The fifth edition of Phaith magazine is in homes now. Since it's a new year, it's a good time to ask how the new magazine is going.
Based on anecdotal comments from Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the magazine is a big hit. People love the feature stories on area Catholics and the interesting columns each month. They're even trying the recipies. And people are patronizing the advertisers who are so essential to supporting the magazine.
But it's more than that. People are talking about Phaith. More to the point, they are talking their Catholic faith.
I overheard a conversation around Christmas that two people were having about the Bible. One person, a non-Catholic, wondered about whether the characters and people in the stories of the Bible were true. The other person, a Catholic and reader of Phaith, referred to Msgr. Michael Magee's December column on that very topic. She almost quoted verbatim from the column, which used the parallel of a Charles Dickens story. Just because Oliver Twist did not actually exist doesn't mean the truths that the author writes are not instructive about the human condiction in 19th century England, and in our own time. The non-Catholic person said, "I never thought of it that way."
That, in a nutshell, is what Phaith magazine is all about. It informs and inspires in order to equip Catholics to witness to their faith in public. It is helping, we hope, to spread the messages of God's love and mercy through the Church and into the world, right here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Sure, some people want to hear nothing of this, for their own reasons. They informed us, and not always politely, within the first months of publication that they wanted nothing from the church, even this magazine that even those people admitted was well produced.
We anticipated maybe 20,000 to 25,000 such folks would decline to receive the magazine, which remains free to every registered household in the archdiocese. So far, about 10,000 have informed us that they do not want it. So be it, we honor those requests.
Support from readers has also been strong in the form of donations. Readers understand that their donation of $30 or any amount is an act of evangelization. That donation helps us continue to send the magazine to people who may not regularly go to church or read a Catholic publication that helps to strengthen their faith.
In this sense, readers of Phaith are helping the faith of other readers.
We send the magazine free of charge to 340,000 homes in the Archdiocese with the hope that Catholics registered in parishes will reflect on their gift of faith. Hopefully they will even celebrate the sacraments, especially getting to know the Lord in his word and in his body and blood at the Mass.
If you are registered at a parish and wish to receive Phaith, or if you live outside the Philadelphia region and wish to subscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're on the go, see the current and previous issues online at phaithmagazine.com and download our Phaith app for ipad at Apple's iTunes store.
Speaking of being wired (or wireless), you might have read the January Phaith magazine cover story on the road to joy for one Filipino woman that led her to the pink sisters' congregation in Philadelphia. You can send the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters a prayer request through a page on their web site.