Heartiest greetings of pure joy in Jesus Christ to all those who have decided to continue receiving the Western Catholic Reporter.
I adapt that greeting to you from the one sent by St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Church at Ephesus while he was being taken to Rome to be martyred.
The WCR, thanks be to God, is not being thrown to the wild beasts as Ignatius was. Far from it.
We have been heartened by the numerous comments, donations, offers of help and words of encouragement from dedicated readers who have sent notes with subscription purchases, phoned us, written letters and emails, and talked to us on the street and at church.
Many have suggested that as journalists we receive only criticism. In fact, the bouquets and diverse forms of support from readers outweigh the voices of negativity and indifference.
At this point, our circulation – virtually all of it paid – is near the 7,000 mark that I roughly calculated is needed to break even. Of course, we still need more advertising and would love more readers. Many people have bought gift subscriptions and, although the Christmas season is past, giving gifts never goes out of style. Call 780-424-1557.
In fact, typing the thousands of names and addresses into our new circulation software was about all we could manage over the past month.
A circulation of 7,000 is a far cry from the 33,000 who received the WCR when the parishes of the Edmonton Archdiocese paid for people's subscriptions. Call the smaller circulation a faithful remnant.
Remnants are nothing to be sneezed at. Pope Benedict XVI often expressed his comfort with the notion that the Church could be smaller, but more faith-filled and more dynamic.
Minorities have always been the catalyst for positive change in the world. Those who are committed to a great dream and who owe no debts to entrenched interests are the most powerful force in the world. When they lean on the Holy Spirit for power, consolation and direction, they are almost unstoppable.
Our E-edition is up and running too. For the time being, it is free so that anyone can sample what this digital edition is like. Just go to the WCR website, www.wcr.ab.ca, and follow the prompts.
When you're there, don't forget to watch some of the videos attached to the E-edition.
In a couple of months, we will begin selling $15 a year subscriptions to the E-edition after which those who subscribe will receive automatic notifications whenever the latest edition becomes available.
Whether you subscribe to the E-edition or the print edition, we want to hear from you. Tell us about stories we could be covering as well as what the WCR might do better. We can't be everywhere, but we appreciate knowing what is happening.
You can email me directly at email@example.com. I try to answer my emails even if sometimes it does take a while.
In the meantime, thank you for your support and encouragement. Read the WCR and then pass it on to a friend. Above all, be blessed with pure joy in our Lord Jesus Christ.