Africa eBook Project Update

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What if hundreds of people, each armed with a couple dollars, decided to make a difference?

What if they used new media to bring good books to people who need them?

What if they raised money, built a movement, and “left a dent in the universe”?

Well, we did that.

Our Africa eBook Project was a tremendous success.

In just nine hours we raised $4,000 and hit our goal, providing 2,000 CDs, loaded with Catholic eBooks, for all the seminarians in Cameroon.

By the second day, we doubled the goal.

The third day we tripled it.

By the end of the campaign, we gathered over $18,000–enough to produce over 12,000 CDs.

That’s incredible.

And it wouldn’t have happened without you. So for joining the movement, for donating, for showing your support: thank you. Thank you for chipping in and being part of something huge. Thank you for catching the vision and helping it spread. Pretty soon, thousands of seminarians across Africa will be carrying digital libraries in their pockets, wherever they go, all because of you.

A couple days ago Lighthouse Catholic Media sent me a sampling of the CDs. They turned out great:

Right now the first 2,000 CDs are heading to Cameroon. In fact, they’re supposed to land today (you can follow their journey here.) Another 800 CDs will soon be shipped to all the seminarians in Uganda. Then from there we’ll move to other countries in Africa.

Mark Middendorf, the president of Lighthouse Catholic Media, was recently in Rome for a New Evangelization conference. While there he had the great pleasure of speaking with Francis Cardinal Arinze. During their chat Mark brought up our Africa eBook Project and Cardinal Arinze was thrilled. According to Mark the Cardinal “absolutely LIT UP” saying “we *must* bring this to Nigeria! The seminarians *need* this!”

So with Cameroon and Uganda covered, it looks like Nigeria may be next. After all if Cardinal Arinze tells you to do something , you got to do it.

I’ll keep you updated as we move into other countries. And if you have any personal connections with rectors or seminarians in Africa, let me know and we’ll try to hook up.

Thanks again for your support!

PS. If you claimed a perk during the crowdsourcing campaign, such as a CD, book, or DVD set, you should have received it by now. If you didn’t, or if you have any questions, email me at

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    Good job brother. We appreciate this a lot.

  • salvagesalvage

    That solves all of those nation’s problems! I’m sure the starving people of Africa and the oppressed masses of Cameroon are all sighing in relief knowing that soon they will have Catholic e-books. Well done!

    • Brandon Vogt

      Out of curiosity, how did you do your project differently?

      • salvagesalvage

        Well in my professional life I do pro-bono work for an organization that has this crazy idea that educating places like Africa and Afghanistan with stuff like math, science, medicine, computers etc. is more effective than Bronze Age mythology laced with Ancient Roman superstition.

        They raise money to send old computers, teachers and other practical resources rather than, y’know CDs about Jesus and how if you don’t love him you’re going to Hell or whatever it is you’ve sent.

        It’s cute how you think more theism is going to help areas that have been devastated by theism. Why don’t you send them some Ebola while you’re at it?

        • Brandon Vogt


          First, as I suggested in the other thread, your sarcastic, anonymous potshots–which say more about your character than your argument–are not welcome here. I expect a certain level of respect and congeniality in the comboxes, and if you aren’t capable or willing to do that, your comments will no longer be posted. This will be my last response to you in these comboxes unless you rise to serious-minded, charitable conversation.

          Second, you obviously disagree with the project because you disagree with theism. That’s fine and natural. But at least recognize that your disagreement is not because we’re sending eBooks to Africa. It’s because you don’t believe in God. That’s a whole different issue. Supposing you were Catholic and believed God exists, you would find this project admirable. So your disagreement is really rooted in religious intolerance.

          Third, did it occur to you that perhaps the seminarians in Africa *asked* for this material? That in addition to food–which the Catholic Church provides more than anyone–they also want truth? That’s precisely what spurred this project. Seminarians in Africa requested quality Catholic materials, so we created this project to give them what they need.

          Fourth, perhaps you haven’t considered that one can engage in spiritual *and* corporal works of mercy–that one can provide knowledge *and* food. The two are not mutually-exclusive. For instance, besides sending CDs to Africa we’ve also built an entire computer lab in Mombasa, Kenya, which is open to anyone of any faith. (We also funded computer literacy classes):

          Similarly, the global Catholic Church feeds the spiritual needs of more than a billion people, but is also the largest single humanitarian group on the planet. The Church feeds, clothes, teaches, and heals more people than anyone else in the world. That’s a statistical fact.

