Today is my last day with Catholic Answers. Starting tomorrow, I will be fully retired from the apostolate.
I won’t fully retire from apologetics, which I will continue to engage in, but now when I go to the Catholic Answers office it will be as a guest and not as an employee. I have been semi-retired for more than two years since stepping down as president, so the transition won’t be onerous, yet it will be strange to have one less key on the keychain.
How long did I work at Catholic Answers? It’s hard to tell. Do I count from when I went into full-time apologetics work, on the first day of 1988? Do I count from when Catholic Answers was incorporated in 1982? Or do I count from when I performed my first overt apologetical act and started using the name Catholic Answers in 1979?
No matter. It has been a long and, for the most part, delightful experience. Over nearly four decades I have met countless wonderful people plus, admittedly, a few scalawags. I have been forced to learn the Faith to a degree I never would have otherwise, and I’m grateful for that. I have delighted in controversy, even if at times I have controverted too avidly.
I want to thank the Catholic Answers staff—current employees and those who used to work for the apostolate—for their dedication to the Faith and for their having made Catholic Answers what it is today. For the apostolate’s strengths I can take little credit, for its weaknesses most of the blame. Despite my limitations, Catholic Answers has grown into an organization that has been effective in its mission—“to explain and defend the Faith”—and I have no doubt that its work will bear ever more good fruit in the years ahead.
I hope to engage in some leisure activity over the next few months—a little traveling, a little hiking—as I otherwise focus on writing several books. One book recently completed will be published by Catholic Answers Press in the fall. It’s as close to a memoir as I’ll write, but it’s more than a memoir. That’s all I’ll say about it for now, not wanting to preempt the marketing department.
If you wish to follow my other writing projects and hear about what I’m up to in general, you should bookmark my upcoming website, karlkeating.com, which I hope to launch in July. You also can follow me on Facebook. My next few books, after the memoir, won’t be on apologetics, but you may find them of interest anyway.
I suppose my favorite parable is the one I call the the “Forgotten Parable.” It appears only in Mark 4:26-29 and doesn’t seem to be much used in homilies or lectures. In the Knox translation, it begins this way: “The kingdom of heaven is like this; it is as if a man should sow a crop in his land, and then go to sleep and wake again, night after night, day after day, while the crop sprouts and grows, without any knowledge of his”—and without his having done anything beyond the sowing.
That’s the way I feel about Catholic Answers. Half a lifetime ago I sowed a few seeds, and the result is the apostolate you see today. Aside from that initial act, the growth came not through my hands but through the hands of others, the many people who have worked at Catholic Answers over the decades. To each I owe an unpayable debt. I owe a similar debt to the thousands, like you, who have befriended the apostolate so unselfishly for so long. As I begin the next phase of my career, I ask you to remember Catholic Answers in your benefactions and me in your prayers.