“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
– Sir Richard Steele

“I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”
- Woody Allen

An item in this month’s issue of St. Anthony Messenger reports that, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research (CARA), only a quarter of American Catholics have read their diocesan newspaper at least once in the past six months! And almost a quarter reported that they had read one or more national Catholic publications during that time.

The survey was commissioned by the United States Catholic Bishops’ Department of Communications. Conducted in the fall of 2005, the survey contacted 1,260 self-identified Catholics, ages 18 or older. Not surprisingly, older Catholics and those who attended Mass more frequently were more likely to read their diocesan paper or other Catholic publications.

As catechists, we can do our part to increase readership of Catholic publications. Perhaps you might try one of these with your students:

  • Have students report on an article of interest about something happening in their home diocese. You can find a great list of diocesan newspapers online via the Catholic Press Association website.
  • Assign a short research project on some current ethical issue. Have your students consult articles that appear in popular Catholic periodicals like: St. Anthony Messenger, U.S.Catholic, Liguorian Magazine, America, Crisis, et. al.
  • Have them report on a biography of a Catholic profiled in one of these publications.
Happy reading!