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Meet the new executive editor of the Catholic Herald

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Kevin Schweers, a parishioner of St. Rita Church in Alexandria, joined the Arlington diocese as the executive editor of content in February. In this role, he oversees the editorial, business and advertising operations of the Catholic Herald, the diocese’s biweekly print and online publication. The new position was created following the departure of Editor Mike Flach, who retired in 2020 after working at the Catholic Herald for 37 years. 

Schweers said, “I'm looking forward to taking the incredible work that the Catholic Herald and its staff already do and identifying ways to even further grow awareness of it and better connect (the paper) to all the parishes around the diocese.” 

Previously, Schweers served in a number of senior communications management roles in both the public and private sectors over the course of 25 years. He first moved to the Washington area to work for his hometown congressman, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, after graduating from the University of Georgia in Athens. He spent 10 years working on Capitol Hill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Schweers later held senior positions with the National Community Pharmacists Association, where his responsibilities included overseeing publication of a monthly magazine and various e-newsletters. Most recently, he was the senior vice president of communications for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, an independent, federal agency that facilitates the export of U.S. goods through the provision of financing options when private lending is unavailable.

Schweers and his wife, Maureen, live in Alexandria with their five children who attend St. Rita School and Bishop Ireton High School, both in Alexandria.

Over the past several years, Schweers, a lifelong Catholic, began looking for opportunities to work for the church. “I’ve felt more of a calling and an interest to support the church if my skill set and experience lent themselves to do so in an impactful and fulfilling way,” he said. “That’s been in the back of my mind and I think that's what led me here.”

During the same time period, he experienced a renewed appreciation for the role of the Catholic press, particularly the Catholic Herald. “I feel as though there’s a growing dichotomy in the secular media where you’ve got two political camps, and a lot of the media either actively pursued or found themselves drawn to one of those two camps,” he said. “As a result, it's getting harder to find quality media coverage and attention to both the Catholic Church specifically as well as issues of import to practicing Catholics. With regards specifically to the Catholic Herald, I’ve found more and more of a refuge, really, in terms of its coverage and presentation of issues that are important to Catholics in this region.”

Schweers also sees the Catholic Herald’s print product as an enjoyable escape from a digital world. “A lot of your average parishioners, even if they’ve made a shift to mostly get their news online, it just can be a bombarding and overwhelming experience for the consumer, and I think it’s refreshing for people to get a regular, steady presence in print,” he said. “I’m somebody who probably consumed more media than most because of my past work, (and) it became increasingly comforting and fulfilling to have a resource like the Catholic Herald, where on a Saturday morning I could flip through and catch up on what’s happening in my church and in my diocese. That was not something I was finding anywhere else out there.”

Going forward, Schweers hopes to let readers know that the Catholic Herald has a dedicated team that is eager and ready to tell the faith stories of the diocese. “It’s an amazing diocese, the Catholic Herald is an incredible publication and I’m extremely grateful and humbled at the opportunity that Bishop (Michael F.) Burbidge, Chief Communications Officer Billy Atwell and the team here have afforded me.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021