A small reminder that we are right where we need to be

When the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26, I was finishing up a session during the annual Catholic Media Conference, this year held in Buffalo, New York.

I have to admit, though, that I missed most of that particular speaker’s presentation. Instead, I was hanging onto every live update of the ScotusBlog.com, waiting for the decision to be announced and details to be released. The next several hours were spent arranging content and working with the staff back in Indiana, who very capably handled the breaking news coverage. As the day went on, many of my Catholic press colleagues were in similar boats, huddled in corners over laptops or pacing the hallways on cellphones, either granting interviews or facilitating them, writing blogs or reading the latest news.

The mood, mostly, was one of resignation, as the ruling hardly came as a surprise to anyone who has been reading the signs of the times lately. And the day, to say the least, was a complete whirlwind. That is, until Friday night.

At the annual awards banquet that ends the week, the Catholic Press Association handed out honors to its member publications. Our Sunday Visitor received 16 total awards this year, including the St. Francis de Sales award for Greg Erlandson, president and publisher. It is the association’s most prestigious award, and so very well deserved. But that’s not the one that stayed with me that night.

For the second year in a row, OSV was awarded first place for “Best Explanation of the Church’s Position on Marriage.” It was a small reminder, on that day of all days, when many Catholics were facing confusion and frustration, that we are doing just what we need to be doing. I always see this job as a vocation, as my ministry, but that night the significance of it really hit home.

So this week, we continue what we have done for 100-plus years, and continue to explain what the Church teaches and why, and offer Catholic clarity on world events, in particular on the court’s marriage ruling. It’s a ministry that is needed now more than ever.

Beginning the impressive lineup is the incomparable Helen Alvaré, who offers a legalistic breakdown of the decision (Page 4); Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, stresses that Catholics need to be kind but also to stand firm (Page 9); Russell Shaw looks at implications for religious liberty (Page 11); Genevieve Kineke indicates how the marriage movement can learn from the pro-life movement (Page 12); and the OSV Editorial Board offers five tips to help Catholics move forward.

This is our mission, and it’s one of which I am both proud and honored to be a part. Please continue to read for more analysis and commentary as our country begins to adapt to a new reality.