Celebrating the Catholic press


By Barb Arland-Fye

St. Paul’s letters in the New Testament speak to the faithful of his time within the context of their lived experience of the Christian faith. His message conveying the joy of the Gospel remains relevant and challenging in our time. The Catholic press, now in its third century, continues to convey that message by responding to and adapting the communication tools of our times. This is what we celebrate during Catholic Press Month in February.

We ask you to join us in celebrating and supporting Catholic journalism that provides solid news coverage and commentary independent of the vitriol of many secular media outlets. The Catholic press provides a broader perspective and insight about the Catholic Church than the secular press can offer. We communicate with honesty, integrity, insight and inspiration that is essential to a thriving civilization. Pope Francis has said, “Communication is part of God’s plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship.”

The Catholic Messenger, your diocesan newspaper, has been a steadfast, reliable source of communication for the Diocese of Davenport since the newspaper’s founding in 1882. Through the decades, the Messenger has served as a companion on this journey of faith, striving to help all of the faithful to build on our relationship with God and one another.


Our diocesan multimedia publication provides award-winning content in a weekly print edition, e-edition and on its website and social media outlets, in a monthly podcast and through a biweekly e-newsletter. We cover parish, diocesan, state and national and international news; offer commentary, letters to the editor and inspirational columns; diocesan-wide listing of events and a monthly Spanish page.

A staff of five full-time and one half-time employees produce the Messenger: Barb Arland-Fye, editor; Anne Marie Amacher, assistant editor; Lindsay Steele, diocesan reporter and social media coordinator; Tony Forlini, circulation coordinator/ webmaster; Phil Hart, advertising representative; and Barb Burken, part-time bookkeeper.

The Messenger also engages a number of columnists, from young adults to senior citizens, who contribute to broadening the depth and demographics of the publication. Regular columnists include diocesan Evangelization Director Patrick Schmadeke, diocesan Social Media Coordinator Sarah Callahan, Sam Aitchison, Jenna Ebener, Christina Capecchi and Kathy Berken; St. Ambrose University theologians; and Dr. Tim Millea, a retired orthopedic surgeon and local parishioner who leads the St. Thomas Aquinas Medical Guild. Father Thom Hennen, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, is our Question Box columnist. All of them help build on the Messenger’s mission to educate, inform and inspire the faithful.

Two years ago, the Messenger created a sounding board of young adult Catholics to provide guidance on reaching others, which led to, among other initiatives, “The Catholic Messenger Express” e-newsletter. This free, twice-monthly publication has grown to 600 subscribers.  The “Express” provides short takes (with links) to the best stories from the Messenger, in addition to gems from the newspaper’s archives, a saint profile and a brief listing of events.

In the months ahead, count on the Messenger to provide in-depth coverage about the new Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport after the Vatican announces who will fill that role. Expect to read about issues that challenge all of us to reflect on what it means to be Church. Catholics can and do disagree on the difficult issues of our day. As with all of our colleagues in the Catholic press, we strive to bridge the divide by sharing different perspectives while adhering to Catholic teaching.

You can ensure that The Catholic Messenger continues to educate, inform and inspire by supporting the annual subscription drive (now underway), donating a subscription or two for people in your parish, and sharing your thoughts and ideas with us:

  • What would you like see more of in the Messenger?
  • What are we missing in our coverage?
  • What media platform(s) do you prefer: print, e-edition, e-newsletter, website, podcast?

Contact us at messenger@davenportdiocese.org to share your ideas, thoughts and concerns.

We are providing free access to our e-edition through Feb. 14 as part of this year’s subscription drive. Visit the website at www.catholicmessenger.net and click on the

e-edition icon. We, and all of our colleagues in the Catholic press, commit to delivering St. Paul’s message to you in the “letters” of our times.

Barb Arland-Fye, Editor

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

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