One of the artifacts (see, standing) in the recent exhibit curated by Franciscan Father Gabriel Zeis showed the early roots of The Monitor, once described as the “Official Catholic Weekly of New Jersey.”  This front page from 1917 reports on the death of Bishop James A. McFaul, second Bishop of Trenton.  John Blaine photo
One of the artifacts (see, standing) in the recent exhibit curated by Franciscan Father Gabriel Zeis showed the early roots of The Monitor, once described as the “Official Catholic Weekly of New Jersey.” This front page from 1917 reports on the death of Bishop James A. McFaul, second Bishop of Trenton. John Blaine photo

The Monitor is the news ministry for the Diocese of Trenton and has served in this role for the past 65 years.  Since its establishment in 1954 by Bishop George W. Ahr, The Monitor has published a newspaper that covered news from around the Diocese of Trenton, the United States and the world.  There is even evidence that The Monitor’s roots go back for more than a century, when an earlier version served the entire state.

Now, in 2019, The Monitor is marking a milestone.  Moving toward an expansion of news content on its website, TrentonMonitor.com, The Monitor will cease publication of its biweekly newspaper in September, and launch, in its place, a monthly magazine beginning in October. Between the website, social media and the new magazine, The Monitor will continue to bring the diocesan community stories about the people, the parishes and the faith shared in the Diocese of Trenton.

Here is some background on The Monitor from over the decades:

• While today’s diocesan format of The Monitor was established 65 years ago, an earlier version of The Monitor dates back more than 100 years. This discovery came out of the research recently conducted by Franciscan Father Gabriel Zeis, diocesan vicar for Catholic education, as he prepared an exhibit on the history of the Diocese.  The artifact that Father Zeis surfaced was dated from 1917, described itself as the “Official Catholic Weekly of New Jersey,” and reported on the death of Bishop James A. McFaul, second Bishop of Trenton. (see photo)

• In 1981, when the Diocese of Trenton was split in half to form the Diocese of Metuchen, The Monitor covered both dioceses, earlier on within the same edition, and later with two separate editions – one for Trenton and one for Metuchen.  That ended in 1995 when the Diocese of Metuchen started its own newspaper, The Catholic Spirit.

• Over the years, The Monitor went from a weekly, black and white newspaper, to a bi-weekly, mostly color newspaper that includes numerous special sections and several keepsake magazines each year to cover such milestones as graduations, ordinations, religious anniversary and Anniversary Blessings of lay couples. The Monitor's most recent magazine reports on the Diocesan Youth Conference, another annual event that is captured in reporting, reflections and beautiful photos. The magazine inside this issue reports on the Diocesan Youth Conference, another annual publication.

The Monitor now is a multi-faceted Catholic news operation, publishing and producing a print edition, a digital edition, a website (TrentonMonitor.com), which is mobile friendly, and a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.  The Monitor remains the primary content generator for the Diocese, supplying news reporting, professional photos and graphics for our publishing work, and for the publicity needs of other diocesan offices and ministries.

On behalf of our talented and hard-working staff and freelance partners, and all those who carried this mission forward in past decades, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve in this ministry, and we are committed to bringing you quality Catholic news many years to come.

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