Quebec City, Canada — Matt Schiller, advertising and business manager at Catholic New York, has received the 2017 St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.
The award, the highest honor given by CPA, was presented at a luncheon June 23 during the Catholic Media Conference in Quebec City.
Schiller, who is outgoing CPA president, said he was honored to receive the award and described his years of working in the Catholic press as a passion, not a job.
He thanked those who had mentored him over the years and urged CPA members to be sure to take on the role of mentoring others.
"Teach them, support them, learn from them," Schiller said in accepting the honor. He said such mentoring is needed on multi-generational — not just the old helping the young but young people helping those who are older.
Schiller began his Catholic press career in 1973 at The Tablet, newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, where he rose from advertising account executive to associate publisher.
From 1993 to 2006, he worked in business, development and marketing for a Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey, before returning to the Catholic press as the advertising and business manager for Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York.
He told those gathered at the luncheon that the CPA's faith is good and strong, and it has carried him through.
He also pointed out that this was the third time he was nominated for the St. Francis de Sales Award, but in previous years, he said he never thought he lost because he was nominated, just as he was this year, along with "such incredible people."
This year's other nominees were:
- Lou Baldwin, a freelance writer for CatholicPhilly.com, the news website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He's the author of two books about St. Katharine Drexel. Baldwin grew up in the Philadelphia orphanage founded by the saint, where he met his wife, Rita. He wrote his first article for The Catholic Standard & Times, former Philadelphia archdiocesan newspaper, about the orphanage when it closed in 1984. Baldwin was a staff writer at the newspaper for 16 years. He retired in 2002 and continues to freelance for CatholicPhilly.com.
- Jeff Hensley, editor of North Texas Catholic, the newspaper of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, from 1988 to 2017. During his tenure, he oversaw the publication's transition from a twice-monthly newspaper to a monthly newspaper, then to a full-color magazine with a digital presence. He created the Word to Life series for Catholic News Service.
- Joseph Kirk Ryan, editor and general manager of The Dialog, newspaper of the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware. Joseph Kirk Ryan started at The Catholic Standard & Times in Philadelphia in 1977, where he worked in various editorial positions until 2002. He was editor and general manager of The Dialog, from 1983 to 1986. He was managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore from 2002 to 2006. He's a former longtime board member of the CPA and was its president from 1998 to 2000.