We need your help

As you may have read in last week’s Anchor and on this week’s front page, we are in need of your help to continue being a source of news and commentary for the people of our diocese (and for people around the nation and the world). We are grateful for the generosity of the parishes that have supported us for more than half a century, helping us to spread the Good News of how the Gospel was being lived out in this corner of Our Lord’s vineyard.

Pope Leo XIII in an 1899 encyclical, Paternae, wrote, “It is also our desire, as we have already told you, that effort should be devoted to publishing and distributing Catholic newspapers since at the present time the people form their opinions and draw their moral guidelines from no other source than from the daily reading of [secular] newspapers.” Although nowadays many people form their opinions without the assistance of any newspaper, they do form them apart from any Catholic influence. The Anchor’s presence, in print and online, helps to offer a different voice, trying to imitate St. John the Baptist, who rejoiced to be a “voice” echoing the “Word” (Jesus).

Pope Leo offered a challenge: “The style of your newspapers should be sharpened and the literary expression aroused so that frivolity may give way to truth and the minds of men may gradually follow the voice of right reason.” We believe that we seek to meet this challenge in each edition of the paper, as we look to see what we can improve so that Christ’s message can touch people’s hearts.

One hundred years later, in 1999, St. John Paul II told Italian Catholic journalists, “The tradition of Catholic journalism in Italy has had indisputable importance in the formation of generations of believers enlivened by sincere faith. How many journalists have left a deep mark and how many others continue to work with a spirit of sacrifice and skill in the ‘media’ sector!’” What he said about the situation in Italy is also true here. The Anchor has helped to form believers in the faith, thanks to the sacrifices of the lay people who have put their skills at the service of the Gospel.

Five years later, in 2004, the Polish pontiff told a similar group of Italian Catholic reporters and editors, “Diocesan weeklies effectively help to spread in families, parishes and cities the Christian values that account for a large part of the Spiritual heritage of the Italian people. I am thinking in particular of the protection of every dimension of human life, as well as of Marriage and the family, which a misunderstood culture of ‘personal rights’ is tending to distort, and lastly, of the values of truth, justice and solidarity.” Again, one can apply the Italian example to our own here in Massachusetts. Our news stories and commentaries help to show how our teachings are being lived out and they challenge us to further Spiritual growth.

St. John Paul offered some words that ring true as we head towards Thanksgiving: “Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for your service that, with your journalistic articles, contributes to the building of the ‘civilization of love.’ In this age of global communications, your mission is becoming more and more difficult. Do not lose heart, dear friends, because of the difficulties you encounter. Conscientiously persevere in preaching the Gospel of truth and hope from the special ‘pulpits’ of your diocesan weeklies, remaining ever open to the wide horizons of the Universal Church.”

Our employees are doing their best to do this. How can you help? 

First of all, you can renew your subscriptions early, which will give an inflow of cash to help The Anchor through the initial transition away from the subsidies. When you think of it, what publication can you receive for less than a dollar an issue with so much news and commentaries? It truly is a bargain.

“Christmas is coming,” as the stores tell us. A great gift would be a subscription to The Anchor. You could give it to friends or relatives — maybe it would be a good idea to send it to someone whom you think is in need of a boost in their Catholic reading (so as to help them understand better what our faith is all about). Or maybe you could send a subscription to someone who grew up here in the diocese but now lives somewhere else (thus giving them a little taste of home). Another idea would be to call your parish and see if they have someone who cannot afford to buy a subscription and then pay for it yourself as an anonymous donor. We know Jesus likes that form of charity.

Another way to help would be to purchase advertising in the paper. If you own your own company, please consider doing so. If you are an employee, please consider speaking to the boss about this. As a parishioner you could also offer to your pastor that you would purchase an ad on behalf of your parish for various events that need publicizing.

A fourth thing you could do would be to make a donation to The Anchor. We keep the subscription rates low so that most people can afford to buy the paper, but we truly are in need of much more money to keep it going. Donations to the paper, a non-profit institution, are tax deductible. As we come to the end of the year, we are mindful of the need to make donations in time for them to count on our 2015 taxes.

Thank you for your support of The Anchor and its staff. Please keep us in your prayers and pray to see how you can collaborate with us in spreading the Good News.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts