A winning year for 'The Register'

  • June 14, 2023

In what was one of the most important years in the history of the Catholic Church in Canada, The Catholic Register was there every step of the way.

Pope Francis came to Canada in 2022 on his pilgrimage of penance to help right the past wrongs done to Canada’s Indigenous peoples by the Church, and The Register covered it all — from the pontiff’s historic apology to Canada’s Indigenous at the Vatican in the spring, to his journey to Canadian soil to deliver an apology directly to the people over five days in July.

It was this coverage that made up the lion’s share of the award-winning entries we submitted to be judged by our peers with the Catholic Media Association. All told, The Register garnered 15 awards at the annual ceremony earlier this month — including five first-place honours.

For The Register, and indeed the whole Canadian Church, there was no story like Pope Francis’ journey to Canada, a journey where our Michael Swan accompanied the Pope. History was made, and as Swan has related, it was the most important work he has ever done as a journalist.

To capture the history took the dedicated work of a small team over several months, and we are proud with what we came up with, in particular our magazine on the Pope’s visit, Penance and Progress. And so, apparently, were the judges, who named Penance and Progress the Best Special Supplement.

“It’s obviously extremely gratifying to be recognized for the superb effort our team put into the papal coverage. If there’s one regret, it’s that there’s no way to share the awards with each of our readers, subscribers, advertisers and donors who dug deep and gave so generously when we asked for their financial support to make our work possible,” said Publisher-Editor Peter Stockland

It was only the beginning of the honours that flowed for our coverage of the Pope’s pilgrimage. Swan copped two first-place awards for his writing — one for his overall coverage of the papal journey, the other for a personality profile on an abuse survivor — as well as capturing third for a photo essay on the journey. These were three of the six awards Swan won, including a first place for his cover photo for our Christmas issue, third for a report on chaplains in the military and an honourable mention for coverage when the war in Ukraine broke out.     

Art director Lucy Barco also reaped a number of awards for graphics and design, three of which were directly related to our papal coverage. Barco’s art work garnered a first place for best use of graphics for her timeline on five centuries of Church-Indigenous interaction in Canada, which also took a second for best layout. Her graphic on the Doctrine of Discovery was also recognized with an honourable mention, and she took third in front page design.

Stockland’s editorial writing was recognized with a second place for best editorial on a national or international issue, and Quinton Amundson took an honourable mention for sports journalism. The Register received an honourable mention as best national newspaper, along with a second place award for best seasonal issue for our Christmas issue.

“The awards are a testament to what team efforts can achieve but also to the reality that a team is always more than its public faces. Managing Editor Mickey Conlon not only oversaw every one of these prize-winning  journalistic efforts, he worked his tail off putting together the submissions for the awards. The Register, literally, couldn’t have won without him,” Stockland said.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.