Catholic Press Pioneer Tribute Offered

by Heidi Schlumpf

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Milwaukee Catholic Herald Managing Editor Maryangela Layman Roman wrote this beautiful tribute to Ethel Gintoft, a female pioneer in the Catholic press who died last month, in which she compares Gintoft to Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and Karl Malden.

"Just as the others were standouts in the music, television or Hollywood worlds, Ethel was a pioneer and leader in her field, the Catholic press," she writes. "During her funeral Mass last Thursday at the Cathedral of St. John, Father [Michael] Hammer not only mentioned the company Ethel was keeping on her journey to everlasting life, but added, that being the reporter she was, she no doubt had notebook and pen in hand ready to take advantage of this historical moment."

But perhaps the most amazing line in this editorial was about the legacy that Gintoft and others left in the Catholic Herald. "It was -- and remains -- one of the very few diocesan newspapers completely independent financially. The paper receives no subsidy from the archdiocese and relies solely on advertising and subscription revenues for its existence."

When many publications -- religious and secular -- are going under, that's pretty impressive.

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