Catholic press is needed more than ever Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Feb. 01, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

As we know, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That could be said about the Catholic press in our country.

As the United State was forming, opposition to immigration was strong. Sounds familiar?

The lack of social standing of immigrants — many of them Catholic — created a need to unite and educate, to bring news from home, and to fight for civil and religious rights in their new country.

Starting Catholic newspapers

One of the ways immigrants did this was by starting Catholic journals and newspapers, says the Catholic Press Association (CPA) in a history of the Catholic press found on the organization’s website (

Bishop John England was an experienced editor who emigrated from Ireland. He initially used the secular press to explain Catholicism, but soon realized that he needed his own vehicle to address misrepresentations of the faith. So, he started the first Catholic diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Miscellany, in Charleston, S.C., in 1822.

Interestingly, I attended a Catholic Media Conference in Charleston a few years ago. The Catholic Miscellany staff hosted the conference. It’s wonderful to see that the paper is still going strong.

Background of Catholic Herald

Catholic newspapers continued to be founded. Our Catholic Herald originated from a paper founded in 1870 in Monroe, Wis., called the Catholic Vindicator. That’s why the front page of our paper indicates that it is volume 148.

The Madison edition of the Catholic Herald was established in 1948, two years after the formation of the Diocese of Madison. It was and continues to be affiliated with the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, now part of the Wisconsin Catholic Media Apostolate, which also includes the Superior Catholic Herald.

Msgr. Andrew Breines was the editor of our Madison paper from 1948 to 1986, and in 1986, I became just the second editor in the paper’s history.

In 1884, the U.S. Catholic bishops recommended that each Catholic household receive at least one Catholic periodical “of good repute.”

Catholic newspapers today

Today, the Catholic Press Association — formed in 1911 — has nearly 250 publication members and 600 individual members in the association, including the Madison Catholic Herald.

CPA member publications reach 10 million households plus countless others through members’ websites and social media outlets.

The CPA vision affirms that effective communications lie at the heart of the Church’s mission to preach the Good News to all.

The specific mission statement of our diocesan newspaper, printed each week on the Editorial page, says, “The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on the issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.”

Even though some print publications have gone out of business, I believe that the Catholic press is needed more than ever today. In some of our surveys, we have found that the Catholic Herald is the only Catholic publication coming into many homes in our diocese.

In these days of “fake news,” it is vital that Catholics have a reliable source of news about their faith on local, state, national, and international levels. Plus our paper offers education and inspiration about the Catholic faith.

New forms of media

Besides our print edition, the Catholic Herald has branched out in recent years to reach people through its website (, Facebook, Twitter, and an e-Edition.

I want to emphasize that the e-Edition is available to all print subscribers at no extra charge. If you receive the print edition through your parish, ask to be put on the list for the e-Edition by providing your first and last name and e-mail address. You can receive the e-Edition only for the same price as the print edition.

If you prefer to subscribe to the paper on your own, you can find information on how to subscribe on our website. The cost is $33 a year for the print and/or e-Edition. We accept PayPal payments or you can send a check to the Catholic Herald office at 702 S. High Point Red., Ste. 121, Madison, WI 53719-4926.

Call 608-821-3070 for more information. We would be happy to assist you in subscribing to our paper, which is published 46 weeks each year.

February is observed as Catholic Press Month in our country. If you receive the Catholic Herald, please read it thoroughly each week. If you don’t subscribe, consider starting a subscription.

We appreciate our readers’ support, as well as your comments and letters. Let’s all work together to continue to keep the Catholic press alive and well in our country!