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New Catholic Herald Features

Changes are sometimes discreet enough that they are missed altogether. In the day-to-day grind, they may be nearly imperceptible until one takes an occasional step back to examine the big picture.

Your block gains a new neighbor, or a new building goes up. Your child or a young relative displays a new talent or interest. Your pets develop new behaviors. A new prayer service or activity is added at your parish.

You might notice it, you might not. But before long, enough of those blips on the radar can become a trend worthy of your attention.

In that spirit, I write to flag several features the Catholic Herald staff has worked to incorporate in an effort to expand the newspaper’s reach and impact. We hope you enjoy them.

The Kid’s Connection: Even the best-written article faces an uphill climb in capturing the attention of an elementary schooler. So, the Catholic Herald has partnered with a skilled illustrator to add The Kid’s Connection feature (see pg. 23). As a parent, I have seen the allure that a simple cartoon, puzzle or game has for children — especially when they can draw all over it. Those familiar with The Kids Bulletin, a booklet available at some diocesan parishes, may recognize the artwork. That’s because we have partnered with that same artist to create unique children’s features for you here. Share it with the children, grandchildren, godchildren or other youngsters in your life.

Parish Profile: What’s old is new — and different. Longtime readers may recall previous Parish Profile articles written by Catholic Herald staff writers. Over time, it became impractical to keep that up amid other stories demanding editorial coverage. We have partnered with the staff and pastors at each parish to reimagine the feature. Now it is an interactive, Q&A format that allows each parish to share what’s new and invite you to visit (see pg. 24). Our goal is to feature all 70 parishes across the diverse Arlington diocese.

Catholic Crossword: Puzzles aren’t just for kids. They engage minds young and old alike and are particularly well-suited for print. To aid your faith formation and complement the editorial coverage most readers treasure, we added a Catholic-themed crossword (see pg. 25). The answers may not always be obvious or intuitive. Yet they are an invitation to pick up that Bible, ask a friend or search online to grow deeper in your Catholicism.

We’re trying other ways to improve your reading experience. Perhaps you’ve noticed more graphics (see Catholic school enrollment on pg. B1) or pull quotes. Additionally, more content is available online at catholicherald.com, through our free, weekly e-newsletter (sign up on our homepage) and on our social medial channels.

The Catholic Herald’s bread and butter will always be its coverage of local events and trends in the diocese. That’s what largely distinguishes it from both local secular news and national Catholic media. Anyone can fire up EWTN and hear about Vatican news (although it’s covered closely at catholicherald.com, too), but you’d miss the dedication of the beautiful new Corpus Christi Church in Aldie or the chance to join last weekend’s diocesan pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Websites and apps such as Next Door are local, but not Catholic. We hope our new features attract more Catholics of all ages to join your ranks.

With any change, surprises can follow.

One seasoned reader called to share her experience solving The Kid’s Chronicle maze. Another emailed to express disappointment that, for space limitations, we excluded the crossword one issue, because she looked forward to testing her Catholic knowledge. Then there are my daughters, who are generous with their suggestions.

We hope these changes are welcome. If so, please spread the word in your home, your parish or your circle of friends. And thank you for reading the Catholic Herald.

Schweers can be reached at editorial@catholicherald.com

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021