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By the time this message reaches Acton readers, it will already be 2019. As has been repeated often, time flies when you’re having fun.

After all, what could be more rewarding than getting to provide learning experiences worldwide to individuals and groups eager to immerse themselves in ideas of sound economics and virtuous behavior? Equally satisfying are the inroads we continue to make with those who previously expressed skepticism concerning the benefits of free markets for not only the poor but also people of all walks of life.

This coming year we will continue to hold the line against statism.

The past few years have presented several challenges to our mission. Among them are lawmakers who either possess minimal understanding of basic economics or succumb to the allure of crony capitalism. Additionally, the rise of populist movements such as Occupy Wall Street and support of self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist political candidates threaten our forward momentum. Although we have accomplished much over the past few decades, we still have plenty of work to do to counter such misbegotten ideologies.

Cultural setbacks, however, should not prevent us from celebrating our accomplishments from the past year. Although Acton University has become the crown jewel of the Acton Institute’s educational mission, we hosted dozens of renowned speakers at our headquarters on a weekly basis throughout the year. We also hosted our first Business Matters conference this past October, gathering entrepreneurs and business owners to discuss how their endeavors reflect their respective religious obligations. Last, but not least, members of our staff continued to write and publish numerous works of tremendous spiritual insight and economic clarity.

Throughout 2019, we will attempt to expand on our 2018 efforts. For example, we look forward to hosting many more insightful speakers at our Acton Lecture Series events in addition to our upcoming FAVS events and Acton University 2019, not to mention a full year of publication content.

This coming year we will continue to hold the line against statism. Thank you for your generosity and participation in helping us advance the causes of freedom and virtuous living.

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Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London.  During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems.  As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.