Every once in a while, it’s good to give our readers a progress report about some of the new things that Catholic New York is working on. As it happens, none of the three subjects I am about to detail is found on the pages of this newspaper. Not surprisingly, perhaps, two are online ventures, and the third is a print product of a different sort.
Careful readers of our website, cny.org, may have noticed that we recently introduced a new feature called Catholic Sports Scene. It’s a blog, largely about scholastic sports, with an occasional nod to the professionals, which is written by our reporter Dan Pietrafesa. He goes way back in the sports reporting world, to 25 years as a writer and editor for Gannett, mostly at the Poughkeepsie Journal, before he came to CNY two years ago.
Dan began writing the WordPress blog in March, and in recent months it has been given a spot in the Youth and Schools section of our website. We’re hoping that it attracts an audience of high school and college athletes, as well as their family members and friends. I encourage you to give it a read this week.
The next project is a book we’re planning by Father Bob Pagliari, C.Ss.R., based on his popular online column, “Holy Homework,” which you can also find at cny.org. Father Bob has written his monthly column for more than 10 years, dating to his days at archdiocesan Catholic Charities. He is now a professor at St. John’s University in Queens.
The book will be the second one CNY has published in recent years. (The first was “Footprints on the Journey,” a collection of young adult blogs by reporter Juliann DosSantos, published in 2013.) We figure Father Bob’s book, also a collection of his columns, will be ready to be published in the spring.
Father Bob, a Redemptorist priest, has developed a loyal audience for his column through the years. He even has a regular segment on Relevant Radio jumping off from the column each month.
The “Holy Homework” name stems from a tag at the end of each column, which offers a thought, suggestion or question for reflection based on the column’s theme. October’s Holy Homework, focusing on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, asked readers to complete five stem statements. The first one was, “I recall God announcing a real ‘wake-up’ call in my life when…”
The planning meetings for the book, with Father Bob and our production manager Leah Bossio, have been a good chance to stretch our creative energies in a new direction. It will be nice to see his column take on another new life in the forthcoming book.
As we work on this book, it is easy to conjure another two or three possible book subjects as we work.
Finally, I come to the last of our new projects, Catholic New York’s fledgling Facebook page, which debuted in the middle of August. Don’t be concerned if you haven’t heard about it, because we’re just getting started.
Unlike our Twitter feed (@Catholic_NY), which was started on the first day of Pope Francis’ pontificate, March 13, 2013, we took a long time venturing into the wide world of Facebook. Considering that is where so many people spend so much time with family and friends, it was getting difficult to not have a presence there.
Speaking of family, my daughter Sarah, who has been serving as a weekly intern at CNY for the past couple of months, helped us get the page up and running.
We encourage you to come take a look and to give us a like, if you are so inclined. I can promise you that our work there will evolve and grow during the next months. We are planning to get a few more staff members involved, so it will be a project of the CNY team. It should be a place to show our work and get the word out about what we’re working on, as well as to have a little fun.