Publishing News, and Keeping Faith, for 40 Years

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Catholic New York has a big anniversary coming up.

On Sept. 27, the newspaper celebrates 40 years of bringing the news of the Church in New York to Catholics in the 10 counties of the archdiocese. In effect, the milestone is marked with this issue, the first one of our 41st year.

It’s been an exciting time for those of us who work for and with the newspaper and, we hope, an informative and unifying endeavor for our readers everywhere.

We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do over the past four decades, for the broad range of stories and issues we’ve covered and the prizes we’ve won for our efforts. Our goal has always been to offer an accessible and highly readable publication with lots of lively and colorful photos, a range of regular columns that appeal to various segments of our readership, and thoughtful editorials on Church issues and public policy.

We’ve definitely been fortunate in having such dedicated and talented staff members from Day One, under the leadership of just three editors-in-chief, which is in itself a statement. They are Gerald Costello, Anne Buckley, and our current editor, John Woods.

And we certainly could not have achieved what we set out to do without the encouragement of the four archbishops who entrusted us to carry out this mission.Cardinal Terence Cooke, who founded Catholic New York in 1981, envisioned it as a way to unify a diverse Catholic population that was moving out of the urban centers that had long been its base in New York.

He was followed by Cardinal John O’Connor, who embraced the newspaper as an important means of bringing the Church’s voice to the public square; Cardinal Edward Egan, who focused on our financial stability with an eye to the future; and now, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a master communicator who has woven CNY into the archdiocese’s multi-faceted approach in an evolving media world.

Our territory is far reaching, stretching from Staten Island at the southernmost point of the archdiocese to Ulster County in the north, with Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Sullivan counties in between.

As New Yorkers, and as a member of the global Church, the years have delivered many major stories, some of which we were delighted to report and others we’d rather not have experienced.

We’ve covered the death of one pope, the resignation of another, and the election of yet another, who serves to this day: Pope Francis. Closer to home, we were saddened to report on the clergy sexual abuse scandals and covered the Covid-19 pandemic, for a time remotely, without missing a biweekly issue.

We experienced 9/11 in its full traumatic impact when it happened in 2001, and revisited it again at its 20th anniversary this month.

More positively, we’ve enjoyed visits from all three popes who have served during our existence: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. We’ve reveled in the many parades and festivals that have become celebratory occasions for everyone and are rooted in the Catholic foundation of New York.

St. Patrick’s Day and its huge parade may be the best known of these celebrations, but another, taking place right now, is the two-week San Gennaro Festival that always draws crowds in lower Manhattan.

Through the years, and continuing today, Catholic New York has adapted and changed with the times and the media environment.

The print edition introduced 40 years ago is still our mainstay, but an e-edition has accumulated some 10,000 subscribers and is growing. Our website, www.cny.org, has been popular for years and offers a way to break important stories as they happen.

Three years ago, we began publishing the monthly Católico de Nueva York as a Spanish-language supplement to our regular English edition to ensure the many Spanish-speaking Catholics throughout the archdiocese have access to the news of our Church.

That’s what we do and what we’ve always done, and we hope that the future brings more good news than bad, as we continue to strive to bring our discerning audience of Catholic New Yorkers our very best.

Thanks to all our readers for your continuing support and attention. You are in our prayers, and please keep our staff in yours.

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