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St. Francis de Sales Award

For outstanding contribution to Catholic journalism

The St. Francis de Sales Award is the highest award the Catholic Press Association presents to an individual for his/her "outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism.” Members of the Catholic Press Association are encouraged to nominate someone who, in the preceding year or throughout their career, has performed with excellence and contributed to raising the professional standards of Catholic journalism.

2017 Voting

The voting period has closed. The winner was announced at the 2017 Catholic Media Conference.

Most Recent Winners

The past five winners of the St. Francis de Sales Award serve on the St. Francis de Sales Committee to help select the 2018 recipient.

2017: Matthew Schiller for his vision, his willingness to share his expertise with others and for sharing in the mission of Catholic journalism.

2016: Maria de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda for her dedication to Catholic media for more than 30 years, and for telling the human side of many of the tough social and political issues facing our state, Church and nation.

2015: Greg Erlandson for his distinguished career in the Catholic Press and his notable work with the Vatican communications team.

2014: Jim Lackey for upholding a standard of excellence for himself, his peers, and future generations of journalists.

2013: Peter Finney for his unequaled skills and outstanding leadership, all this is done with class, steady encouragement, and enduring grace.

Criteria for Nomination

The St. Francis de Sales Award of the Catholic Press Association shall be given to the person who, in the preceding year or during the years of his/her journalism career, while on the staff of or as a contributor to a publication which is a member of the Catholic Press Association, has performed the work of Catholic journalism either in general (for example, managing or editing a periodical) or in particular (for example, reporting) with such overall excellence or such originality or initiative, judged by that work's proper technical, intellectual, and practical-moral standards, as by his/her example to have contributed to raising the measure of performance of Catholic journalists, or to the development of new and more effective practices.

Procedure for Selection

Any member of the Catholic Press Association is considered qualified to nominate one person each year for the St. Francis de Sales Award. 

Once all nominations have been received, the previous five winners of the St. Francis de Sales Award vote for up to five nominees for the 2017 award. Each member of the committee will rank candidates from 1 (first choice) to 5 (last choice). The scores are weighted in the following manner:

  • "1" receives 5 points
  • "2" receives 4 points
  • "3" receives 3 points
  • "4" receives 2 points
  • "5" receives 1 point

The points will be totaled, and the three highest point rankings are the Final Candidates.

In the final phase, CPA members vote on the Final Candidates. Members choose their first place and second place candidates. These scores are unweighted. The candidate with the most first place votes is the winner. In the event of a tie, second place votes are used to determine the winner.

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