Navigate your faith: The Catholic press is more important than ever in today's stormy culture Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

Let’s face it. People obtain their news from many different sources these days. How do you know who to trust in this profusion of newspapers, Web sites, blogs, television and radio programs?

There are also many sources of religious news today, some of them purporting to be Catholic. Yet I’ve found that some of these so-called “Catholic” news outlets and blogs do not always report the full truth of the Catholic faith.

We must be careful that we are getting clear Catholic teaching as handed down by the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church through our popes and bishops and as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents.

ch promoAuthentic Catholic press

There are many Catholic newspapers, magazines, books, and other print publications today. The Vatican has been considering a kind of approval process for those publications, to verify that they are indeed “Catholic.”

In the United States and Canada, the Catholic Press Association (CPA) has been a vehicle to authenticate Catholic publications. The Catholic Herald-Diocese of Madison is a member of the CPA, as are most other diocesan newspapers.

In fact, last year the Catholic Herald-Diocese of Madison earned a first place in General Excellence in competition with other diocesan newspapers in our circulation category.

We can be proud of the work of our staff who write, sell advertising, and design our paper each week. We are a small but dedicated group of people, led by our publisher, Bishop Robert C. Morlino.

Importance of Catholic newspapers

Papers like the Catholic Herald continue to be so important in educating people about what’s happening in the Church and keeping them updated, especially during this Year of Faith. Unlike secular publications, Catholic newspapers give comprehensive attention to the Catholic Church on all levels: the Vatican, the bishops, the chancery, parishes and Catholic schools, and our Catholic organizations.

While the Catholic Herald has embraced the World Wide Web and social media (including Facebook and Twitter), I think it is vitally important that the Catholic Herald print edition continues to go into the homes of our subscribers every week. The Catholic Herald should be available to be read by adults and young people. Having the Catholic Herald sitting on a coffee table in the living room is a sign that this is a Catholic home (in addition to a crucifix on the wall).

When I was growing up, our diocesan newspaper arrived in our home (the Times Review in the Diocese of La Crosse at that time). My parents were often too busy to read it, but I picked it up and looked through it almost every week. I learned a lot about my faith by reading that paper.

When I moved to Madison after my marriage, I saw an advertisement for a position at the Catholic Herald. My experiences as a young person gave me some understanding of the role of a diocesan newspaper.

Helping navigate your faith

I believe it is more important than ever today to have strong Catholic newspapers which help Catholics navigate their faith in the stormy waters of the culture. February is Catholic Press Month, a time for us to reflect on the relevance of the Catholic press today.

As Greg Erlandson, CPA president, said, “This year Catholic Press Month comes at a particularly critical moment. Our bishops have made clear their concern with recent government regulations and the threat such regulations pose to religious liberty. It is during challenging times like these that we can best recognize the great blessing that is the Catholic press. It is critical that Catholics not only have access to sound news coverage and commentary, but that they hear directly from their leaders on the issues of the day and have the resources to see their world through the eyes of faith.”

I thank our readers for their willingness to read the Catholic Herald cover to cover every week. Please encourage your parish to send the Catholic Herald to all its members. We must make sure that the Catholic Herald will be around to help people navigate their faith in future generations.