Magazine article U.S. Catholic

In the Beginning ... How U.S. CATHOLIC Got Started 75 Years Ago

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

In the Beginning ... How U.S. CATHOLIC Got Started 75 Years Ago

Article excerpt

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THIS YEAR MARKS THE 75th anniversary of U.S. CATHOLIC magazine, and throughout 2010 we will dig into our archives to unearth some gems from our history.

Over the past 75 years this magazine has undergone two name changes and several evolutions and shifts in mission and focus. What has remained constant, though, has been the commitment, passion, and direction of our publisher, the religious order of the Claretians, who started this venture in 1935 as The Voice of St. Jude.

The Voice of St. Jude was the brainchild of a diminutive, charismatic Spanish-born Claretian, Father James Tort. A born entrepreneur, Tort not only built Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the first Mexican American parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago, but in 1929 he also started the National Shrine of St. Jude in that church.

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Tort launched the first issue of The Voice of St. Jude as the shrine's "official organ." In its "Foreword and Dedication," he laid out as its main purpose "to make St. Jude Thaddeus, relative and apostle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, better known in every city, town, and hamlet in this country."

As a second goal, Tort also charged the new publication with "spread[ing] a greater knowledge of the divine mission and work of ... the Claretian Missionary Fathers." He dedicated the inaugural issue to his order's founder, "Blessed Anthony Claret, C.M.F., who has been called by Pope Pius XI the 'Modern Apostle of the Good Press.'"

A review of the 12 issues of the inaugural year shows how closely the new publication hewed to that double mission: Of 264 pages, more than half (140 pages) were related either to St. Jude, his South Chicago shrine, and the devotion to the saint, or to other activities of the Claretians and hymns, poems, art, and stories of Blessed Anthony Claret (who would be canonized 15 years later). …

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