Gabriel Publications phone every six weeks or so, usually to persuade me to accept ('sale or return, Father') a few copies of their latest attempt to grab people's attention. Each time, my heart sinks, because I can hear in the hopeless tones of the salesman's voice that he has had a number of fruitless conversations before the one he has with me. Last time, the poor chap (I can't remember who it was I was speaking to) had had a terrible roasting from some parish priest, and I took copies simply because I felt sorry for him (and cross with my uncharitable brother, whoever he may have been).
But the truth is that my parishioners simply do not read. Or at least they do not read The Universe, Catholic Life or Catholic Truth Society publications. In some cases, this is a great shame. CTS have really got their act together now, and, as I mentioned above, Catholic Life is pretty good. A few copies of the Catholic Herald go (this, I suspect, because I used to be asked to write for it) and two copies of The Tablet (one of them to me). Apart from this, nearly nothing is sold.
I think that probably the time has come for a change of tack. Modern media has changed so much: I suspect that blogs (those better than this one, of course) have taken much of the ground of the Catholic press. So many people now get their news online that perhaps it might benefit Gabriel Press and other similar bodies to look in this area for development rather than obliging nice young men to depress themselves trying to sell newspapers to priests who take them knowing perfectly well that people won't buy them.