Illinois Company Launches Catholic Alternative to; Supporting Pastors, Parishes and Catholic Vendors

 —An Illinois group announced this week that it has launched Parish WebStore, LLC (PWS), which a number of people are already calling the Catholic alternative to

Its creators say that PWS not only features a full range of products—DVDs, CDs and mp3s, jewelry, sacramental gifts, books and e-books by authors such as Dr Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Fr. Robert Barron, and others, but it also has a wide array of user-friendly catechetical materials geared toward reaching deeper into the pew. These include resources that help solve people’s real needs, including addictions, marital help, healing, parenting, and financial advice from a reliably Catholic perspective.

Company officials say PWS does all of this because they want to provide both a trustworthy, Catholic alternative to huge online secular retailers, while at the same time financially supporting formation efforts of parishes, beginning with the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI in order to accomplish the New Evangelization.

“Our mission is really three-fold,” explains PWS President Doug Venne, Sr. “First, and most importantly, the spiritual mission is to reach deep into the pews to draw people closer to Christ and to further the Church’s mission of evangelization.”

“Second, it is to be unifying, Catholic, and evangelistic. We benefit and support resellers, parishes, vendors, and content providers involved in Catholic ministry who in the past have functioned fairly independently.


PWS is trying to accomplish something special by uniting all Catholic ministries that share in a mutual desire to reach people. For example, a benefit to Catholic stores is the ability to expand their product offerings to include items they don’t stock, like e-books, mp3s, and more. We need to work together to have a stronger impact and voice, and by doing so, I know we will be more effective” Venne explains.

“Third, Parish WebStore provides parishes a needed ongoing income stream because the company contributes 12 percent of every parishioner’s purchase back to parishes and other Catholic organizations that place a PWS link on their websites.”

PWS connects Catholics to a wide variety of educational and spiritually-enriching products, information, and resources through a trusted, all-inclusive website for Catholic products that completely supports the Church’s mission. Many Catholics are not aware of all the reliable Catholic information that exists. For example, an Internet search for “Jesus” or “Mary” will yield information from Catholic and non-Catholic sources. This makes it difficult for some parishioners to determine what is from a Catholic perspective and what is not. PWS enables seekers to avoid having to guess what resources accurately reflect Catholic teaching.

“After viewing the Parish WebStore site, I was excited to see how this will be an incredible resource to reach parishioners wherever they are on their faith journey,” says Fr. Christopher DiTomo of the Diocese of Rockford.

PWS currently works with many top vendors such as Our Sunday Visitor, Ignatius Press, Nelson Gifts and Malhame, as well as many smaller vendors including Illuminated Ink and Holy Heroes. Future plans include additional products, content, links, support for Religious Orders, expanded video content, and much more.

“Building a strong network with many Catholic organizations in order to inflame more hearts than ever is the ultimate goal of PWS,” says Venne.

Parish WebStore, LLC is a Catholic online resource and retail store which provides a wide array of faith-filled goods and resources, and further promotes the Church’s call to evangelization by all of its members. For more information or to sign up, contact us at 847-658-2949 or or visit us at

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  • Marthe Lépine

    Good idea! And I hope it is a little more user-friendly than Amazon. For some reason, the few times I tried to order from it, there was confusion. Maybe it’s me…

    • Terry Fenwick

      It is you – Amazon is a perfect site. My first thought was that people will not leave Amazon for a new site. I use it for everything!

  • if you like historical video check this link

  • Keith Strohm

    This is an interesting idea. The challenge is going to be convincing people to pay full price for items over Amazon’s discounts. For example, Pope Benedict’s Light of the World hardcover book is $19.95 on the Parish webstore and $13.51 on And if you are a Prime member, you can have the book delivered to your door next day for free.

    Overcoming comfort and convenience to support a Catholic alternative will be the real battle. I hope this takes off.

  • DRH

    Seems OK, but I don’t know why anyone would describe the site as an “alternative to amazon”….

    • Philly area

      Exactly what I was thinking. Just in the last week, via my amazon prime account, I’ve instantly streamed free movies and televsion shows, ordered two fingernail brushes, got some swarovski crystals to bling up my daughter’s irish dance costume, and received my preferred brand of deodorant. All free two day shipping and at decent prices. I will use this parish webstore if I have occasion, but to call it an alternative to amazon is only true in very limited circumstances. I know the owner of amazon is a bigtime secular liberal, so I’d love to patronize some other site, but the truth is, very little of my online amazon spending is on books, DVD’s, and CDs.

      • Terry Fenwick

        Yes!!!! My thought and for the same reasons. Great idea but hire someone from Amazon to do it right!!!

  • Where are the Catholic novels, poems, plays, films, essays, travel narratives, non-fiction stories that appeal to and draw audiences which are not exclusively Catholic or even religious?

  • Ted Seeber

    I think I just found a great way to fund my KofC Council website.

  • And what happens if Amazon’s sales of Catholic items drop off to the point that they don’t carry them anymore? What happened to being a city on a hill, a light to the nations, salt of the earth? Retiring entirely out of the marketplaces of the world is not exactly the plan for the new evangelization. Why not open wide the doors of Amazon to Christ?

    • Peggy R

      Relax. Competition is good for every one.

    • Ted Seeber

      Actually, the “shining city on the hill” in the past, usually had a wall and was a monastery.

      I’d say that retreating into safety and then living well is the absolute best evangelization- it’s how St. Benedict saved Europe.

    • Marie

      A bit too late for that, don’t you think? Amazon is one of the biggest pro-abort businesses supporting Planned Parenthood and Obama.

  • enness

    About time. Will have to check it out.

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    If promoted properly, this will work.

    Now we need an entrepreneur to give us a Catholic alternative to AARP. Call it CAARP – Catholic American Assn of Retired Persons. Maybe less money will be funneled into Democrat coffers to support abortion.

    As for me, I have consolidated all my mutual funds into Ave Maria Mutual Funds. They have great products and they investigate all investments to make sure they are fully consistent with Catholic teachings.

    It’s time to “Starve the Best.”

  • Thank you, Mark, for posting this for us; we appreciate the support of fellow Catholics. I also want to thank all of you for your comments. I would love the opportunity to address the statements and questions that were brought up. Please join us on our Facebook page, and we will be happy to address them there.

  • Gail Finke

    Very cool, but I suspect real bookstores will suffer even more…

  • Tim

    There are many, many catholic shopping sites that do the same as this place as well or better. Why hyping this yet-another-Catholic-item-site and not the others that already exist and have a proven record of great products and services?

  • jason

    PWS is not amazon. If PWS wanted to launch a site to be given credibility as the next amazon, they should have hired someone to give it at least the same functionality. I realize that the prices are not even close, but the functionality doesnt even make it seem that the webdesigners could come close to the type of database that amazon runs. There has to be someone out there that can build something that at least acts like amazon does. Amazon is really pretty awesome in terms of how it knows what you like based on prior searches and history, it is always making great sugggestions for me that revolve around my catholic world.

    Keep trying.

  • JD

    Why do we never try to take over a company to influence it? That is how so many formerly conservatively run firms have become cash machines for the anti-Catholic causes. Their supporters have taken over the philanthropic foundations tied to the companies; they have gotten themselves hired and promoted into HR, Corporate Training, Government Relations, Recruiting, Community Affairs divisions. Their moneybags supporters have bought controlling interests in companies’ stock; become key creditors. Again, why do we not do that?

  • nancy

    Try —-better website for Catholic items!

  • midwestlady

    Or Aquinas and More