Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith has announced the archdiocese is developing a new vision for communications, and that this will be final issue of the Western Catholic Reporter.


Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith has announced the archdiocese is developing a new vision for communications, and that this will be final issue of the Western Catholic Reporter.

September 26, 2016
Dear Faithful Readers of the WCR,

For more than 50 years in the service of the Gospel of our Lord, the Western Catholic Reporter has provided news and commentary to the People of God in this archdiocese and beyond.

Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of Glen Argan and his staff, the paper has developed a rich legacy of journalistic excellence, recognized through many industry awards.

In that same span of 50 years, the world of communications has changed dramatically. Unchanged, however, is the urgent need to announce the Gospel in ways that reach our people. It is necessary that we always seek new and ever more effective means to engage our people, wherever they may be on their faith journey and wherever they may look for their news of the day.

The current media environment, the way stories are told, and the way people consume news are all changing rapidly. In order that Christ be proclaimed, the Church must be fully conversant with this evolving environment and effectively present in the midst of it.

Consequently, I have directed that our current print and digital means of communications transition to a daily online news portal, which will be the hub for quality content shared across several platforms, including websites, social media, the e-newsletter, and print products.

As a result, this issue of the Western Catholic Reporter is its last.

These changes form part of our archdiocesan response to the call Pope Francis has made to the entire Church for pastoral conversion. In his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father summoned us to an ecclesial renewal "that cannot be deferred." That renewal pertains not only to the Church's disciples but also to her very structures.

Among the most important of the Church's structures are those that serve the ministry of communications, which supports the Church's mission of evangelization by informing, inspiring and telling the story of Catholic life.

So that we can most effectively narrate the story of how faith in Jesus Christ is proclaimed and lived in the lives of ordinary Catholics and in the ministries of the Church, the archdiocesan Communications Office will be reorganized with a new vision, a new mandate and a new structure.

The transition I am announcing is not meant as a critique of current and past practices. On the contrary, these have been excellent. Since its founding in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the WCR has served the People of God well.

I am immensely grateful to Glen and to his staff, all of whom have served not only with professional competence but also as an expression of their baptismal call to discipleship. This gratitude and esteem is shared widely across the archdiocese and our country.

These changes I am instituting will result in impacts on staff, subscribers, advertisers and other stakeholders. The archdiocese will ensure that these impacts are dealt with in a sensitive and respectful way. If you are a subscriber or an advertiser, we will advise you of the account's status and issue appropriate refunds.

I want to assure you that your faithful support of the WCR has been deeply appreciated and will not be forgotten. I know that many of our readers do not go to the Internet for their Catholic news and prefer a print product; we will keep you in mind as we consider any new publications.

I invite you to visit the archdiocesan website at www.caedm.ca to read more details of the new Vision for Communications in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. I welcome your comments, and I ask for your understanding and your prayers as we move forward in this new direction.