Looking forward to working together to support, serve in 2023

By Rob DeFrancesco on 1/13/2023

Welcome! I am happy to be writing to you as we begin this new year, and please know how grateful I am for your membership in the Catholic Media Association. Together, we help the Church share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

As an active member for 20+ years before joining the CMA team last year, I point to the training and relationships that were transformational for me as an editor, communications director, and jack-of-all-trades Catholic media professional. I want that experience for everyone.

We have much to look forward to this year, including new training programs and professional development opportunities for CMA members at a low cost, made possible thanks to the USCCB Catholic Communication Campaign. We are working closely with Kilian Schalk of PurpleGray Consulting, and Ellen Gunning of The PR Training Academy, to help you level up your work in 2023.

Members-only webinars, quarterly Zoom meetups, and the Catholic Media Awards are just a few more reasons why people are passionate about this community. CMA members also have direct access to a network of talented Catholic communications professionals across North America and beyond.

Last summer we marked our first in-person Catholic Media Conference since 2019. It was our first-ever hybrid conference, and it was an unqualified success. We are building on that success, and we hope you will join us at the Catholic Media Conference, June 6-9, in Baltimore.

At the CMA office, we are implementing new ways to work more efficiently, and more cost-effectively, to better serve you and your communities. In the coming months we look forward to sharing more with you about these improvements.

The Board of Directors, too, will begin working on a new strategic plan. The goal is to better serve you and your organizations, considering new and ever-changing realities. I know this will be fruitful and produce many good opportunities in the near and long term.

On Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, our Holy Father will release his message for the 57th annual World Communications Day. The theme for his message is “Speak with the heart: Veritatem facientes in caritate” (Speaking the truth in love). We look forward to reflecting on his message to Catholic media professionals. According to a Vatican News story from the fall, Pope Francis’ message urges us to communicate gently, “using the gift of communication as a bridge and not as a wall.”

As we shared in Member Connection last month, Carol Arnold has left the CMA team as of mid-December. Thank you for sending her so many well-wishes! She will be missed, and Kathleen Holloway, Erika Redford-Allegretti and I look forward to working more closely with you this coming year. We are actively working to hire a new teammate and hope to have good news to share soon.

God bless you and your good work in the New Year. Please join me in praying for our colleagues and friends in our shared mission.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

Rob DeFrancesco is executive director of the Catholic Media Association. Please send questions, ideas and feedback to: rdefrancesco@CatholicMediaAssociation.org.

This article originally appeared in the January 2023 edition of The Catholic Journalist.