From the Denver Catholic: Will you partner with us to reach a new generation?

Are you one of the 80 percent of Americans who check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up? Do you, on average, check your phone about 110 times a day? Is your phone the place you go to shop, research information, express opinions, or just kill time?

Regardless of how you personally answered these questions, our young people, our mobile-first, smartphone-centric generation, who are probably not reading this column (or a diocesan newspaper), will answer with an emphatic ‘yes’ to all of the above.

That is we are making an appeal to all of our readers today to “go paperless.” You probably noticed a big advertisement wrapped around this week’s edition of the paper inviting you to do just that.

Let me explain why.

Everything was different on March 17, 1900, St. Patrick’s Day, when the Denver Catholic was born, with the cover printed in green ink in honor of St. Patrick. In its day, the diocesan newspaper was the tool every local church needed to communicate to its flock.

After changing its name to Denver Catholic Register, the publication slowly grew in size and prominence to become a key source of news and information for Catholics in northern Colorado. People young and old read it faithfully.

Did you know that it was here in Denver that the entire Register system of newspapers was born, and that this archdiocese published some 35 diocesan papers, as well as the National Catholic Register, boasting a combined weekly circulation of some 850,000?

It was an incredible operation, with impressive reach and influence, until everything began to change; at first slowly, and then very quickly.

Fast forward to 2015, and by now several generations have grown up in an almost exclusively digital world. Those coming of age today are the paperless generation, and they don’t read newspapers.

For this reason, the Archdiocese of Denver is aggressively seeking new and innovative ways to communicate with all Catholics of northern Colorado, particularly the younger, paperless generations.

But to do all of this, and to make room for these new tools and strategies, we need to reduce our print production.

Beginning in September, we will launch a new twice-monthly publication schedule for the print edition of Denver Catholic. This will considerably reduce the time and money the archdiocese invests in print, and give our team the ability to expand our digital content.

Second, we will launch a weekly Denver Catholic newsletter that will be sent to your inbox every Friday. It will be the same great content of the print product, but in digital form.

Third, we ask those who already read their news on digital devices to “Go paperless.” By reducing our print circulation, we will save on costly postage. Simply fill out the reply card embedded on the front page of this issue, fill in your email so you can receive the Denver Catholic digital edition, and drop it into the mailbox.

For those who love the print edition, and who want to keep it, particularly if you don’t own a computer or have Internet access, we will happily continue to send the newspaper to you free of charge.

Lastly, we need your support as we shift from a print-first to a digital-first model. I know many of our faithful print readers might be tempted to think we will forget about them.

But I invite you to look at it this way. We have important work to do to connect our young people with the message of the Church, and we want our print readers to be our partners. One way to do that is to actively promote Denver Catholic in print and online to every young person you know.

If we work together, we will reach, engage and form a new generation of Denver Catholics equipped to effectively address the challenges of their day with courage, strength and knowledge.

Go paperless here: http://denvercatholic.org/paperless

 

Go paperless!

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.


Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash