I have long admired the work of the National Catholic Register. And I appreciate it even more since I became its publisher six years ago, because I get to see firsthand what goes into the product and the care the staff takes in presenting the news.
In an era where rumor, half-baked facts and hearsay get slapped together and are called “news” by too many media outfits, even in Catholic circles, the Register — which marks its 90th anniversary with this edition — has stayed true to the vision of its founder, Msgr. Matthew Smith.
In the very first issue, Msgr. Smith emphasized, “If you like a paper that will always be loyal to the Church and has no selfish axe to grind, here it is.” And that loyalty is returned by its readers, who have contributed greatly to the success and reach of the Register.
When I mention “success” and “reach,” I speak not only of influence and importance, because the staff and I know that our true success won’t be measured in this life. It is the personal feedback from readers that is most heartening. In my travels, I consistently hear anecdotes from readers about how the Register helped in the conversion of a friend or family member, how a reader came to the faith by reading a copy of the Register in his dentist’s office, or how a multiple-copy subscriber evangelizes by dropping her extra copies off at the library or her doctor’s office. The “success” of our mission is measured by stories like these.
To that end, the Register has always relayed the news of the world through the lens of the Church, but also chronicles the personal stories of struggle, conversion and redemption, as exemplified by Christ’s sacrifice. The Register also possesses a distinctly catechetical aspect, whether it’s explaining timeless Church teaching or the beauty of the Mass.
As you read this special commemorative issue, and other anniversary-related stories in the weeks that follow, I ask for your continued prayers for the Register staff and our efforts to inspire our readers to seek the timeless Truth of Christ and his Church.
God bless you!