CHARLESTON—Beginning in January, The Catholic Miscellany will change its publication schedule from weekly to every-other-week.
But don’t write off this historic publication. This change comes out of a desire to be efficient stewards and even more effective communicators to all generations of South Carolina Catholics.
The Miscellany is a parish-mandated newspaper. Like his predecessors, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone encourages pastors to automatically give subscriptions to parishioners who contribute $150 per year and to any registered parishioner who asks for a subscription, regardless of the amount they donate.
Because the newspaper plays such a vital communication role in the Diocese of Charleston, subscription fees have not reflected the steady increase in mailing rates imposed by the U.S. Post Office. The newspaper staff has made every effort to reduce costs but even a church-supported medium must meet the cost of publication.
It is also no secret that media is used differently today. Technology changes daily. Some people prefer to read their news on the Internet while others want to peruse it in print. A bi-weekly publication will help accommodate the need to provide news about life in the Catholic Church in many ways, whether on a smart phone, through social media or in a paper tucked under an arm.
To achieve this, the New Year will bring changes to The Miscellany’s website. It will be updated on a daily basis and features such as video and commenting will be added gradually.
The goal of Catholic media is to evangelize, to inform readers about issues, church teaching, and build a truly Christian community online and in print. The newspaper should generate charitable conversation and active participation.
As reported in Catholic News Service, Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming Christian consciences and reflecting the church’s viewpoint on contemporary issues.
The pope said that while secular media often reflect a skeptical and relativistic attitude toward truth, the church knows that people need the full truth brought by Christ.
“The mission of the church consists in creating the conditions so that this meeting with Christ can be realized. Cooperating in this task, the communications media are called to serve the truth with courage, to help public opinion see and read reality from an evangelical viewpoint,” Pope Benedict said.
A primary task of the Catholic newspaper, he said, is to “give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thinking on all ethical and social questions.”
The pope said the printed newspaper, because of its simplicity and widespread distribution, remains an effective way of spreading news about local diocesan events and developments, including charity initiatives.
As “newspapers of the people,” he said, Catholic papers can also favor real dialogue between social sectors and debate among people of different opinions.
“By doing this, Catholic newspapers not only fulfill the important task of providing information, but also perform an irreplaceable formative function” in the education of “critical and Christian consciences,” he said.
The Catholic Miscellany has a circulation of approximately 28,000. Annual subscriptions will drop to $17.50 starting with the Jan. 6, 2011, edition.