The new-look print edition Catholic Spirit!

| September 12, 2013 | 0 Comments


For the last several months, the publications team of the archdiocesan Office of Communications has been working to redesign the newspaper to better serve our readers.

Why redesign? There are several reasons.

It’s been seven years since the last restyling of The Catholic Spirit. Newspapers, like all other media, need to make adjustments periodically to better serve their audiences and more effectively fulfill their missions in a rapidly changing media landscape.

We wanted to make the newspaper easier to read and navigate, so you’ll notice a crisper, cleaner look to the section headings and story layout. We’ll also be including more of what readers repeatedly have told us they want to see in the paper: inspirational stories of our Catholic faith being lived out here in our archdiocese and clear, accurate information about what our Church teaches and why.

Also, we wanted to add new content that appeals to youth and young adults. The redesign includes a page geared specifically to young readers and topics of interest to them.

And, we wanted to better integrate what we do in the newspaper with our online presence at, blog and our social media sites. This also will assist us

to be more successful in reaching younger audiences — and the rapidly growing number of older adults — who receive nearly all of their news and information online.

To that end, we also have redesigned the for easier navigation and so that the website and newspaper align more closely from a visual and content perspective. (Read more about the website redesign on the inside front cover of this wraparound section.)

What’s new?

You will see new sections and new content throughout the newspaper:

• Page 1: The first change you likely will notice is at the top of the page. The Catholic Spirit’s name flag has been modernized and includes our website address. In addition to a lead news or feature story, the page also highlights six other stories in that edition — three in the top bar, and three more at the bottom of the page. This gives readers a quick look at the top articles appearing in each edition.

• Page Two: Aptly found on page 2 of each issue, this section features photos, newsmaker quotes and brief local news items as well as what’s new on our social media sites. Archbishop John Nienstedt’s column, which previously appeared on page 2, can now be found on page 3.

• From the Archbishop: By moving Archbishop Nienstedt’s column to page 3, we are able to provide more space for messages from him and include related information, such as his schedule, changes in priest assignments, and other important archdiocesan news items.

• Local: We continue to place an emphasis on local news — something our readers tell us they like, and would like to see even more of from us. Each edition will include several pages of news and feature stories highlighting the faith as it’s lived in this local Church.

• What Works: This section highlights “best practices” in parishes and schools — projects and programs currently showing successful results. The goal is to give parishes and schools an opportunity to share ideas for being more effective or efficient in the ministries they provide.

• Next Gen: Short for “Next Generation,” this section gives local youth and young adults an opportunity to write about how their Catholic faith inspires them and how they are helping to make the name of Jesus Christ known and loved in the world today. Although we always strive to ensure that all of the content of The Catholic Spirit will be of value to readers of all ages, this new section also features stories on topics of particular interest to young Catholics.

• Calendar: Because the number of items submitted for the Calendar section continues to increase and exceed what we are able to print in each edition, the redesigned Calendar section focuses on events and opportunities of interest to the widest number of Catholics in the archdiocese. Individual parish-focused items are listed online in an expanded Calendar section of, where we have virtually unlimited space to highlight events. This change allows us to do a much better job of meeting the requests of our 188 parishes, 91 schools and nearly 100 different Catholic organizations and apostolates that regularly request promotion of events and meetings. We appreciate your support as we make a change that will ultimately serve our Catholic community much better! A Calendar section QR code in each print edition will take mobile phone users directly to the page.

• Seeking Answers: Part of the new Focus on Faith section devoted to catechesis and faith formation, “Seeking Answers” features a Q&A column about the faith written by two priests, who will alternately appear. The writers are Father Michael Schmitz, director of youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Duluth, and Father Kenneth Doyle, a columnist for Catholic News Service.

• Commentary: New to the This Catholic Life commentary section is the “Social Concerns” column focusing on the full spectrum of Catholic social teaching. Once a month, this column will feature a writer addressing a key topic of Catholic social teaching: from pro-life and poverty issues, for example, to family life and responsible stewardship of God’s creation.

• Faith & Culture: Much like The Catholic Spirit’s old Arts & Culture section, this part of the newspaper will feature book and movie reviews and stories about art and music. But the Faith & Culture section also will include stories about how the Church is transforming and enriching the culture in areas such as science, business and family life, as well as how Catholics are putting the New Evangelization into practice to engage and change the culture for the better.

• The Last Word: Located on the back page of every issue, this section features a column, news story or feature article on a timely and substantive faith-related topic.

Commitment to excellence

The Catholic Spirit’s redesigned print edition and website continue the history of excellence to Catholic journalism and service to the archdiocese that began in 1911 with the Catholic Bulletin, the predecessor of The Catholic Spirit.

At times, during the last century, the look and content of the newspaper has been changed and updated to improve the ways in which it conveys the Gospel message. This new, cleaner look will help advance that message today.

Our Rediscover: center section, launched last January, will continue. And we will maintain our focus on helping Catholics of this archdiocese to understand the faith more deeply while inspiring them to share it with others. We’re excited about the improvements and enhancements we’ve made with those goals in mind, and we hope you are, too.


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Category: Local News