Catholic media gathering affirms OSV's vitality

Several colleagues and I joined hundreds of people who work in Catholic media and communications for the June 20-23 Catholic Media Conference in Quebec. The course of the event affirmed, in various ways, the vital role Our Sunday Visitor has played — and continues to play — in the Catholic media world.

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Most notable was the Friday night awards ceremony of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, where OSV Newsweekly received 10 awards and two honorable mentions.

In the national newspaper or wire service category, OSV Newsweekly received a first-place award for in-depth/special reporting for “Young people are leaving the Faith. Here’s why” by Mark M. Gray. This In Focus article has consistently been among the most read on our website since it ran last August. We also placed first for our coverage of Mother Teresa’s canonization, which the CPA judges called “incredible.” Our other first prize was in reporting on ecumenical and interfaith issues, thanks to Michael R. Heinlein’s analyses of Pope Francis’ meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, the pope’s visit to Sweden and an interview following the Orthodox Great and Holy Council. The judges lauded the historical context and clearly written background OSV brought to these complex stories.

Also in awards for national newspapers or wire services, OSV Newsweekly placed second for our coverage of violence in our communities and our coverage of pro-life issues, a span of issues that I believe speaks to our publication’s strength and ability to communicate the fullness of the Church’s teaching.

Other awards included third place for best election coverage and third for best coverage of the Year of Mercy. OSV Newsweekly tied for third place for general excellence of a national newspaper.

Design awards included first place for best front page of a tabloid-size newspaper and third place for best layout of an article or column in a national newspaper or wire service for “A Newcomer’s guide to the Church.

OSV was also honored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States for our coverage of their efforts to help the missions via their online giving platform, MISSIO.

Those four days in Canada reflected not only the ongoing vital role of OSV as a respected and trusted voice in the Catholic media world, but also how that voice stretches into history.

For instance, the new president of the Catholic Press Association, Joe Towalski, is communications director for the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and editor of their diocesan newspaper, The Visitor. That name is a holdover from the days when OSV printed numerous diocesan newspaper editions all over the United States. Today that vestigial connection nods to the rich history behind the news, books and innumerable resources provided to the Church by the company Archbishop John F. Noll built.