January 17, 2011


EDMONTON – Most readers say news about the Church in Canada and around the world is the most important thing they want to see when they open the WCR.

When asked their two most important reasons for reading the WCR, 65 per cent of survey respondents listed national and international Church news. Second on their list was news about the Edmonton Archdiocese which was deemed as highly important by 50 per cent of the readers who responded.

Far fewer readers were strongly interested in reading news about specific schools, hospitals and parishes.


As well, many readers turn to the WCR to learn more about their faith and to explore ways of living their faith in daily life.

In a separate question, large numbers said they strongly desire the WCR to provide information about:

  • Catholic teaching and theology (38 per cent)
  • Ways to help young people grow in their faith (34 per cent);
  • News about the pope and the Vatican (33 per cent);
  • Catholic reflections on public issues (32 per cent);
  • How Catholics understand the Bible (32 per cent);
  • National and international Catholic news (31 per cent);
  • Catholic social justice teaching (31 per cent);
  • Spirituality and prayer life (30 per cent).


Bryan Froehle, the consultant who oversaw the readership survey, said national and international news as well as practical questions of spirituality and catechesis are most important to readers.

“Catholics connect with the WCR most when they see a reflection of the catholicity of their faith,” he said. The survey found a consensus among readers that they want to learn more about the Catholic faith.

“Their concern is to pass on the faith, a faith with which they connect because the faith is universal and is found well beyond the confines of their individual parish.”


The survey went on to question readers about what specific features in the paper they read most frequently. Topping the list were:

  • Letters to the Editor;
  • Editorials;
  • News in brief on Page 2;
  • Father Ron Rolheiser’s In Exile column;
  • Community Calendar;
  • A recent series of articles on the Holy Spirit.

When the question was rephrased to ask which WCR features give respondents the greatest satisfaction, Rolheiser’s In Exile leapt to the top of the list followed closely by the editorials and news briefs.