According to some published accounts, February’s Catholic Press Month has been around about as long as The Monitor itself, dating back to the 1950s. And, I suggest in the most gentle of ways, it may be time for a bit of a make-over, starting with the name of this national observance.

As essential as the Catholic press has been over these past generations, it now is only part of the story. I once heard a colleague describe the work of Catholic media as an ecosystem – a group of unique but collaborative and interdependent disciplines. Telling the story, reporting the facts and sharing the truth are now achieved through digital publishing, print publications, social media and audio and video production and streaming. Dioceses are delivering content through all of these means in order to reach as many members of our community as possible in the ways that each are most likely to access and engage with.

I am proud to say that this is the approach to which we have dedicated ourselves in the Diocese’s Office of Communications and Media. Together we work on generating content that is then posted and published on our websites, in this diocesan magazine and on social media. Our Department of Multimedia Production livestreams events, making it possible for more people than ever to experience the special events held by the Diocese in real time. Their videos enhance our news reporting in ways that could never have been imagined when the first Catholic Press Month was established.

Church historians will tell us that the Catholic press was born out of the need for the faithful to have access to their own news, reported without bias and with a sense of respect for what we believe as followers of Christ. Unfortunately, as Pope Francis and his predecessors have promulgated over the past decades, the need for robust, authentic and quality Catholic communications has only grown, as have the influences that challenge the truth in our culture.

And so, while the name of Catholic Press Month may be a bit dated, this annual reminder to raise awareness and support the essential work of communications is still very necessary. We hope that you will play a role in this effort by staying connected through the media we create and helping others to do the same.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the incredibly talented and hard-working people who live out the mission of the Catholic media ministry for the Diocese of Trenton – both staff members and our freelance partners. These are people who work long hours without complaint; who do whatever it takes to get the job done, and who are always thinking of ways to make their work more effective and engaging. It continues to be a distinct privilege for me to have worked with this team these many years – with some of them for decades. 

Our work would not be possible or nearly as effective and interesting without the involvement of  Bishop David O’Connell.  We are fortunate to work for a bishop who appreciates media, consumes it regularly and actively participates in creating it.

In observance of Catholic (Media) Month, I hope that our readers will join me in asking God to bless those members of our team who work week in and week out in this ministry. They are: Marianne Hartman; Mary Stadnyk; Clara Baumann; Frances Koukotas; Rose O’Connor; Ryan Larason; Laura Cortes; Mary Morrell; EmmaLee Italia; Chris Leslie; Mike Ehrmann, Rich Fisher, and Frank Lettieri.  There are many others who also contribute to our work; too many to be named here, but I pray that they know how much we value them and their work on behalf of the Diocese and all of you.

Thank you and God bless you!