By Katie Hoffman
As we begin this new decade, it is important to look back on all the things that have changed throughout the past ten years.
The past decade has brought about a large amount of change for Holy Family Catholic Church. Father Philip Egan joined the parish as pastor in 2014. New families have joined the parish family, and many families have grown. Long-awaited renovations were finished on the church in 2019, providing a larger home for the parishioners to worship in for decades to come.
One piece of Holy Family that has been quietly changing over the past decade is Holy Family Matters, the parish magazine. It didn’t start out as Holy Family Matters though. It began in 2005 as Join the Journey, a newsletter detailing the happenings of the parish and the people who called it home.
Join the Journey was created by Suzanne Hill to share information with the parish about the capital campaign at the time.
Patty Rose, Stewardship Director at Holy Family, said sharing campaign information was important but they wanted the newsletter to be more than just that. Therefore, Join the Journey turned into a campaign information newsletter with parishioner stories and coverage of events going on around the parish.
Hill was a member of the Communications Committee who took on the role of running the quarterly newsletter. She wanted to tell the stories of Holy Family’s parishioners in order to bring the community closer together.
The parishioners liked the newsletter so much that it continued even after the original campaign ended in 2008.
There was a contest to rename the newsletter, resulting in the name, Holy Family Matters. The newsletter continued to be printed and distributed throughout the church until 2016 when Megan Cleveland took over the role of Communications Coordinator.
As the new Communications Coordinator, Megan wanted to keep the spirit of Holy Family Matters as she turned the newsletter into a full-fledged monthly magazine.
“When I started at Holy Family, it was apparent how special Holy Family Matters was to Suzanne Hill,” she said. “She cherished being able to tell the stories of our parishioners. It was very important to me that I kept that integrity.”
The magazine was mailed to parishioners each month for three years until the staff decided it was best to take it in a new direction to keep up with the digital age.
“In hopes to stay current with the ever-changing mediums of communication, and in an effort to save on the cost of printing and mailing, the staff decided that a blog-style format would be a great update to our Holy Family Matters,” Cleveland said. “Our thought was to still cover the parishioners, their faith stories, their successes, their challenges, their lives, but post them on our website one story at a time.”
Instead of publishing a once-a-month hard copy magazine, as Cleveland stated, articles will be published to the website in the Holy Family Matters blog.
The blog-style format added a personal element to the new Holy Family website, which Cleveland debuted shortly after the new year.
Holy Family Matters is not exclusive to the website, as once a month one of the stories will be printed and inserted into the bulletins.
The magazine has proven to be a unique part of the Holy Family parish, both for the readers and for the authors.
Cleveland reflected fondly on her time spent running the publication as well as her excitement for its future.
“My hope is that Holy Family Matters continues to share the stories of its family, what makes it such a unique and loving place where all are truly welcome,” she said. “It has been a privilege to get to know so many parishioners on such an intimate level and I am honored to have been able to speak with so many of you about your lives.”
At its core, Holy Family Matters is an avenue for parishioners to grow closer to one another. Learning about each other’s struggles, triumphs, talents, and journeys allows us to encounter each other on a deeper level than just shaking hands at Mass every weekend.