National Catholic Register

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Not to be confused with the National Catholic Reporter or The Catholic Register
National Catholic Register
National Catholic Register Logo.png
National Catholic Register front page, February 26 - March 10, 2012 issue.png
Cover of National Catholic Register, February 26 - March 10, 2012 issue
Type Catholic
  • Print
  • Online
Owner(s) EWTN
Founder(s) Rev. Msgr. Matthew J. Smith
Publisher Michael Warsaw
Founded November 8, 1927
Language English
Headquarters Irondale, Alabama
ISSN 0027-8920

The National Catholic Register is the oldest national Catholic newspaper in the United States. It was founded on November 8, 1927 by Msgr. Matthew J. Smith as the National Edition of the Denver Catholic Register. [1] Content includes news and features from the United States, the Vatican, and worldwide, on such topics as culture, education, books, arts and entertainment, as well as interviews. Online content includes various blogs and breaking news.

The Register's print edition is published (bi-weekly, 26 times a year) and owned by EWTN NEWS, Inc.[1][2] Tom Wehner has been the managing editor since 2009. Jeanette DeMelo became editor in chief in 2012.


The National Catholic Register began as the national edition of the Archdiocese of Denver's Denver Catholic Register. The first national edition was published on November 8, 1927. Under the direction of Rev. Msgr. Matthew J. Smith, it grew into the Register System of Newspapers by merging with various diocesan newspapers,[3] such as Cincinnati's Catholic Telegraph.[4] The Register reached a peak circulation of over 700,000 in the 1950s across 35 diocesan editions and the national edition.[3]

California businessperson Patrick Frawley bought the newspaper in 1970 and later moved it to Los Angeles. The Register emphasized in-depth commentary on religion and culture. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, it attracted young and promising writers like George Weigel, William McGurn, Robert Moynihan, Phil Lawler and Greg Erlandson.[3]

Some investors, as well as the Legion of Christ, saved the newspaper from closing in 1995 and moved it to North Haven, Connecticut, where it was until late 2010.[3]

Under Legionary control, the paper restored its emphasis on news, expanded (it added the "Vatican" and "Culture of Life" sections), and made the printed paper more colourful.[3]

When rising costs forced a reduction in frequency from weekly to biweekly, the Register expanded its Web presence with, with daily breaking news, exclusive online content and free commentary by popular Catholic bloggers. In November, in a further effort to cut costs, the editorial offices were relocated from Connecticut to the Legionaries’ Center for Higher Studies in Thornwood, New York.

Purchase by EWTN[edit]

Eternal Word Television Network acquired the paper by the end of January 2011 from the Legion of Christ.[1]

"The Register is a perfect addition to our teaching apostolate," noted Warsaw. "We live in an age where there is so much distortion and misrepresentation of the Church’s teaching by forces who oppose her message, particularly in the secular news media. Being sure that the Church’s voice is heard clearly and accurately has always been the core of EWTN’s mission," he said. "Continuing the tradition of the Register gives us another means to carry out our mission of service to the Church."

"The service and the history of the paper are too important to simply abandon," said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, where the newspaper originated. "The Church needs more tools of faithful communication, not fewer."

Archbishop Chaput said that he doesn’t feel that the Register’s basic mission of "reporting the news and analyzing trends that are important for Catholics, from a Catholic perspective," will change. "The means of accomplishing that mission may change quite a lot over time, but the Register’s fidelity to the Church will not."

Father Kearns described the acquisition by EWTN as "a natural and a happy fit." "EWTN has earned a reputation of fidelity to the magisterium, which has always characterized the Register," he said. "This represents a continuity of fidelity to the Church and support of the bishops. The Register’s mission is to equip its readers to engage the secular culture with competence and confidence, and EWTN intends to continue, strengthen and develop that mission."

In September 2011, EWTN Radio launched the weekly news radio program "Register Radio", in order to bring the resources of the National Catholic Register to a radio-listening audience. The interview-style program is co-hosted by Thom Price and the Register’s senior writer, Tim Drake.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "EWTN to acquire National Catholic Register". EWTN News. EWTN. Jan 19, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Publisher's Page". National Catholic Register. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "National Catholic Register Acquired by EWTN". National Catholic Register. EWTN. Jan 19, 2011. Retrieved Jan 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ "History". The Catholic Telegraph. Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]