Another big change in the Catholic media landscape, as a venerable Philadelphia newspaper goes from a weekly to a monthly:
Beginning in September local Catholics will have a new publication to look for in their mailboxes.
Phaith — a monthly magazine — will be mailed free of charge to every registered Catholic home in the Archdiocese, including the homes of the 75 percent of Catholics who do not attend Church on a regular basis, said Matthew Gambino, The Catholic Standard & Times’ director and general manager.
Along with the new publication, the Catholic Standard & Times will go from a weekly newspaper to a monthly — with a larger projected circulation per edition, Gambino said. At the same time, The Catholic Standard & Times will also increase its growing Internet presence through daily news updates and increased content.
The magazine, which is set to be launched in mid-September, will be locally written and will tell the faith stories of local people in an attractive format and engaging style.
The magazine will be published through an outside source, Faith Catholic in Lansing, Mich., and will be similar in format to a number of magazines Faith Catholic produces for other dioceses.
The difference between the newspaper and the magazine will be in emphasis, Gambino said.
“Whereas the newspaper will continue to favor news and commentary with a component of evangelization and catechesis,” he said, “the magazine will flip the model, offering primarily content with the intention of evangelization. Basically a reader will learn how another person is living out his or her faith in Jesus as a Catholic in some interesting fashion, designed for long shelf life in the home. There will also be catechesis and a news component, mostly briefs.”
The new format is especially exciting, Gambino said, “because it will be going into so many homes and it is storytelling — telling of people in love with their faith and alive with their faith. It will be a light to people who are not necessarily engaged with the Church. That’s what makes it exciting. As Pope Benedict would say, the new evangelization is showing the beauty of friendship with Jesus. That is what the magazine will do.”
The last weekly issue of the weekly Catholic Standard & Times will be June 30, with bi-weekly issues in July and August, and monthly issues beginning in late September.
The newspaper has been published as a weekly since the 1895 merger of two older papers, the Catholic Standard and the Catholic Times. In its heyday, before television and the Internet, it had a circulation well in excess of 100,000.
In the most recent decade, 2000-2010, circulation has dropped from 85,185 to 31,240, a loss that the self-supporting paper cannot sustain.
Read more. I gotta say: I’m not loving the name of the magazine. I get it. But I’m not loving it. Maybe that’s just me.