The Catholic Voice, the newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland, and its affiliated Spanish-language monthly, El Heraldo Católico, were recognized this month by the Catholic Press Association for excellence in journalism.
The publications received six awards for work done in 2013: one first, one second, two third and two honorable mentions. The press association is a trade group representing more than 600 Church-related media organizations in the US and Canada.
The Catholic Voice won a first place in the Best Special Issue category, for its May 2013 "Welcome Bishop Barber" issue. The judges wrote: "Very thorough and engaging. Use of quotes from residents (and students) in the diocese gives it a nice, approachable feeling."
Also for The Catholic Voice, in the column-writing category, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, received a third-place award for a body of columns, including "Two vicars of Christ," about his meeting with a homeless man in Berkeley who recognized the new bishop. The man was a parishioner at St. Columba in Oakland. Another of the columns was the bishop's 2013 wrap up, "Oakland in 2013, a place of hope and blessing."
The judges wrote: "Bishop Barber takes the everyday encounters of life to reinforce lessons of faith and hope. His easy-to-read columns leave the reader feeling that a friend has just told a story with special meaning."
El Heraldo Católico received four awards:
In the Best Coverage of Family category, a second place for the article, "A love story lasting 75 years," by José Luis Aguirre. ("Una historia de amor que sobrepasa los 75 años.") The judges wrote: "This is just a very well written feature story on a lovely couple. Writing matters and this was a most enjoyable read."
In the Best Coverage of Cultural Heritage category, a third place for "Oakland honra a la Virgen de Guadalupe," by José Luis Aguirre. ("Oakland honors the Virgin of Guadalupe.") The judges wrote: "Great lead photo, great inside photo, great choices; thorough reporting."
And in the same category, an honorable mention for "Dia de Muertos en Museo de California en Oakland," by Raul Ayrala. ("Day of the Dead at the Oakland Museum of California.") The judges wrote: "The photography and graphic really draw the reader in. Well reported."
In the General Excellence, Publication, category, an honorable mention citing its May 2013 issue with the lead story, "Silent procession, a growing tradition at St. Jarlath," by José Luis Aguirre. ("Procesión del silencio, una tradición que crece en San Jarlath.") The judges wrote: "Good writing. It makes me want to learn more about Oakland and its people." ("Muy bien esfuerzo de la redacción. Me hace querer conocer más a Oakland y su gente.")
Several of these articles appeared in both publications.
The monthly El Heraldo Católico (www.elheraldocatolico.org), is delivered at no cost the first weekend of each month to every church in the diocese that offers a Spanish-language Mass.
The 90,000 circulation, bi-weekly Catholic Voice is mailed to all registered households in the diocese who request it and to other subscribers and is also available online at www.catholicvoiceoakland.org.
Judging was done by the journalism departments at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama; and by professional communicators and journalists.
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