For nearly 15 years the Catholic people of our diocese have benefited greatly from the news, feature content and insights shared within the Orange County Catholic newspaper. This award winning publication has reported countless stories of faith, hardship, hope and triumph. Each story shared over these many years, in hindsight fit together in unforeseen ways. When viewed and understood together, they form a beautiful mosaic that encapsulates our Catholic experience here in Orange County.
Our Church has grown exponentially over the past several decades and is by some accounts the fastest growing and one of the most vibrant Catholic communities in our country. This growth, both physical and spiritually, has required our diocese to look at all aspects of the care we provide the faithful, from Church buildings to how Catholics communicate, share information and celebrate together. The Orange County Catholic newspaper is a major part of the fabric that unites our community together and reflects and builds Catholic culture and community. This newspaper also has the ability to chronicle our path as we open a bright new chapter in the life of our community and Church.
With the transformation of the Christ Cathedral campus and our first ever capital campaign, our diocese is experiencing great growth, opportunity and challenge. As we look to our future and seek to lay a solid foundation on which our diocese will grow and flourish, we must develop our strategic vision beyond the physical buildings of our 62 parishes, 42 schools and the expansive 34 acre Christ Cathedral campus and the many ministries and outreach programs facilitated by our pastoral offices and parishes. These elements are critical to the life of the Church, but to facilitate these programs, spread the healing mission of Christ and share our message of hope with the world, we must invest in our ability to communicate with Catholics consistently and dynamically and facilitate the sharing of our individual faith experiences.
Since the inception of the Orange County Catholic, this newspaper has worked to illuminate and animate the journey of faith for Catholics within our diocese – building solidarity among the faithful and inviting a deeper understanding and involvement in the mission of Christ. The Tidings Corporation has been a wonderful publishing partner for our diocese for nearly 15 years. I am personally grateful for their efforts in making the Orange County Catholic a success; a success that we can now build upon.
As a pastor and shepherd I have long understood the importance of open and consistent communication and valued its ability to facilitate the good work of our Church. Beyond the basic need of people to understand what is happening in their communities and better understand their Catholic faith, strong and consistent information sharing has the ability to bring the people of Christ ever closer together in celebration of their common faith and culture.
In an effort to fully realize the mission of the newspaper and to enable the work of our diocese through ever more engaging communications, we are pleased to announce an innovative publishing partnership with Churm Custom Publishing, a division of Freedom Communications that offers content development and design expertise to businesses and non-profit institutions.
The Orange County Catholic will expand its current distribution from a monthly to weekly edition every Wednesday, beginning this week on Nov. 6th. In addition to its circulation to parishes, the Orange County Catholic will also be available on a free opt-in basis for Orange County Register seven-day subscribers.
The current Orange County Catholic editorial team will continue to oversee content development for the Orange County Catholic, and Churm Custom Publishing will oversee the design, printing, ad sales and distribution.
This new weekly edition of the Orange County Catholic, available for home delivery, will provide a dynamic and engaging view of the faith and culture of our Catholic family, and provides inspiring stories and useful suggestions on how we can together follow in the footsteps of Christ. This enhanced edition will also include profiles of priests and members of the church, a robust calendar explaining events at the Christ Cathedral campus and other parishes across the county, commentary from leaders within our diocese, and world news from The Holy See and greater church community through Catholic News Service and Catholic News Agency newswires.
This new approach to our diocesan publication is certainly fitting as the “Year of Faith” begun by Pope Benedict XVI and led by Pope Francis draws to a close. It is a new beginning for us in this time of the New Evangelization. This new venture also reflects what our Holy Father Francis says in the encyclical Lumen Fidei, “Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.”
It is my prayerful hope that this new expanded newspaper will further connect our community, engage the faithful in our mission as a diocese, share and further build the experience of faith in our diocese. As we thank those who have worked so diligently in communications in our diocese since its beginnings in l976, this new venture can help us truly communicate the Gospel “to the edges” and beyond, as our Holy Francis also preached in his Chrism Mass Homily in Holy Week of this year.
Please be assured of my prayers for you and your families.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Kevin Vann