Twenty-five years ago, our Catholic Courier (then the Courier-Journal) was going through a rough patch. We had some issues of finance to tend to, and we were in the midst of some staff changes.
As was often the case when we had to deal with complex issues in those years, I turned to the now deceased Bishop Dennis Hickey. I asked him to gather together some people acquainted with the field to help guide our paper to a more secure position. The bishop agreed to take on the task, and in his usual quiet manner got to work.
Following the advice of the bishop, and the group he assembled, we managed to stabilize our financial situation. And, upon their recommendation, we hired a young woman named Karen Franz to be the editor of our newspaper.
I remembered Bishop Hickey and his team with renewed gratitude when I learned this week that Karen received the St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association (CPA) at its national convention in Anaheim, Calif. That award, the highest individual award offered by the CPA, is in recognition of Karen’s outstanding contribution to Catholic journalism.
The CPA recognized her for the consistent high quality of the Catholic Courier, for the innovative spirit she has brought to her work and for her contribution to Catholic journalism in our country through her participation in, and leadership of, the CPA.
From my own perspective, I have observed her work for almost 25 years and have admired the energy and vision she has brought to it. Karen consistently and effectively works to upgrade her skills. Did she feel the need for more computer competence? Business skills? Knowledge of Spanish? Off Karen would go to study and learn.
She is unafraid of challenges. Her leadership was crucial in the launching of El Mensajero Cat√≥lico, the Catholic Courier‘s award-winning Spanish-language sister publication.
Karen recognized changing trends in journalism and has been an effective leader in the development of the Catholic Courier as a monthly publication, and of the online edition of the Catholic Courier.
Evidence of the quality of her work is the fact that the Catholic Courier received the second-place award for General Excellence for Catholic newspapers with a circulation above 40,000.
The Catholic Courier received many other awards at the Anaheim convention. You can read about the awards in the online edition and in the July monthly.
But I do want to mention here that Michael Crupi and Annette Jim√©nez each received several significant individual awards.
Congratulations to Karen, Annette, Michael and the whole team at the Catholic Courier. Your awards are well-deserved, and you make us all very proud.
Peace to all.