By John Norton - OSV Newsweekly, 5/6/2012
A hundred years ago this weekend, the first 35,000 copies of Our Sunday Visitor — the first English-language national Catholic newspaper in the United States — rolled off a printing press in a small brick building in a small town in northeast Indiana — surely watched with some pride by its founding editor, 37-year-old Father John Francis Noll.
As much of an energetic visionary and evangelical “entrepreneur” as Father Noll was, I doubt even he could have dreamed, at Our Sunday Visitor’s birth, of the vastness of the role his publishing house and associated apostolates would play in the life of the Church in the United States.
Today, it is likely the largest English-language Catholic publisher in the world, and in one way or other touches the life of virtually every Catholic in the United States. Our In Focus section this week can give you a good sense of what Our Sunday Visitor means today for the Church (see Pages 9-12).
From the beginning, Father (and later, Archbishop) Noll’s goal was to “do good” for Catholics and the Church.
Often, that meant in very concrete ways. Our Sunday Visitor readers played no small role, for example, in funding the construction of the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and a host of other works to build up the Church in this country.
Even today, Our Sunday Visitor “re-invests” its earnings back into scores of Catholic catechetical and communication projects across the country.
But the first service to the Church has always been to provide trusted, authentically and richly Catholic content to help Catholics engage their faith on Sundays and every day between — through Catholic information, education, formation and inspiration.
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Are you close enough to visit? Our Sunday Visitor will be hosting an open house on Saturday, May 5, from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. We’ll have tours, displays, food, entertainment, and a variety of other activities. Please stop by! I would love to meet you.
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Speaking of top-quality content, I am very pleased to introduce a new columnist this week. Msgr. Charles Pope will be filling in for Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, who has been answering reader questions every week for us since 1997, and is taking a much-earned break!
If you spend much time at all in the online Catholic community, Msgr. Pope may be a name already familiar to you. In addition to being pastor of a vibrant parish in our nation’s capital, he writes a very popular column on the blog of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Don’t miss his opening comments to OSV readers on Page 15.
Please welcome Msgr. Pope with lots of questions! Mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the street address on the masthead below.
Thanks! I await your comments at email@example.com.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
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