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2019 Winner of St. Francis de Sales Award
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Mark Lombard
Clarion Herald, New Orleans, LA

When the words integrity, professionalism and Catholic Press Association are used together, the name Mark Lombard cannot be far behind. He is an exemplar among members of the Catholic media for his high ethical standards, his respect for coworkers, his patience, his sense of order, his skillful communication—and his solid skill both as journalist and businessman.

Having worked with Mark for one portion of his long career in Catholic journalism, I saw firsthand his many talents first an editor of online content, then as an innovative leader, leading his team at Franciscan Media toward broadening their book publishing line with high profile thought leaders in the Catholic market. Book revenues increased on his watch.

His reputation preceded him: award winning journalism as well as solid administrative leadership at Catholic News Service was the word on the street. Working as an editor and financial manager at three diocesan newspapers and at Catholic News Service, he holds a reputation as one who finds new ways to implement the highest standards of Catholic media. Those standards include solid, ethics-driven financial footing, seeking the right staffing mix to serve the community, respectfully navigating the ecclesial waters, and a special ear for the needs of the underserved.

He has generously shared his approach with his peers at the Catholic Press Association—not only as an officer on the Board of Directors, but also as the wheels behind two organization-wide programs. Whether it is through the Catholic Press Leadership Institute or the Catholic Press Mentoring program, both of which he founded and directed, he has sought to create the environment in newsrooms and offices of CPA members where teams can grow and take on more responsibility.

One hallmark of his devotion to ethics has been the CPA Fair Publishing Practices Code. Fifteen years ago, he led the charge to greatly expand and deepen the Fair Publishing Practices Code. This year he reinitiated a widely inclusive program to update the Code to address all manner of new issues that have come along with the digital transformation of media. He also led the reorganization of the CPA Consultation Service, as well as serving on a dozen consulting teams, and served on the CPA team that offered journalism training in Eastern Europe.

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