***DISCLAIMER Regarding Fr. Sam Tiesi and Misconduct Allegations***
It has recently come to our attention that Father Sam allegedly made unwelcome sexual advances toward a student of Franciscan University during the early 1990's. Very little is known at this point, and while the allegation is reasonable to believe, it is a surprise to Mark and Gretchen Nelson, who had no such experience of Father Sam having known him personally during the same time period. To us, he was a trusted spiritual leader and father figure, although we recognize this does not render him incapable of the alleged sin and weakness.
Current information from Franciscan University can be found here:
Left to Right: Madeline, Gabriel, Dominic, Mark, Jake, Gretchen, Gretel, Gemma, Callista, Thérèse, Zoë, and Max
Our family business has its roots at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where a T.O.R. Friar named Fr. Sam Tiesi and his woodshop created the first San Damiano Crosses made in the United States.
After giving many years of their lives in ministry rescuing the unborn, Mark and Gretchen Nelson settled down to raise a family in Steubenville, Ohio. A former employee of Fr. Sam, Mark purchased the woodshop in 1994 and created “Nelson Woodcraft,” a framed art and church furniture business.*
Through the promotion of Mother Angelica, EWTN, Leaflet Missal Company, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Nelson Woodcraft soon became a nationwide vendor to Catholic bookstores, churches, shrines and apostolates.
In 2003, catholictothemax.com was launched with the goal of providing dynamic evangelization tools directly to the faithful public. With a small line of Catholic t-shirts and Catholic Posters, Mark Nelson and his family adopted the words of Pope John Paul the Great as a company mission statement:
“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.”
Today, Catholic to the Max has grown to include Catholic framed art, Catholic gifts, Catholic Prayer Cards, and more. The line is constantly changing, expanding, and adapting to rapidly meet the needs of the New Evangelization.
Our ministry is entrusted to the patronage of St. Maximilian Kolbe. We model our lives and our work after St. Max’s fervent faith, innovative evangelization methods and tools, and ultimate sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.
Catholic to the Max
980 Lincoln Avenue
Steubenville, OH 43952
Customer Service Line:
Monday–Friday, 8AM–5PM (EST)