Mission and History - Catholic Courier

Mission and History

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 132nd year, the Catholic Courier reaches approximately 200,000 readers in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York, through a range of printed and digital publications.

With print circulation of 92,600 area households, the Courier may well be the largest paid-circulation, print publication in the Greater Rochester area. Publisher also of this extensive 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 sixth iteration, which emphasizes multimedia and video storytelling, and includes all printed content. Each month, the site draws nearly 44,000 visitors who view approximately 89,000 pages. 

A 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 far exceed industry averages.

In 2005, the Courier launched the monthly Spanish-language newspaper El Mensajero Católico and added a bilingual website in 2009.

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.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

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