The Catholic Courier’s Mission
The Catholic Courier focuses its coverage primarily on people, ministries, issues and church life within the Diocese of Rochester in order to engage and inform our readers — especially young adults and those seeking ways to connect to a faith community — about Catholicism and how to live it faithfully (revised December 2016).
Now in its 133rd year, the Catholic Courier reaches approximately 171,000 readers in the 12-county Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York, through digital and print publications.
With print circulation of 91,406 area households, the Courier may well be the largest paid-circulation, print publication in the Greater Rochester area. Publisher also of this website and three weekly e-newsletters, the Courier is the winner of hundreds of state and national awards for journalistic excellence.
The newspaper was founded by lay Catholics in 1889 as The Catholic Journal. Over the next century, its name consisted of the words “Catholic,” “Courier” and “Journal” in various combinations, and the paper was officially renamed Catholic Courier on its 100th anniversary in 1989.
The Rochester Diocese assumed ownership of the newspaper in the wake of the Great Depression, and its publishing company, the Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. (RCPA) was established as a New York not for profit corporation in 1951.
The Courier created its first website in 1996 and recently launched this seventh version, which emphasizes multimedia and video storytelling, and includes all printed content. Each month, the site draws approximately 40,000 visitors who view nearly 75,000 pages.
Our first weekly e-newsletter was established in January 2008. A second leisure-oriented edition launched in 2016, and a third edition oriented to the Sunday Scriptures was added in 2018. Each newsletter reaches approximately 10,000 readers and offers open and click rates that compare favorably against industry averages.
In 2005, the Courier launched the monthly Spanish-language newspaper El Mensajero Católico and added a bilingual website in 2009. Because it was distributed free in area stores, restaurants and agencies, El Mensajero was forced into a print hiatus when the COVID pandemic struck in the spring of 2020. Post-COVID efforts to return to print failed, but the website and El Mensajero eNews continue to provide coverage of the Hispanic community.
RCPA also is publisher of the Official Directory of the Diocese of Rochester and provides graphic-design and marketing services for church and other non-profit groups.