The Monitor Magazine earns CMA recognition for special sections published in 2023

June 26, 2024 at 1:02 p.m.

By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor

Recognizing outstanding work in Catholic media, the Catholic Media Association honored The Monitor Magazine with two awards for 2023. The awards were announced at the annual CMA conference, held in Atlanta, Ga., June 18-21.

In the category of Diocesan Magazine: Best Special Section, The Monitor staff and freelance partners were recognized for the In Focus section “God Bless the Child” from the December 2023 issue, which was awarded third place nationally, with an honorable mention going to the “Back to the Classroom – Passing Down the Faith” section from the September issue.

Click HERE for the December 2023 "God Bless the Child" In Focus Section

Click HERE for the September 2023 “Back to the Classroom” In Focus Section

Entries in the Best Special Section category represent an outstanding effort by the publication’s various departments to produce a special section with a strong editorial theme and content.

“Writing about social media, poverty and innocence under siege for our children made this a compelling issue,” the CMA judges commented on the “God Bless the Child” section. “The articles were well written and well thought out. A great issue for anyone with young adults or folks being concerned with our youth.”

The “God Bless the Child” section of The Monitor drew attention to the challenges for children across the globe, opening with the Christmas 1994 “Letter of St. Pope John Paul II to Children in the Year of the Family,” in which he pointed out the suffering of children in many parts of the world, likening their struggle to that of the infant Jesus.

The leading article tackled the onslaught of mental health problems experienced by children and teens, including a reference a September 2023 letter addressing suicide by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and a list of suicide emergency resources. A presentation by Attitudes in Reverse founder Tricia Baker to Catholic school principals on mental health care and suicide prevention was recapped, while other stories called to mind the risks posed by social media, with a perspective from Jason Briggs, principal of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square. Kathy West, director of Project PAUL – a nonprofit focusing on helping the Poor, Alienated, Unemployed and Lonely – spoke with The Monitor about increasing child poverty and its affect on diocesan agencies’ resources, while Tom Mladenetz, executive director of Mercer County CYO, talked about how both hunger and learning loss affected kids’ school performance. A compilation of sources, including responses from those who work with children and teens in the Diocese, illustrated the greatest risks facing youth today, and how the Catholic Church, universally and locally, is responding.

“While threats against children have existed through time, each generation experiences the challenges and adversity of their time,” the section introduction explains. “Each of us, as disciples, are called to use all that is available to us in our time to help and protect children, especially during these days when we celebrate the child who has come to change the world.”

The “Back to the Classroom: Passing on the Faith” section encompassed various aspects of Catholic education resuming in the Diocese, both in Catholic schools and religious education programs, as well as on the sports fields. Including special messages from Bishop O’Connell, diocesan superintendent Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt and Denise Contino, director of catechesis, the section called to mind the extraordinary benefits of Catholic education.

The section introduction noted, “Catholic school communities and parish religious education programs are embracing the mission at hand: imparting the teachings of Jesus Christ while continuing to stand out as institutions of excellence and integrity.”

The “Back to the Classroom” section also highlighted new Catholic school principals and parish catechetical leaders, showcased student winners of the diocesan PTA scholarship contest, Catholic athletes returning to their fall sports, and featured upcoming catechetical formation opportunities and preparation for annual Catechetical Sunday and Catholic Schools Masses.

Organized by the CMA, the annual Catholic Press Awards “honor outstanding achievements in Catholic journalism, communications, and other forms of media,” with recognition given to those who communicate Catholic values and stories “in a compelling and authentic manner.”


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Recognizing outstanding work in Catholic media, the Catholic Media Association honored The Monitor Magazine with two awards for 2023. The awards were announced at the annual CMA conference, held in Atlanta, Ga., June 18-21.

In the category of Diocesan Magazine: Best Special Section, The Monitor staff and freelance partners were recognized for the In Focus section “God Bless the Child” from the December 2023 issue, which was awarded third place nationally, with an honorable mention going to the “Back to the Classroom – Passing Down the Faith” section from the September issue.

Click HERE for the December 2023 "God Bless the Child" In Focus Section

Click HERE for the September 2023 “Back to the Classroom” In Focus Section

Entries in the Best Special Section category represent an outstanding effort by the publication’s various departments to produce a special section with a strong editorial theme and content.

“Writing about social media, poverty and innocence under siege for our children made this a compelling issue,” the CMA judges commented on the “God Bless the Child” section. “The articles were well written and well thought out. A great issue for anyone with young adults or folks being concerned with our youth.”

The “God Bless the Child” section of The Monitor drew attention to the challenges for children across the globe, opening with the Christmas 1994 “Letter of St. Pope John Paul II to Children in the Year of the Family,” in which he pointed out the suffering of children in many parts of the world, likening their struggle to that of the infant Jesus.

The leading article tackled the onslaught of mental health problems experienced by children and teens, including a reference a September 2023 letter addressing suicide by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and a list of suicide emergency resources. A presentation by Attitudes in Reverse founder Tricia Baker to Catholic school principals on mental health care and suicide prevention was recapped, while other stories called to mind the risks posed by social media, with a perspective from Jason Briggs, principal of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square. Kathy West, director of Project PAUL – a nonprofit focusing on helping the Poor, Alienated, Unemployed and Lonely – spoke with The Monitor about increasing child poverty and its affect on diocesan agencies’ resources, while Tom Mladenetz, executive director of Mercer County CYO, talked about how both hunger and learning loss affected kids’ school performance. A compilation of sources, including responses from those who work with children and teens in the Diocese, illustrated the greatest risks facing youth today, and how the Catholic Church, universally and locally, is responding.

“While threats against children have existed through time, each generation experiences the challenges and adversity of their time,” the section introduction explains. “Each of us, as disciples, are called to use all that is available to us in our time to help and protect children, especially during these days when we celebrate the child who has come to change the world.”

The “Back to the Classroom: Passing on the Faith” section encompassed various aspects of Catholic education resuming in the Diocese, both in Catholic schools and religious education programs, as well as on the sports fields. Including special messages from Bishop O’Connell, diocesan superintendent Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt and Denise Contino, director of catechesis, the section called to mind the extraordinary benefits of Catholic education.

The section introduction noted, “Catholic school communities and parish religious education programs are embracing the mission at hand: imparting the teachings of Jesus Christ while continuing to stand out as institutions of excellence and integrity.”

The “Back to the Classroom” section also highlighted new Catholic school principals and parish catechetical leaders, showcased student winners of the diocesan PTA scholarship contest, Catholic athletes returning to their fall sports, and featured upcoming catechetical formation opportunities and preparation for annual Catechetical Sunday and Catholic Schools Masses.

Organized by the CMA, the annual Catholic Press Awards “honor outstanding achievements in Catholic journalism, communications, and other forms of media,” with recognition given to those who communicate Catholic values and stories “in a compelling and authentic manner.”

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