Mission and History - Catholic Courier

Mission and History

The Catholic Courier’s Mission

As the conduit for timely, compelling, and trustworthy information about the Catholic faith, the Church, the Diocese of Rochester, its parishes and charitable activities, the Catholic Courier uses digital, print, and social media to inspire lifelong faith formation and transform personal and community life as inspired and directed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ (revised March 2023).

Now in its 134th year, the Catholic Courier reaches over 170,000 readers in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York, through a range of printed and digital publications.

With print circulation of 92,441 area households, the Courier is 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. El Mensajero’s print edition ceased during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-21, but its website, e-newsletter and Facebook page continue.

RCPA also is publisher of the Official Directory of the Diocese of Rochester and provides syndicated content as well as graphic-design and marketing services for church and other non-profit groups.

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