educate and inspire Catholics across the world to find joy in the Gospel.
The Devil is in attack mode
The Enemy has attacked me unceasingly with the sins of anger and sloth. Too often I got distracted by others’ failure to take the pandemic seriously and that wrath zapped me of energy to read and write about Catholicism.
Return of The Simple Catholic
Today is the start of a restart— my goal for the rest of the year is to get more creative, collaborate more, and be more disciplined.
Because I want to provide YOU with a how-to guide to return from a bat 💩 crazy year and succeed (all the while thriving in the truth and hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Today I renew my commitment to earn back trust. I won’t wait for the calendar to flip to 2021. Partnering with the Holy Spirit and my team of The Simple Catholic Supporters I gathered over the past year or two, I will end 2020 on a high note.
How do you bounce back from a big backslide in success?