Catholic Press Awards go to Catholic Messenger, Dan Ebener

One of three pages The Catholic Messenger submitted to the Catholic Press Association's best front page (broadsheet division) category. The Messenger received third place.

By Barb Arland-Fye

 PITTSBURGH — The Catholic Messenger and Dan Ebener, director of stewardship and parish planning for the Davenport Diocese, are recipients of 2011 Catholic Press Association Awards.

The Catholic Messenger received two third-place awards: one for best front page (broadsheet division) and one for best news writing (for mid-sized diocesan newspapers, circulation 17,001-40,000 subscribers). Ebener received a third-place award in the pastoral ministry category for his book “Servant Leadership Models for Your Parish.”

Award winners were announced June 24 during the 2011 Catholic Media Convention in Pittsburgh. The contest is a project of the Catholic Press Association (CPA) of the United States and Canada, which represents more than 600 member organizations and reaches more than 26 million people, “giving voice to the Church and witness to the presence of God in the 21st century,” the CPA website states.


Tim Walter, the CPA’s executive director, said 2,792 entries were submitted for this year’s contest which recognized award-winning work in books, newspapers, magazines, websites and newsletters and in Spanish language publications.

Judging for all categories except books moved from Associated Press Institute to Catholic journalism schools at Marquette University in Milwaukee and Loyola University in Chicago “in order to better judge the Catholic nature of our program,” Walter wrote in The Catholic Journalist.

In the Best Front Page contest for broadsheets, the judges said of The Catholic Messenger: “A good third-place winner. More typographical variety and even better identification of main element would raise the bar even higher on this entry.” Pittsburgh Catholic placed first in the category and The Catholic Free Press in Worcester, Mass., placed second.

In the best News Writing contest, a judge said of The Catholic Messenger’s series on collaboration between parishes in the Davenport Diocese: “I thought this was an important undertaking for this paper. Nice year-long project.”

First-place winner in this category for mid-sized diocesan papers was The Tennessee Register and second-place winner was The Catholic Moment of Lafayette, Ind.

In the Pastoral Ministry category for books, the judges said of Ebener’s “Servant Leadership:” “Based on the teaching of Jesus to be servant of all, this volume provides the results of Ebener’s extensive studies of parish life and offers a valuable resource for parishes in their efforts to achieve the goal of authentic servant leadership.”

First-place winner in that category was “When Values Collide: The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse, and The Challenge of Leadership” by Joseph Chinnici. Second-place winner was “Adult Faith,” by Diarmuid O’Murchu.

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