Dynamic Catholic Under the Microscope?

Whether he chooses to delegate the responsibility or not, he still owns the decision and must answer for it.

Thankfully, at my parish this is not a delegated responsibility. (We don’t use Dynamic Catholic)

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That’s what they said when the book was first published several years ago. It’s still not been issued.

Why would I care what Matthew Kelly is doing with his business? I don’t donate to lay ministry organizations, including his. I’m not involved with parish ministry groups who choose to use his canned programs for something. I doubt whatever he’s offering is any worse than many of the other canned programs out there for sale. You want real catechesis, go home and watch a Bishop Barron video or something.

I got a couple of his books for free. They were pretty fluffy. They were written like motivational speeches, or diet books - there was one central point that could have been expressed in 2 pages, with a whole lot of fluffy padding leading up to the point, and a whole lot of repetition of the point over and over, and examples, and so forth, to pad out a book. Like I said, it was like a diet book where the actual diet takes up 1 page but they add 150 pages of zingy anecdotes, motivational talks etc in order to have a full size book to sell.

There was nothing bad in the books. Also nothing particularly meaty in them.
I wouldn’t have paid money for them, but I appreciated the huckster artistry of how he was presenting Jesus. They may well reach somebody who’s at a “baby Christian” stage of Catholicism.

National Catholic Reporter is not a trustworthy source and the article reads like a hit piece. The first thing that springs to my mind is, “who did Matthew Kelly tick off? or who’s jealous of him? or who didn’t get paid?”


I just feel uncomfortable with the concept of lay members of the Church making a living out of evangelizing. Shouldn’t they be volunteering their time like thousands of other faithful serving the Church?

This seems very Protestant to me.


Are you kidding me? Where is it written that no one gets paid for anything they do? In order for some work to be done, it has to be done on a consistent basis. Not silly nilly by volunteers that come and go.

Or maybe you think priests should work totally for free? How about nurses and doctors? Maybe they should not get paid either because they are helping people.

I’m not big on it either, which is why I don’t donate to it, don’t go to meetings/ retreats/ events of lay members of the Church who do it, don’t pay money for their books and materials (I might read one if the parish gives me a copy free or has one in its library), don’t listen to their radio shows, and generally don’t concern myself with it.

It’s not so much that I begrudge a person making some money, but I generally find there isn’t anything these lay evangelizers say that a priest or religious or saint hasn’t already said someplace else, better. I might make an exception for skilled lay apologists, especially those who converted and are providing insights on how those who are not Catholic think.

This is my personal preference though, and my saying “I don’t personally support it” doesn’t mean I think it’s bad for everybody, or that it’s bad in general, or that it shouldn’t exist.

Yes, I feel the same way. I guess he’s good at repackaging the faith in some way? Or he has convinced his donors that he is good at repackaging the faith in some way? I’ve never really understood why his books are the ones that are chosen as Christmas presents.

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It’s not always his books. One year every parish gave out Scott Hahn’s "Joy to the World ". I still have 2 copies.


I saw Mathew Kelly when he came to speak at my parish. Our pastor invites someone every lent to give a series of talks (his was just one night). We’ve also had John Michael Talbot and the primitive Franciscans from Boston. He’s a good pastor but I don’t think he enjoys evangelizing, so people like Matthew Kelly serve a purpose in the Church.


Some people also respond better to lay evangelists than they do to clergy. There’s definitely a place for that sort of ministry.


I love Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic. I have read several of his books and participate in his Best Lent Ever and Best Advent Ever video programs every year. I think that he presents a fantastic message of how we ought to demonstrate our Catholic faith in contemporary society. He makes Catholicism relevant for people in their everyday lives and he does a great job of it. His concepts of Holy Moments and becoming the best-version-of-yourself are worth looking into if you are not familiar with them.

May God bless you all! :slight_smile:

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Yes they do respond better. There are a lot of great things about what Matthew has done and Dynamic Catholic’s impact on the church on bringing people closer to their faith. I was one of those people myself.

Like I said before, my main issue with him is how he consumes so much of the donor dollars, which some of you call a clever business model, but I still feel is questionable. Dynamic Catholic itself is not the issue, I think this article is stressing more about what is going on behind the curtain.

There’s an old joke about a retired engineer who is called back to fix a broken machine at a factory. He shows up, draws an X on the side of the machine, and tells a mechanic to hit the machine with a hammer on the X. He then submits a bill for $50k.
The accountants questioned his bill, so he sent an itemized bill:
Chalk: $1
Knowing where to use the chalk: $49,999
And the company paid the bill.

The same thing applies here. I don’t think Dynamic Catholic would exist without the leadership and skills of Matthew Kelly. How the company chooses to pay him is their business, not mine.


Haha, ya you nailed it on the head with that analogy! EXACTLY RIGHT

Think about that a bit.

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Same here. I didn’t read the article, due to the source. Given NCR’s outright opposition to Church teaching, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is agenda-driven.

My wife and I are monthly donors to Dynamic Catholic. We’ll continue unless we see red flags raised by a more trustworthy entity. I will say that, for the $10 a month we give, we probably get that much in books and other materials from them on a regular basis. Between what they send us and what they send to parishes, I’d be hard-pressed to believe he’s pocketing 80% of it. The numbers don’t add up.


Hah - the company was stupid not to get a couple of estimates for that work.

That was my first thought. At my parish, I’ve received multiple copies of Dynamic Catholic’s Confirmation, First Communion, and First Reconciliation programs. I’ve received boxes upon boxes of his books. And the parish never paid for any of it.

If it’s all some get rich scheme from Matthew Kelly, he’s doing a poor job of it.

It’s important to note, too, that just because Dynamic Catholic is giving money to Beacon Publishing to print materials, it’s not as though the money is all going directly into Matthew Kelly’s pocket. The money is going to pay for printing costs and materials, staff, etc. Dynamic Catholic is paying those bills because the books are virtually given away as part of their ministry.


Just not for you?

You think this help revitalize the Church? Or if all the Church was a program, things would have been fixed awhile ago? I found this other similar type called The Evangelical Catholic, any thoughts on that program? If these programs were really successful and scaled, do you think we could see massively positive changes?

Also, were you or your parish involved in any Pro Life Marches this month? :slight_smile:

Speaking of books, do you think the Church could also revitalize itself by giving away classics like St. Therese’s Story of a Soul, St. Frances De Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life or the Diary of St. Faustina?

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As I discussed in several posts, I prefer to receive my own evangelization and spiritual guidance from priests and religious. Father So-and-so is speaking at the church or leading a retreat? I might check that out. Matt Layperson is speaking or leading a retreat? I’m not really interested.

But there are other people who respond very well to Matt Layperson. They may feel he can speak better to laypeople. They may like that he’s married with kids and running a business, because those experiences are more similar to their own than Father so-and-so’s life. They may have had bad experiences with clergy or religious but be open to a lay guy. They may just like how he writes or presents info and not care if he’s lay or a priest.

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