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History of the Catholic Press Association
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The first CPA Convention in 1911, Columbus, Ohio

 

1889            The first (and last) Catholic Lay Congress took place in Baltimore that November. Members of the Catholic press were overlooked in original invitations, but received them in August. L. W. Reilly, an editor in Columbus, Ohio, sent out a circular inviting press people to the Congress, and Maurice Francis Egan, former newspaperman teaching at the University of Notre Dame, urged editors to come to "cultivate fellow feeling” and force "unscrupulous advertising agents to be honest.” If Catholic editors neglected to unite, he suggested, there would soon be no Catholic papers at all. A group of Catholic editors and business managers, representing 26 Catholic journals, met informally November 10 at the Hotel Rennert. The only action taken was to set a date for a Convention the following May in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1890 That Convention met May 7 at the Dennison House in Cincinnati. Officers from the previous November meeting (Father F. Graham of the Catholic Tribune, Dubuque, the chairman, and Conde’ B. Pallen of Church Progress, secretary) conducted the meeting, with representatives of 14 papers attending. They voted to establish a permanent association named The Catholic Press Association of the United States. Dues were to be $5 per year for each publication, payable in advance, with a meeting the first Wednesday of May each year

1891 The next meeting convened May 6 in Xavier Hall at the College of the Jesuits in New York, with more than 40 publications represented. Delegates approved incorporation of the Association, employing correspondents in Rome, Paris, London and Berlin, establishing an advertising bureau and a purchasing agency for quantity buying. Washington, DC, was selected as the site for the 1892 meeting. That news service soon failed, however, because several editors did not pay for it, and there is no record that an 1892 meeting ever took place.

1893 This Catholic Press Association met once more, in Chicago -- site that year of the World’s Fair (Columbian Exposition) -- at the Art Palace, Wednesday, September 6, with 35 papers represented. Father A. P. Doyle, of the Catholic World, was elected president. There were no further meetings of this group, possibly because of a national financial crisis which had begun earlier, and the fact that the incipient Catholic lay movement lost its momentum.

1908 Dr. Thomas Hart, of the Catholic Telegraph, Cincinnati, agitated by failure of the National Catholic Educational Association Convention to offer a resolution supporting the Catholic press, at a meeting July 25 with other editors attending that convention organized the American Catholic Press Association, for promotion of "educational, literary, news and business interests of the papers concerned and … a close fraternity among Catholic editors.”

1911 After four previous attempts had failed, the present-day Catholic Press Association was organized at a meeting at the Chittenden Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, August 24-25, 1911. About 60 delegates representing 37 publications attended, including a half dozen women, almost two dozen priests and more than 30 laymen. Edward J. Cooney of the Providence Visitor was elected president, and his publication provided a Convention booklet exhorting delegates to achieve "the greatest possible results from the meeting.” He said the aims of the new Association would be to publicize news of Catholic interest, combat the evil influence of some of the secular press, secure national advertising and agitate against higher postal rates.

 

For a complete historical timeline of the CPA, READ MORE...
 
 

Centennial Special: CPA Past Presidents

 

Bob Zyskowski
2006-2008

The Catholic Journalist
August 2010

Helen Osman
2004-2006

The Catholic Journalist
September 2010

Dennis Heaney
2002-2004

The Catholic Journalist
October 2010

Karen Franz
2000-2002

The Catholic Journalist
November 2010

Joseph Kirk Ryan
1998-2000

The Catholic Journalist
December 2010

Chris Gunty
1996-1998

The Catholic Journalist
January 2011

Tony Spence
1994-1996

The Catholic Journalist
February 2011

Art McKenna
1992-1994

The Catholic Journalist
March 2011

Barbara Beckwith
1990-1992

The Catholic Journalist
April/May 2011
 

Fr. John Catoir
1988-1990

The Catholic Journalist
July 2011

Msgr. Owen Campion    
1984-1986

The Catholic Journalist
August 2011

Fr. Jeremy Harrington
1975-1977

The Catholic Journalist
September 2011