Welcome to the Catholic Transcript magazine, a new full-color publication that will dynamically advance the tradition of a beloved, respected, award-winning newspaper with roots going back to the year 1829.
In magazine format, the Catholic Transcript will continue to be the communications centerpiece of Catholic news and information for our archdiocesan family of faith. And its visibility and relevance will be greatly enhanced thanks to its digital presence, social media interconnectivity, evangelizing content and distribution 10 times a year to more than double the number of Catholic households than in the recent past.
All this is a direct response to the Your Voice Counts survey, in which a majority of respondents and focus group participants requested content that is more evangelizing and catechetical in nature, while at the same time not neglecting news about the archdiocese and the Church at large. We are eager to share the Good News of the Gospel with everyone, even to the “peripheries” outside our own comfort zone, in the words of Pope Francis, in the hope of drawing them to Christ and into the communion of Catholic faith and practice.
The Second Vatican Council taught that “the Gospel fully discloses humankind to itself and unfolds its noble calling” (GS, 22). The Gospel favors the development of culture, and authentic culture brings people closer to the Gospel. You can look forward to reading personal witness stories in these pages and issues ahead. They will embody our shared commitment to what our Catholic Church believes and teaches about faith and morals in answer to the human search for truth, love and communion with God and one another. While you will definitely see some familiar columnists, also expect to read articles by a spectrum of new writers representing diverse age ranges and cultural perspectives. Most assuredly, anticipate that there will be articles about pastoral planning in every issue.
It is my hope that you enjoy reading this first issue of the Catholic Transcript magazine and will find yourself inspired to share it with family and friends. In other words, please consider using it as an evangelization tool to convey and celebrate your Catholic faith.
Mindful that growth is the only sure sign of life, we are reinvigorating and introducing other communications vehicles, too, again in direct response to Your Voice Counts survey feedback. For example, we have more than doubled our archdiocesan social media platforms to reach a much wider audience, especially millennials and other young adults. In the near future, the Archdiocese of Hartford will make available the myParish app, which will be available free of charge to all parishes as yet another new way for Catholics to be connected with their faith, their parish community and archdiocese, and which will provide local, national and international news about the Church.
As Lent leads us to Easter and its celebration of Resurrection, rebirth and hope, may we heed Pope Francis’ words: “The Church which ‘goes forth’ is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice.” Why? Because “an evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved them first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast” (The Joy of the Gospel, 24).
I hope and pray that the Catholic Transcript magazine will be an important source of spiritual enrichment for you, and an instrument that draws many more sheep into the loving embrace of Christ the Good Shepherd.