Will you be an Aquinas Angel with me?



Today’s Book Notes isn’t about a book. It’s about a bookstore and not just any bookstore, but one that is Catholic-owned and could be on its way to closing.

aquinas angel

I’ve been a fan of Aquinas and More for many, many years. But yesterday, when I saw the notice of their possible closing, I had to take myself to task:

  • How many times have I defaulted to ordering from Amazon?
  • How many times have I neglected to use their links, instead of Amazon’s?
  • What could I do to help both now and in the future?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not opposed to Amazon. I’m a big fan, actually. BUT I’m a BIGGER fan of supporting my local guys. Though I’m not local to the folks at Aquinas and More, I heartily support what they’re doing.

Not only do they have a Good Faith Guarantee, which is a logo that guarantees that an items is in conformity with official Church teaching, but they’re committed to not purchasing anything from China.

This isn’t your regular “out to make a buck” store: it’s an authentically Catholic store run by a Catholic family.

And they’re in trouble.

Says owner Ian Rutherford,

My dear friends and customers,

I write to you today with some news. As most of you know by now, after more than 10 years of business, Aquinas and More Catholic Goods announced it would be closing at the end of February. Admittedly, this was not an easy decision for us at all.

A funny thing happened on the way to the closing: the outpouring of support for Aquinas and More from our customers, our friends, and fellow Catholics was a bit unexpected, but also very kind and rather humbling.

To tell you the truth, it made us take pause and prayerfully consider what we should do next. Our heads tell us that we cannot realistically continue in our present state of affairs. Yet our hearts tell us that the void in Catholic shopping and Catholic service left by the closing of Aquinas and More is also real. We’ve always felt that Aquinas and More was truly a mission. So, are we being called to continue? Are we not? I know what I want, but I also know that — more importantly — I want God’s Will.

It’s a challenging goal: $250,000 in the next two weeks. And it’s all-or-nothing:

Our goal is to raise $250,000 in two weeks. At this point, we need to replenish inventory, overhaul the website and messaging, and focus on retaining excellent Catholic customer service and results. We know it’s a big number. But we also know that we have more than 30,000 Facebook and Twitter fans, and over the last decade, we’ve served more than 200,000 customers. We have been richly blessed.

I love that, even in the face of what many of us would call disaster, Ian and his family remain hopeful and even thankful. They see this as an opportunity.

And so do I: let’s show Aquinas and More what they mean to us. I have stepped up with a donation, and I challenge you to do the same. As in so many other endeavors, if 100% of us participate, the amounts won’t be as critical–I know from my work in the parish office that our capital campaigns are paved with $10 donations more so than with $1000 donations…which is not to discourage you from giving more if you’re inclined to do that! But don’t be discouraged if what you can give is in the double-digits.

Give. Pray. Spread the word. Let’s keep our favorite online Catholic retailer kickin!

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for the support and kind words. I agree with you completely when it comes to Catholic stuff: Support the local guy or at least the non-local Catholic business whenever you can. There are a lot of Catholic store owners out there who struggle with their brick and mortar stores.


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