On the next page of this issue, you can see the honors Catholic New York received in the latest Catholic Press Association Awards competition. We brought home 13 awards from last month’s Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., which I was fortunate to attend.
It’s not easy to post winning entries in a contest featuring entries, some 2,200 this year, from Catholic newspapers, magazines and other publications from throughout the United States and Canada. CNY has generally done very well through the years, but we don’t take such good finishes for granted.
One thing I’ve always preached to the people who work here is the high premium we place on the Newspaper of the Year category, which was known as the General Excellence Award until recently. We scored third among nonweekly papers with a circulation of 25,001 or greater. It’s the first time since 2016 we ranked among the top-performing papers in the category.
We must submit three consecutive issues from the preceding year for consideration. We collect suggestions from several people on staff to make sure we’re submitting our best work. One reason I like the category so much is because it measures the performance of the entire staff, since every employee contributes to each issue.
We do our best to select a run of issues with solid news stories, interesting features, informed editorials and columns as well as good youth and sports coverage and Spanish-language pages.
Catholic New York has always enjoyed a great team of freelance photographers, including several who were cited for individual awards this year. Our graphic artist Leah Bossio also does a fine job of elevating the components into beautifully crafted pages, including a spread for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in our monthly Católico de Nueva York section that drew second-place honors for layout.
In other words, we endeavor to show the full package of our offerings. Of course, we do that with each issue we produce. And our readers do a good job of telling us what they like, and don’t like, each time we publish.
The first few years I served as the editor of Catholic New York, we struggled in the CPA awards competition. We had to make a few significant tweaks to solve that riddle. That opened my eyes to how important it was to receive contributions from the people who work in each part of our operation. We depend on each other’s talents and skills.
It also helps to have a publisher like Cardinal Dolan, who is such an outstanding communicator in so many areas. His biweekly CNY columns are a point of pride for all who work here, and for our readers as well, as they tell us. This year, they ranked second for columns by bishops and archbishops. His Way of the Cross column, which delved into the Church’s abuse crisis, was cited by the judges as “especially outstanding.”
“Our victims and their families are suffering,” the cardinal wrote. “They are cherished members of the Church as much as any priest, bishop or cardinal. How we have wounded them! How much more we owe them contrition and solidarity.”
Other writers were cited for columns, including this one, and editorials as well as coverage of the sacraments and news stories.
Don’t worry, we won’t admire the awards certificates for too long. Our work keeps us too busy for that.
This summer, we have planned a series on Young Adult Outreach in the archdiocese, one of the real promising areas of ministry here. We’ve started doing the legwork, and the first piece is printed in this issue. It follows a similar series on parish life last summer.
We hear so many questions about where all the young Catholics have gone, and it’s easy to be discouraged. This series will show some of them are finding Catholic community life right here in the Archdiocese of New York. I hope you’ll follow the story this summer in Catholic New York.