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Catholic Digest: A New Look at an Old Favorite

I grew up reading Catholic Digest. I was one of those children who would pick up and read anything that was lying around the house, and it was a magazine that my parents subscribed to. Honestly, I don’t remember all that much about the articles. I’m guessing that, as a child, many of them probably went over my head, but I always enjoyed reading religious books and articles. What I do remember were the ads at the back – there would be pages and pages of ads for religious communities. I would read them and dream of which community I could be part of (this was before puberty hit).

I don’t know at what point my parents stopped subscribing (probably the same time my Catholic school stopped having magazine drives), but I didn’t see another issue for a long time. A while back, I had gone to Mass at a different church than my usual parish and they had a stack of free copies. I picked one up, read it and enjoyed it. I even queried them to see if I could have an article published (the editor declined), but I didn’t subscribe.

Recently, though, with the news that Danielle Bean was taking over as editor, I sent in my subscription. The March 2012 issue arrived in my mailbox last week. I eagerly read it cover to cover. It has a new size and a new focus. Subtitled “Faith and Family Living,” the articles deal with many aspects of marriage and family. There were practical articles on gardening and health and managing your children’s screen time. There were spiritual articles on Lent and coping with spiritual dryness. There were two advice columns handing out helpful answers to troubling problems. One of my favorite articles was on male / female communication – it provided a humorous, but very true look at the way our communication styles differ and the challenges that presents. Overall, the magazine was a delight to read and I am looking forward to the next issue.

In today’s world, when so much good Catholic information is available on line, such as here on CatholicLane, one might wonder why she should subscribe to a print magazine like Catholic Digest. As a parent, I think it is important to have our children see us reading Catholic materials and continuing to learn about our faith. They don’t see me reading the many Catholic blogs that I follow, but they do see me reading Catholic publications. While neither of my sons has ever picked one up and read it, that day may come. In the meantime, I’m setting a good example. Subscribing to Catholic Digest is definitely money well spent.


Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur has a Master of Arts degree in Applied Theology from Elms College. A former Senior Editor at Catholic Lane, she is now the editor of Today's Catholic Homeschooling. She is also the author of The Catholic Baby Name Book and Letters to Mary from a Young Mother. She has two biological sons and one adopted daughter. Visit her blog at http://spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com.


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  • RB3

    I subscribed to this sight unseen in about 2001. Dissapointed! Written at a low level and mindset of about an 8th grader. To top it all off, Catholic Digest sent my address to all their ‘friends’ and I started receiving for the first time, junk mail for donation requests from every conceivable type of Catholic religious community, liberal or gay and some abroad and more.

    • Mary Kochan

      Hopefully, RB3, a new editor will change that! Or perhaps has already.

    • Joanne

      wow, just navigated through the process to allow my comments. *Whew!* no wonder I rarely see comments to this site. I would have agreed with you RB3 years ago as I had a subscription about the same time but the editorial board from Faith and Family has taken over and the magazine has completely changed their format. It’s no longer the ‘fluff’ Catholicism that it used to be, it’s orthodox, although I can’t vouch for whether I’ll be receiving additional donation requests or not, as I was a Faith and Family subscriber, only time will tell.