Marist Messenger ceases publication

Marist Messenger

Upset, disappointment and, for some, ‘resigned understanding’ has greeted the announcement that the March edition of the Marist Messenger is the final edition.

“What a shock and great disappointment! I appreciate commercial realities to which we are all subject, but it does not dull the pain,” one reader wrote.

“The Marist Messenger has been an iconic Catholic staple in many households; just like the Columban calendar, it was always there. Our family was the “third generation of readers,” wrote another.

The decision to close the Marist Messenger was announced to the media in a statement by the Society of Mary.

A separate statement on the Marist Messenger website says that the publication has been facing mounting financial pressures, particularly the increased cost of postage and the increased cost of print production, combined with a declining readership.

Messenger staff confirmed to CathNews that it was difficult to continually keep the magazine’s subscription in line with production costs.

In The Marist Messenger’s January editorial, Fr Pat Brophy SM, announced that he resigned to take up an appointment in Rome.

“I have been asked by the Superior General, Fr John Larsen SM, to take up a new role in the Marist General House in Rome,” writes Brophy.

In 2025 he will become the Society’s Bursar General.

“This was not how I imagined I’d spend the next 6 to 10 years of my Marist life. However, as the saying goes: people propose, God disposes,” Brophy commented on his appointment.

He asked that readers pray for the next editor.

In its 24 February statement, the Society of Mary says it has been unable to find a suitable new editor to replace Brophy.

Superior General of the Society of Mary, Fr John Larsen SM (Centre)

At its peak, the Marist Messenger enjoyed 10,000 subscribers.

The publication is no longer economically viable with an estimated readership of 5,000 and 3,000 subscriptions.

Keeping the Marist Messenger operating required constant promotion in parish communities.

The closing of parishes during lengthy Covid lockdowns and people staying away from Mass for safety reasons have not helped.

In its 94th year, the Marist Messenger was a devotional magazine published by Marist Messenger Ltd, a private charitable company fully owned by the Society of Mary.

Through its daily reflections, it aimed to provide material that will help people pray with the Scriptures. Regular articles on prayer and scripture supported these reflections.

Reader surveys show that the daily reflections were the most popular element of the Marist Messenger.

Those with current subscriptions may apply to be reimbursed for the remaining period.


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News category: Great reads, New Zealand, Palmerston, Top Story.

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