by Maria Wiering
(OSV News) — The hallmark of OSV News, a new Catholic news service that launched Jan. 1, is to provide news and content “that speaks to truth in charity in a way that unites,” said OSV Publisher Scott Richert.
“An increasing number of Catholics — and non-Catholics, for that matter — are searching for presentations of the truth in a non-polarizing way . . . but they don’t know where to look,” he said. “What they will be able to do now is to open up their local diocesan publication, go to a diocesan website, just as they’ve been able to come to Our Sunday Visitor, and find that kind of edifying material — material that doesn’t shy away from the truth, that speaks the truth as the church has always spoken the truth, but speaks it in a way that is accessible to Americans today.”
Catholic media company OSV created OSV News last year to fill the anticipated void from the Dec. 30, 2022, closure of Catholic News Service, a news agency founded in 1920 and owned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In May, CNS announced that the USCCB had decided to close CNS’ domestic bureaus in New York and Washington, D.C., eliminating its national news and most of its international news coverage. The USCCB continues to operate CNS’ Rome bureau, which reports on the pope and matters pertaining to the Holy See.
CNS provided news stories on issues and events about or affecting the Catholic Church to subscribers, with a focus on diocesan media. In 2022, it was serving the majority of U.S. dioceses, according to CNS Director and Editor-in-Chief Greg Erlandson. Our Sunday Visitor was among its subscribers.
When CNS announced its closure, Richert said he had a sense that OSV was well positioned to address the anticipated need. “Someone is going to have to fill that hole” created by CNS’ closure, he recalled thinking in a Dec. 6 interview. “We’re going to have to fill that hole for us. Why don’t we fill that hole for everyone else, as well?”
OSV is the largest Catholic publisher in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. Based in Huntington, Indiana, the company was founded in 1912 by Archbishop John Francis Noll as the Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor. OSV has grown to include other periodicals, books and parish resources with a shared mission: “to champion the Catholic Church.”
The addition of a news service to OSV’s offerings fits with the company’s mission and identity, he said.
When then-Father Noll launched Our Sunday Visitor newspaper, “there was a lot of misunderstanding of what the church taught,” Richert said. “You look at where we are 110 years later and the names have changed, the situations have changed, but the broader cultural similarities are there. We need the Catholic press . . . as a whole, and that’s not just newspapers and magazines and print publications, but we need, increasingly, digital publications, websites, apps, social media. We need audio and video. We need all of this because that’s what’s necessary today to spread the Gospel.”
OSV News clients can expect national and international news, feature stories and columns, like those CNS provided, Richert said. However, “we are going to try in many ways to go beyond what CNS has been able to do,” such as offering more catechetical resources, he said.
The OSV News team includes veteran Catholic journalists from around the United States with an international editor in Poland. It is led by OSV News Editor-in-Chief Gretchen R. Crowe, who joined OSV in 2013 as its newspaper’s editor. She has most recently served as OSV’s editorial director for periodicals, overseeing the publication of Our Sunday Visitor, The Priest and The Deacon magazines, OSV Kids magazine, RadiantMagazine.com and SimplyCatholic.com.
“OSV News is going to stand out by providing really excellent journalism and context that helps explain what the Church teaches and why,” Crowe said. “OSV News will become that go-to resource for Catholics that want to understand what’s happening in the world and how that affects them, in terms of their faith and how they should be living their faith out in the world today.”
OSV News’ domestic team includes Julie Asher, senior editor; Maria-Pia Chin, Spanish editor; Paulina Guzik, international editor; Megan Marley, digital editor; Bob Roller, photo editor; Elizabeth Scalia, culture editor; Peter Jesserer Smith, national news and features editor; and Maria Wiering, senior writer. Gina Christian and Kate Scanlon are national reporters, and John Mulderig is OSV News’ media reviewer.
Like CNS, OSV News will partner with diocesan media to share news and feature stories from their publications with its clients.
Richert hopes OSV News will “excite the imagination of Catholic media professionals,” he said, helping them “to turn Catholic media from something that that largely is talking to an established audience, to a vehicle that increasingly can become a vehicle for evangelization, reaching more people, bringing more people to Christ.”