Sorin founded the company in order to publish the Ave Maria magazine, a magazine focused on Catholic families, honoring The Virgin Mary, and showcasing Catholic writings. Sorin then placed Sister Angela Gilespie, a nurse veteran of the American Civil War, in charge. By 1900, Ave Maria was the largest English-language Catholic magazine worldwide. The magazine was started in 1865 and continued until 1970 when it was dropped due to decline in circulation. Ave Maria Press now focuses solely on the publishing of Catholic books.