Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 2, 2000
A report from the WCR
Canada's largest Christian weekly posts surplus, provides essential service for laity
By By GLEN ARGAN
The Western Catholic Reporter again reported a surplus in its 1999-2000 fiscal year, this time of $43,045.
Our revenues grew by more than $38,000, due mostly to an increase in the parish assessment. We continue to spend as prudently as possible. In the past four years, our expenses have risen by less than $34,000, a total of less than five per cent. In that time, we have increased the number of pages in the newspaper, expanded local news coverage and begun to provide a weekly full-colour front page.
In our current fiscal year, which began April 1, we have encountered added expenses due to sharp increases in the cost of paper. The WCR also incurred added costs from sending a reporter to cover World Youth Day in Rome, and the replacement and repair of some of our well-used and aging computers.
More than half of our revenue comes through the assessment on parishes in the Edmonton Archdiocese. Parishes pay five per cent of their ordinary Sunday collections for the operations of the WCR. In return, all parishioners who want to receive the newspaper are added to our mailing list.
Contrary to some misunderstanding, that figure does not increase when new parishioners are added to our mailing list nor does it decrease when names are taken off the list.
We encourage parishes to keep their lists updated so that new parishioners will begin receiving the WCR as soon as possible. We also encourage readers to let us know of any change of address or other changes that affect mail delivery of the newspaper.
Currently, the WCR is Canada's largest weekly Christian newspaper with more than 38,000 subscribers. This is because of the parish assessment plan which has had the support of Archbishops Anthony Jordan, Joseph MacNeil and Thomas Collins.
Providing a weekly Catholic newspaper to every Catholic household is, if anything, even more important now than it was in 1973 when the parish assessment began. The forces in our culture that tend to undermine religious belief have grown even stronger. There are few other sources which regularly help lay Catholics to form a Gospel-based approach to the world around them.
In a 1971 instruction, the Vatican's Council for Social Communications said, "It is hard to see how people can keep in touch with what is happening in the Church without the Catholic press. Neither can people keep a Catholic attitude towards what happens in the world without the help of commentaries on the news written in the light of Christian principles."
While the Internet is growing in importance, the printed word continues to be the best and least expensive way of reaching the largest number of people. In a Church committed to the Vatican II vision of lay people permeating the secular world with the values of the Gospel, a widely-distributed weekly Catholic newspaper is essential.
At the WCR, we want to provide you with the best possible Catholic newspaper. The Canadian Church Press continues to honour the WCR for the job it is doing. In five out of the last six years, it has awarded the WCR either first or second place for general excellence among regional newspapers at its annual awards competition.
This year, the CCP described the WCR as having "a flavour that is refreshingly different from the ultra-respectful and totally predictable tone of many religious newspapers.
"The paper sticks close to its readership with as much local content as possible, as well as treating issues of theology and Church politics.
"There is a sense that editors, writers and production team bring a high level of personal interest and journalistic flair to their work."
The CCP is right. We do have a very dedicated staff. We want that newspaper to build up our readers in their Catholic faith and to help them to challenge the materialistic values of our time. This is a daunting task for a small organization such as ours.
But we believe that people who pray regularly, are active participants in the Eucharistic liturgy, are faithful to the Church's teaching and who are informed by a vibrant Catholic press can be a powerful force for positive change in society. We thank you for helping us be a tiny spark for new life and we ask you to keep the WCR in your prayers.
- Glen Argan