By Barb Arland
The Catholic Messenger
The Catholic Messenger took home six awards in the Catholic Press Awards competition of the Catholic Media Association (CMA) this year. The CMA announced the results June 9 during the 2023 Catholic Press Awards Banquet and Presentation in Baltimore. In total, members submitted more than 4,000 entries for the contest. The membership consists of 90 newspapers, 92 magazines, seven newsletters, 25 digital-only publications, two television and one radio operations, 115 organizational communications members, 49 freelance members, 64 individual members and eight service members.
These are the awards the Messenger received:
First place: Best Coverage — Immigration. The Messenger submitted three articles for this category: “Escape from Afghanistan: Aziz Aziz recalls life-changing decision (Jan. 20, 2022, Barb Arland-Fye); “Ukrainian family welcomed as new residents of Muscatine” (Sept. 29, 2022, Lindsay Steele); and “Catholic Worker hospitality expands — Iowa City Catholic Worker opens second house for immigrant and refugee families” (Jan. 13, 2022, Arland-Fye).
The judge wrote, quoting from the Aziz Aziz story: ‘“In 30 minutes, we are arriving at your home, and you need to get out.’ That turned the Afghan family into a migrant family and that also helped turn this article into a winner. We learn of the family’s relocation plight eased by Catholic Relief Services. Another outstanding story tells of a Ukrainian family’s successful relocation to the US. And a third story explains how Iowa City Catholic Worker maintains a home for (Central) American refugees. A well written and comprehensive look at the worldwide struggle of migrants and determined efforts to ease their transition.”
First place: Best Editorial on a local issue — weekly. “Economic justice for all” (Jan. 27, 2022, Arland-Fye) set the scene with a mom who had just lost her job expressing gratitude for a free turkey she received at the McAnthony Window food pantry of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport. The editorial outlined proposed punitive state legislation that would affect unemployment benefits and work requirements. The judge wrote: “Captivating, persuasive call to action.”
Second place: Best Reporting on Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life or Diaconate for a series of articles by Arland-Fye: “African priest earns doctorate while building up parish life in rural Iowa” (June 2, 2022); “Tanzanian priest serves in Iowa with an open heart” (July 14, 2022); and “I am a Catholic priest serving the world” (Sept. 1, 2022). The judge said: “Nice to give focus to local priests from one part of the world.”
Honorable mention: Best regular column — Family Life for a series of columns including “Garage door lessons for marriage” (Feb.10, 2022, Arland-Fye).
Honorable mention: Best report on the celebration of a sacrament for a story titled “Celebrating Mass on the farm” (Nov. 10, 2022, Arland-Fye).
Honorable mention: Best newswriting on a regional event for a story titled “Bi-state eucharistic procession crosses the Mississippi River” (Oct. 10, 2022, Arland-Fye).
We are grateful to you, our readers and subscribers, who support and embrace The Catholic Messenger’s mission to educate, inspire and inform the faithful in the Diocese of Davenport and beyond.