Fr. Edward Nadolny, by most any measure, is an innovative entrepreneur. The pastor of St. Stanislaus parish in Meriden, Conn., knows how to raise money -- and he uses it for good causes. Like keeping kids in Catholic schools. He has helped organize local Polish immigrants to sell pierogi, Polish ravioli, with sales now reaching the million dollar mark.
Now to a long list of such causes, Nadolny has added the publication of "Essays in Theology," the weekly column of Fr. Richard McBrien, in the Hartford, Conn., local daily, The Hartford Courant.
Two months back, The Catholic Transcript, the archdiocesan newspaper, decided, when changing from a weekly to a monthly, to drop McBrien's column after 30 years of publishing and syndicating it. The Transcript has said it no longer had the room; McBrien says it had long been looking for a reason to get rid of him. In any case, most observers would agree that McBrien's open and inclusive view of the church has not mixed well with Hartford Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin's hard-line view of Catholicism.
Nadolny insists that the Transcript's decision was not the reason he decided to begin taking out weekly, quarter-page ads in the Courant. He says he just wanted to make sure Hartford readers could be exposed to the church. He likes McBrien, thinks the Notre Dame professor is a first-rate evangelizer and wanted to see his presence in the local market place of ideas. At a cost of $1,200 for each ad, McBrien has been appearing in the Courant weekly since the Oct. 12 issue.
Nadolny says the first column came out of his own pocket, but through a request contained in the ad he has raised another $5,000. He is asking readers to pledge one dollar a month to keep McBrien in print. The ad appears Saturdays in the paper's "Faith and Values" section.
Nadolny is pleased so far. The Transcript, he says, reaches some 15,000 readers; the Courant reaches 621,000 -- with an estimated 40 percent being Catholic. Since Nadolny took on the McBrien project, the local Meriden, Conn., newspaper has decided to begin running McBrien as well.
How long can the project continue? The marketplace will help answer that question, Nadolny says. He notes that donations to the effort are tax deductible.
Checks, he said, can be made out to: Fr. Nadolny's Good News Fund. Address: 82 Akron St., Meriden, CT 06450.
The striking, sad story from Rwanda is worth a footnote. To celebrate its silver jubilee in 1989, NCR sponsored an essay contest for college students. Daniel Curran, author of the Rwanda story, won second prize.
-- Tom Fox
National Catholic Reporter, November 22, 1996