Catholic New York has been recognized with many awards in its 36-year history. From 2013 to 2016, we were judged as top Catholic diocesan newspaper in the United States in our circulation category. In this year’s Catholic Press Association competition for papers in the United States and Canada last month in Quebec City, CNY brought home eight awards in numerous writing and photography categories and even placed second for best digital media kit. (See the story on Page 15.)
Truth is, we’ve always won our share of awards, but we generally have not spent too much time speaking about them afterward. That’s actually been a philosophy of Catholic New York since the beginning. Even though awards are nice, they don’t capture the full measure of what we do. The results that do count play out for all to see on our pages and website and various other channels of distribution, issue after issue, year by year. Ultimately, readers decide whether they like what we’re producing, and let us know how relevant it is to their lives as Catholic Christians.
You may have noticed that an employee of Catholic New York received a special honor this year, which we do think is worth noting. Matthew Schiller, CNY’s advertising and business manager, was presented the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given to a member of the Catholic Press Association. It is named for the patron saint of Catholic writers, the Catholic press and journalists. This year marked the third time that Schiller was nominated for the award. The first time came much earlier in his career, as a staff member of The Tablet, the diocesan weekly in Brooklyn. Two years ago, he was again selected, this time as a member of Catholic New York’s staff.
Schiller has worked for more than 30 years in the Catholic press. It’s a rare occurrence that an employee on the business side of operations wins the St. Francis de Sales honor, but he is a rare talent. His nomination spoke about how he generously shares his expertise with those in the Catholic Press Association. That thought holds doubly true on the homefront, both at Catholic New York and in the archdiocesan structure in New York. He frequently pitches in when we’re shorthanded, with no task too small for his assistance, and he always can be counted on to find creative solutions when problems crop up. At an awards breakfast in the office, he said he has never been about pointing fingers at the cause of a problem, but more about lending a hand to get things back on track as quickly as possible.
We would add that he does it all in a humble, team-first way that is the very definition of servant leadership.
He has been of one of the key players in CNY’s successful run, both as a newspaper and an organization throughout the better part of the past decade. He becomes the fourth member of the CNY staff to win the St. Francis de Sales honor, following three of the paper’s founders, Gerald Costello, Anne Buckley and Art McKenna.
For the past two years, Schiller also served as president of the Catholic Press Association, capping a connection with that body spanning his 11 years at CNY. During that time, the members of the association have had an opportunity to see what we have had the privilege to witness on a daily basis for some time now. They could not have picked a better recipient of the St. Francis de Sales Award, and we could not be prouder of Schiller.