From the Maetreum’s Facebook page:
Dear Pagan Community,
As many of you know the Maetreum of Cybele in Upstate New York has been fighting for legal tax exemption recognition from the Town of Catskill since 2007. Next week our third lawsuit against them will be filed and we finally have what appears to be a solid court date for November 15′th for all three lawsuits combined. This legal battle has drained us to the point we have had to put off much needed repairs to our property and forced us to put on hold our plans to start a local food pantry. We have continued to take in women in need, but even that had to be scaled back. This weekend we are hostessing a Pagan Pride Day event but may be forced to skip our “Orphan’s Thanksgiving” this year for the first time in ten years. Up to now we have been able, even on our shoestring budget, to feed and house those in need. We have been doing the real world work and want to continue and expand that.
All along the Town knew they would lose this battle if we could just get it to trial so they have attempted to bury us under legal motions to break us financially and have spent somewhere between 100 to 150 thousand dollars to do so. I am sad to report that unless we get significant help in this final stages, they might succeed. Donations so far have helped but we have had to hire a new attorney at about three times the cost as our original attorney. She is much more experienced and worth the expense but has informed me that the rest of our case will cost us an approximate additional 10 thousand dollars which simply is impossible for us to come up with ourselves at this stage.
Our priestesses have stepped forward to the point of tens of thousands so far but now we are all broke. Please, this case is important, a milestone for minority religion rights. If this can be done to us, a legally incorporated religious charitable organization with full IRS 501 c3 recognition, it literally can be done to any minority religious group. A victory, which is fairly well assured if we can finish the battle, is especially important when political groups are pushing back against non Christians, clean air and water and the basic concept of taking care of each other and our common planet home.
Please, we need the Pagan community to step forward, your own civil rights as Pagans may be hanging in the balance as well as our own survival. Every penny donated goes towards the legal bills and is fully tax deductible. You can make a donation through our website or directly via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maetreum is the only extant Pagan convent in America. Rev. Catherine is a good and sincere person, and she is right when she points out that the outcome of this legal battle has the potential to affect far more people than just the priestesses of her Order. If you care at all about supporting Pagan monastics or protecting minority religions in the United States, please donate!