In the early 1900s a bankrupt publisher in Huntington, Ind. offered young Father John Noll a printing press for a single dollar.
Who would have ever thought what would come from this simple $1 investment to a local parish priest: a huge Catholic publishing and offertory solutions enterprise that not only survived but has thrived for over 100 years!
Father Noll's investment in the printing press and the responsibility that came with it was an act of radical trust in God; trust that a parish priest in a small town in a small state could launch such an enterprise and succeed.
Today that enterprise he launched, the enterprise we have been entrusted with, has 380 employees. We have tripled in size in the last ten years. We have over 1800 textbooks, parish resources and trade books in print. Father Noll's weekly newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, is available on Kindle and on this website. His successors publish ebooks.
We are also the largest manufacturer of church offering envelopes in the world. We print several hundred million offering envelopes a year. We have resources to help parishes and dioceses launch websites, capital campaigns, and stewardship programs. As a not-for-profit organization, we give away millions of dollars a year to Catholic organizations throughout the country through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.
What we are about these days is still the same as what Father Noll was about: responding to people's needs. We are about helping them bring their Catholic faith to life. We are about helping them see what is real and important in this life and how it will connect them to the next.
There is an overarching mission statement that is etched into the exterior of our building: To serve the Church. Each generation working at Our Sunday Visitor has to make this their own, articulating it in a way that makes sense to the world of the day. Looking back to the early 1900s, no one saw this coming. No one imagined it possible. And yet it did and it was. And most importantly, that same hope and sense of responsibility exemplified by Father Noll in 1912 continues to resound today; hope born of that trust in a God who sustains and protects us.
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