I am excited as we launch this new format for the Catholic East Texas. I believe it will provide great new possibilities for the diocese. The Catholic East Texas has been an award winning publication since its inception in 1987 as part of the vision of our first bishop the Most Reverend Charles E. Herzig. I believe you will agree that this new format captures the wonderful spirit of the Diocese of Tyler which has always held the people of God at the very center.
As I spoke to Peyton Low, Diocesan Director of the Office of Communications and Ben Fisher, Managing Editor for the Catholic East Texas several months ago we agreed that we wanted the CET to highlight our greatest gift, people of faith. The stories of cradle Catholics and converts to the faith resonate with wonderful experiences of a simple faith lived out in profound ways. The emphasis I spoke to Peyton and Ben about was that I envisioned the CET always serving a catechetical purpose. This focus probably seems to be self-evident at first but I believe it is an important one for the Catholics of East Texas.
Through the years some of my favorite stories in the CET were the profiles of faith often found on the last page. I suppose this “last word” that has been part of the newspaper edition of the CET for many years was a significant part of my inspiration for our approach to this new format. Our assistant editor, Susan De Matteo has profiled many diverse people of faith in these articles for many years. The focus on individual journeys of faith harkens back to the stories of saints that all of us have grown up with. It is my hope that this focus for the CET will help us all reflect more deeply on the call to sanctity we share.
Another focus of the CET as a magazine is that it lends itself to great photography. We are blessed with some talented photographers whether on the staff or as contributors from the diocese and they do a marvelous job of utilizing the tools available to photography today. I’ve enjoyed watching this first edition develop and the photography is truly outstanding. Since the diocese began almost thirty years ago we have all become accustomed to pictures as an important element of whatever story we may be reading. This is due in large part to the video format of computers, tablets and smart phones and the beautiful photographs in the CET fit seamlessly into our modern frame of reference. I can imagine many of these photographs framed and proudly displayed in homes across the diocese. There is probably no higher compliment.
I believe the photographs and the stories they accompany work together to emphasize the idea that the CET is all about people of faith just like us. People’s stories shared in words and pictures help to illuminate our individual faith journeys and remind us that we truly are on this journey together.
The piney woods of East Texas are a picturesque setting where the ancient Catholic faith is lived out every day by people who are seeking to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that this focus of the CET will help us all to see more clearly that our ever ancient ever new faith is real and present right here where we live. All too often in modern society the richness and depth that faith brings to our lives is ignored. The CET can be a tool that reminds us that whether it’s the story of a newly ordained priest or a married couple celebrating fifty years of marriage, our beautiful ancient faith is being lived out by real people who live just down the road.
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