When John Wynne, SJ opened the first office of America in 1909, he had a simple but bold vision: to create a media ministry that would give Catholics a voice in public debate in the United States. That’s why he called it America. During a Great Depression, two world wars, eight papacies, 20 presidencies, and countless other events in the church and around the world, America became one of the most famous Catholic newspapers in the English-speaking world.
Yet relatively few people have heard of it.
America launches groundbreaking national marketing campaign. We call it #OwnYourFaith.
Like many Catholic media, for more than a century America did not do any marketing beyond the occasional direct mail effort. We certainly haven’t made a huge effort nationally to get the message out. We relied on word of mouth and friendly relations, for example with the network of Jesuit schools, which often America compulsory reading for most of their students. For a number of reasons, starting with the realities of publishing in the digital age, these strategies are no longer practical or effective. It is high time for a more organized and concerted effort to educate people about this incredible resource.
In many ways, news and analysis America are needed more than ever. This may seem strange to say, given the precarious position of organized religion in the contemporary United States. The decline in religious affiliation is the result of a myriad of factors, but it certainly includes the tendency of organized religions to take their appeal for granted and fail to “sell” themselves properly or, in Christian theological terms, to evangelize. .
Among baptized Catholics, many people feel that the church has not engaged them, has not listened to their questions.
Among baptized Catholics, many feel that the Church has not engaged them, has not listened to their questions, and has failed to live up to the ideals it professes. They decided to move away. But even among those who remain in the pews, there are questions and challenges.
And yet, how many Catholics, practicing or not, even know of the existence of Catholic media, of publications like America whose mission is to accompany them in this questioning, to help them make sense of events in the Church and in the world? An intelligent, Catholic point of view—one that looks with a critical, well-trained eye at the day’s events, from elections to Netflix specials to Vatican news—is a perspective many Catholics simply don’t know about. .
We will change that.
This month, for the first time in its history, America launches groundbreaking national marketing campaign. We call it #OwnYourFaith.
When you come across this campaign – on social media, on city sidewalks, in places like the Wall Street Journal – you will find us proposing questions for dialogue: the same questions that most Catholics pose, the issues at the heart of national politics and church conversation. I believe that the church – and the country – are better off when we are free to wrestle with the most pressing issues of the day, unbound by ideological trappings or that nagging sense that we are not supposed to ask questions. difficult or controversial in church. I know you, as an engaged America reader, also believe in vigorous conversation. With this marketing campaign, we bet there are millions of Catholics who also believe in it but haven’t heard of it yet. America.
I believe the church – and the country – is better off when we are free to grapple with the most pressing issues of the day, unbound by ideological trappings.
Why #OwnYourFaith? Because the Catholic Church belongs to all of us, even if this is not always the case. This great gift is not just your pastor’s church, not just Father Matt Malone’s church, not just the American Bishops’ church, but Christ’s church and therefore yours. It is through him, with him and in him that we share a common baptism.
Many of you reading this have supported the mission of America for years, even decades. The loyalty of our subscribers and benefactors is our most precious gift. And we owe it to you to dedicate the time and resources to make this work accessible to more people and to pass it on to a new generation. The issues facing our nation and our church – the very issues we wrestle with at America– are too important not to.
I therefore ask you to join us in this unprecedented effort. Is there someone in your family, workplace, or parish who would appreciate an intelligent, Catholic approach to politics, faith, and culture? It’s time to talk to them America. Explain to them in person, or with a quick text or email, why you’re reading and subscribing to America. Run an article, issue, podcast, video about something that made you think or gave you hope.
While we’ve enlisted the smartest and most dedicated publishing staff to craft this marketing campaign, we know that our greatest resource for getting the word out is you. Thank you.