|A journey launched in 1934 will radically shift in 2022 as the In Word and Witness Board of Directors seeks to begin the process of disestablishing the organization.
Our organization continues to face the untenable financial positions brought on by national ministerial challenges outside of our control: the nationally changing Church landscape, the immense cost of producing quality content and in-person experiences, and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Church and nonprofits across the country. This trajectory gave cause for us to make this difficult, but necessary decision. A decision that although may appear to be in haste, was done so after deep conversation and prayerful discernment among these last months of Fall.
Our national staff has worked valiantly over many years to steward the organization’s resources and bring our organizational vision to life. Renewed energy surfaced as we leaned into the findings of the Meitler report and transitioned the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership to In Word and Witness earlier this year. This shift connected members and nonmembers to online conferences, focus groups, and networking. This work also led to the building of a resource library that offered an opportunity for members and partners to upload evangelization and formation content that would help our community in its mission to share the Gospel. In Word and Witness served as a founding member of the Catholic Cares Coalition, dedicated to vaccine acceptance and equity, at this pivotal moment in history. The efforts of our staff and board assisted the Coalition in securing a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton foundation that further enhanced our shared ministries through accompaniment, prayer, innovation, and creativity. None of this good work, however, could mitigate the overall financial trajectory caused by those external pressures, and which started long before the current board’s formation.
Through our discernment, we would like to find a Catholic partner or organization to carry the mission and continue our legacy starting in 2022. The board requests your insights and wisdom as to Catholic organizations who share our mission and core values and who will continue to serve our members and partners well into the future. Please email the names of these organizations to the In Word and Witness Board Chairperson, Dr. Jodi Hunt.
The board will continue to work to serve the members and partners of In Word and Witness as we move through this transition. The Federation for Catechesis with Hispanics (FCH) is aware of this transition, and we are working with their leadership to ensure their mission and assets are protected and utilized to promote their mission. Our website will remain active at this time, though we will suspend the ability to purchase memberships.
Please know what an honor it is to share the joy of ministry with you for so many years. As we serve you, we also think of all our faithful colleagues who have gone before us and left us the legacy of In Word and Witness. We look forward to offering a celebratory event in the coming months that honors our community’s legacy and contributions to the field of evangelization and catechesis. Please know of our continued prayers as we continue this journey into our next chapter. Lastly, our prayers are with Margaret as she is present to her family and with Victoria as she has offered her resignation for later this month.
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day,
and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.
(2 Timothy 4:7-8 NABRE)
Yours in Christ,
In Word and Witness Board of Directors