Thursday 21 January 2010

Gabriel dixit

I've just had a phone call from a very nice man called Howard, who works for Gabriel Publications. That's the people who produce The Universe—which, let me quickly reassure our foreign readers, is not a claim to be the Creator, but merely the publishers who have created our Catholic Newspaper, The Universe. I'm not really a great fan of this paper, though they do produce a magazine called Catholic Life which is really pretty good.
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.


Ben Whitworth said...

Perhaps in the meantime everyone reading this blog could take out a subscription to Catholic Life!

- from a Catholic Life contributor

Roger Buck said...

Dear Father Finnegan,

The following is a request to you.

And I wish I were posting it to an email rather than a comments box.

But I have looked in vain on both blog and profile for an email address (I am not in Britain at the moment and it seems that perhaps abroad emails may not display in profiles).

In any event, my request for you is if you will kindly look at a Catholic website (with two and soon three blogs) which my wife and I have created, with an aspiration to serve the Church and the Tradition – and should you deem it worthy, include it in your lynx.

We are relatively new to this world of blogging – but I believe we are sincere, attempting to do something that we hope will be of some humble aid to the Church in these times of grave danger to the Faith.

I can also honestly say that this project has been born only after years of contemplation and reflection and we are pouring our lifeblood into it.

If you would do us the honour of even briefly considering our site, I should be very grateful to you.

I wish I could say I was a long-time follower. But in truth I have only recently discovered you. But I am very glad to have done so and am enjoying the discovery.

As I indicated recently, I felt particularly encouraged and helped by your entry about changes observable in Rome.

Thank you Father for your time and for your work at this blog.

Your sincerely,

Roger Buck

Norah said...

I am a voracious reader and so I am always surprised to hear that people don't read. I am also surprised to read that the CTS pamphlets don't sell. They are short and to the point and nicely illustrated. I leave copies of magazines in the vestibule and they all go; perhaps it is because they are free. Considering the implosion in Catholic education in the last forty years one would think that people would be eager to learn,in bite-sized doses, what the Church actually teaches .