Next year OSV Newsweekly celebrates its 100th anniversary. In preparation, our team has been spending hours in the archive flipping through the fragile and browning pages of back copies of America’s oldest and most popular English-language national Catholic newspaper.
I’m looking forward to unveiling the culmination of all this work to you in the coming months. It has been fascinating to take a tour of a century of history in the Church, from Our Sunday Visitor’s first emphasis in combating widespread anti-Catholicism in the early 20th century, to its influence in pushing for morals in society and in Hollywood, to its abiding and overriding drive to raise up a Catholic American laity that is educated, motivated, unafraid and holy.
I’ve also developed a new appreciation for the energy and audacity of our founder, the small-town parish priest Father John Francis Noll who would later be archbishop of his northern Indiana diocese. His vision and God’s grace led to the creation of what is today the largest English-language Catholic publishing house in the world, touching the lives of virtually every Catholic American whether through parish offering envelopes, or pamphlets in church vestibules, or printed materials in sacramental preparation or catechetical programs or Catholic school classrooms, or pew cards with the new Mass translation, or Catholic books (including a very popular new Daily Roman Missal, and the old standby of the Catechism of the Catholic Church) on their shelves. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Of course, there’s also our line of periodicals.
This mission remains as important today as it was on May 5, 1912, when the first issue of Our Sunday Visitor appeared.
“OUR SUNDAY VISITOR,” noted an editorial in our Feb. 4, 1934, issue, “wants people to be loyal to their own local or diocesan weekly, and, on that very account, has not trespassed on their Catholic news field. Catholic news has its merits, but news is not comparable to the steady stream of instruction which comes to the home, week after week, through OUR SUNDAY VISITOR. The present age is brimful of errors — doctrinal, moral and social. They must be combated, and the correct principles for their analysis should be known to every Catholic. People cannot truly engage in Catholic Action unless they be informed, and there is no other national popular informative paper in our land than OUR SUNDAY VISITOR.”
We thank our readers, past and present, for their loyalty. And we ask you — especially as we approach Christmas — to join our mission to build an engaged Catholic laity to transform our nation and world with Christ’s light, by giving gift subscriptions of OSV Newsweekly (available on the Kindle, too!) passing your copy along to others when you are finished, and encouraging others to welcome our paper into their homes.