Another Catholic newspaper folds

Another Catholic newspaper folds March 21, 2013


The Catholic Northwest Progress, a newspaper published for more than a century by the Seattle archdiocese, will cease publication on June 27 and be replaced by a ten-times-a-year magazine from Michigan that will focus on evangelization, the Archdiocese of Seattle quietly announced.

“Subscriptions for The Progress have declined steadily over the past four decades: Fewer than 8 percent of registered Catholic households currently receive the newspaper, which has been the official publication of the archdiocese for over 100 years,” the Progress reported earlier this week.

Seattle will become the 26th U.S. diocese to join the Michigan-based Faith Catholic in a cooperative publishing venture, according to National Catholic Reporter.  News of the Archdiocese, such as is officially disclosed, will be placed on its website.

Of the new magazine, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain declared in the announcement:  “It will joyfully proclaim the Catholic Church and all we stand for.  It will joyfully proclaim Christ.”

“The kind of magazine we will publish will seek to creatively teach the faith in ways that grab our attention,” said Sartain, “with historical background, practical applications, the lives of the saints and other inspiring Catholic figures.”

The Progress has won numerous awards:  Its profiles of parishes have depicted the transformation to a multicultural archdiocese.  And it contained candid reporting particularly, some years ago, under the editorship of John McCoy.

At other times, progressive Catholics have nicknamed it the “Northwest Regress.”  During last fall’s same-sex marriage debate, the Progress reflected Archbishop Sartain’s opposition to Referendum 74 but not activities of Catholics for Marriage Equality.

In announcing the change, the Progress reported:  “When Archbishop Sartain arrived in the Diocese of Joliet in 2006, his diocesan newspaper was confronting challenges similar to those the Progress faces.  At that time, only a small percentage of the Catholic households subscribed to the weekly publication.”

The transition, Sartain said, was a success with parishoners finding the new magazine “attractive, interesting and educational.  People are proud of the magazine and give it to their children away at school, friends who are not Catholic, and others.”

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