          In Africa, for instance, Catholics have done more than anyone (including atheists) to curb the spread of aids:

          “Catholic church-related organizations are providing some 25% of the AIDS care worldwide-making it the largest institution in the world providing direct AIDS care.” – (which is quite anti-Catholic)

          Fifth, in regards to your atheism, I find it strange that an atheist would troll Catholic blogs. After all if theism is false, what’s the point? Why waste your time on Catholic websites? Clearly there’s something that draws you back time and again.

          Finally, I leave you with this:

          • salvagesalvage

            Well a man who thinks the people who cover for child rapists are “heroes”? Well it’s hard to muster much respect and when that man goes on to insist that they did “intensive research” into the subject and still doesn’t see the problem? Hard to muster shifts to outright impossible.

            > you obviously disagree with the project because you disagree with theism.

            Nope. You really have trouble understanding stuff. I disagree with the project because it doesn’t actually, y’know, help. You’re patting yourself on the back for marketing your brand of theism.

            I assume you then sat by the phone waiting for the Nobel people’s call.

            > did it occur to you that perhaps the seminarians in Africa *asked* for this material?

            It didn’t but I’m sure they did, so what? Doesn’t make it any more practical, which has been my point, I suppose I will have to labor it because.. well understanding, not your thing.

            >That in addition to food–which the Catholic Church provides more than anyone-

            > The Church feeds, clothes, teaches, and heals more people than anyone else in the world. That’s a statistical fact.

            Tell me, what if the Vatican sold all their land holdings, took the money (after paying off all the outstanding abuse settlements) and used it to build a self-sustaining agricultural infrastructure in various African nations? Would that be more or less helpful to the good than say your CDs and the Pope’s gold throne?

            I know, you can have both but I wonder how much more poverty could be eliminated if your Pope did what Jesus said and to give it all away to the poor?

            You do know that’s how the Holy See started right? Vows of poverty to all but then, the money started rolling in and suddenly that became… flexible. Something about the effect of power perhaps?

            >they also want truth?

            AHAHAHAHAHHAH! YES! That’s what your mythology is, the truth! Just like Allah is the truth, and the Jewish god and all the other gods! No, wait, sorry, only yours is true.

            > Seminarians in Africa requested quality Catholic materials,

            Let’s say you have a starving African, which do you think they would prefer? The food or the CD? Oh I know, you send both but what if, crazy idea here, you took all the resources spent on making and shipping the discs and you spent in on food or medical supplies or shelters or y’know stuff that actually does stuff?

            Ah but then you wouldn’t be winning souls for your god and that’s what it’s really all about, everything else is tertiary at best.

            That’s not a statistical fact but an obvious one. You could send just the help but you have to send the Bible too and that’s really the important bit right? Let’s say you could only send the one.. which would it be?

            >In Africa, for instance, Catholics have done more than anyone (including atheists) to curb the spread of aids:

            You really have trouble understanding even things you post, can you read?

            Catholic church-related organizations are providing some 25% of the AIDS care


            This is what your church does to “curb” AIDS in Africa:


            The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass – potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.

            The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

            Yeah, I know your church loves to treat the sick, like Mother Teresa but you guys don’t want to solve the problem because your twisted ideology has your god providing suffering for your use. It gives you good deeds to complete to get into Heaven, bit like Scouts collecting badges.

            Hence your big ol’ SE grin about sending CDs, it’s all for your entry into your god’s good books.

            >I find it strange that an atheist would troll Catholic blogs

            I know your kind often do but I’m interested in what other people think and in testing my own beliefs and ideas. You want to live in an echo chamber where you are always right and secure.

            But specifically I find you declaring the last two Popes to be “heroes” to be stomach churning and vile so I’m being far more jerky than usual.

            They helped children get raped and you choose CHOOSE to believe that never happened to protect your afterlife and theism. Makes you pretty vile in my estimation.

          • Brandon Vogt

            salvage, I gave you a chance to maturely dialogue without the childish ranting, and I thought you could handle it.

            But I guess not. Sorry, you’ve been banned.

  • "There is only one tragedy in the end, not to have been a saint." - Léon Bloy