“Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi,” said an Italian poet. “If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change.”

After I became publisher in 1996, the Register was in a constant state of change. Each week, we asked the same question of almost every element in the paper: Does this way of doing things help our readers? Would a new way help them more?

Little by little, the Register took on the look you’ve become used to. As a result, the paper you received last week looked like the Register you’ve come to expect.

After that, though, this week’s redesigned paper might come as a bit of a shock. We’ve included two guides in this issue to explain all the changes we’ve made. Read them on page one and in the insert. But the true test of our redesign will come in the months to come. Give the redesign some time to sink in. Get into the rhythm of seeing your new Register each week — and then let us know what you think.

The Register has changed a great deal in the 80 years since its national edition began in 1927. But consider this:

“The Register has always believed in large headlines and the use of every decent trick to attract readers,” said the paper’s editorial then. “It has also never been afraid to take a definite stand on stirring questions. If you like a Catholic paper with snap, vigor, courage, here it is. If you like one that is easy to read, here it is. If you like one that will always be loyal to the Church and that has no selfish axe to grind, here it is.”

We haven’t changed much after all.