(From the first issue of Catholic San Francisco, February 12, 1999)
What you have before you is Catholic San Francisco, a weekly newspaper published by the Archdiocese of San Francisco for Catholics in the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. This new publication is being mailed to all individuals, families and households currently registered at parishes within the Archdiocese. Through most of the year, you will receive the newspaper weekly, bi-weekly in the summer months.
You will not be billed. You will receive the newspaper regularly as long as you remain a registered parishioner within the Archdiocese. Catholic San Francisco is being funded through the Archdiocese and by income received from advertising. Catholic San Francisco also seeks funds from patrons, both individuals and foundations.
Nine months ago, in announcing plans to start the newspaper, Archbishop William J. Levada said, “This action is inspired by the call of Pope John Paul II for a greater understanding of our faith and a more intense awareness of our communion with Jesus Christ.” The Archbishop noted that the commitment to a weekly newspaper “reflects a deeply held belief that increased communication will help us build a stronger community of faith, a more informed and involved laity and a renewed commitment to the mission of the Church as we prepare to enter the new millennium.”
Catholic San Francisco has come to life after years of thought and discussion and after a shorter, but more intense, period of planning and development. Formal efforts to re-establish a newspaper for the Archdiocese began in 1994 when a taskforce on communications recommended serious study of the idea. The Archdiocese had an earlier tradition of Catholic journalism, represented by The Monitor, published between 1858 and 1984. After that, a monthly magazine, The San Francisco Catholic, had a 10-year life and for the past five years, the Archdiocese has had an insert to parish bulletins called Sunday to Sunday.
The newspaper recommendation of the 1994-95 taskforce on communications was strongly supported in the final report of the Pastoral Plan, which put “increased communications” among its highest priorities. After the Pastoral Plan was adopted in December 1995 by Archbishop John R. Quinn and Archbishop William J. Levada, a 1996-97 taskforce under Bishop Patrick J. McGrath advanced the study a newspaper. In 1997, additional research and study was completed and the Council of Priests provided its approval. The Archdiocese in May 1998 publicly announced its intention to establish Catholic San Francisco.
The vision behind the newspaper includes several key concepts. First, the newspaper will have the broadest possible distribution; every registered parishioner throughout the Archdiocese will receive it. Second, the U.S. Postal Service is delivering the paper directly to those homes. This large audience advances the goals of evangelization and provides an attractive market for advertisers. Third, the newspaper is to be part of a communications effort by the Archdiocese that uses a variety of media to reach our diverse community.
What you have before is Catholic San Francisco, a new voice in the San Francisco Bay Area. The newspaper takes its place among the ranks of Catholic publications with the goal of serving Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco with faith and integrity.
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco 94109
Editor and General Manager