Keeping Southern Cross Alive!
Dominic Sam, Port Elizabeth – The editorial “A question of survival” refers.
In conversation with a Catholic priest some years ago, he mentioned that the growth and understanding of the faith of a parish can be measured by the number of issues of The Southern Cross sold. He added that his parish consisted of more than 1000 families of upper-and middle-class status. Only 20 issues were sold per week.
For many Catholics, The Southern Cross remains a source of Christian formation.
But in all the years that I have attended Sunday Mass at my parish and other Catholic churches in the diocese of Port Elizabeth, no mention has ever been made of the Catholic weekly from the pulpit.
This may explain why:
- Many Catholics do not know the price of The Southern Cross.
- Many Catholics do not know of the existence of The Southern Cross.
- Many Catholics have never read The Southern Cross.
- Many Catholics only read about their Church in the secular newspapers and for all the wrong reasons.
- Many Catholic priests do not read The Southern Cross and dismiss the newspaper as irrelevant.
The suggestion by Antonio Tonin in the same issue that the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference authorise a yearly special collection to ensure the survival of The Southern Cross needs to be considered.
We need to be mindful of the following too:
- Churchgoers who arrive late for Mass or leave in a rush will definitely not buy The Southern Cross.
- If the seller of The Southern Cross is not stationed at a strategic position, no sale will take place.
- If the parish and diocesan clergy are not interested in The Southern Cross, sales will obviously drop.
- If the parish is on a fundraising programme, The Southern Cross will not be mentioned.
The time to preserve our only Catholic weekly is now.