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Diocesan publication garners national awards

Three veteran Vermont Catholic magazine staffers were recognized for excellence at the annual Catholic Media Conference last month in St. Louis.

All have won multiple awards through the years from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

Kay Winchester earned a third-place award in the "Best Review" category for her book review of "Can You Let Go of a Grudge? Learn to Forgive and Get on with Your Life," by Frank Desiderio that appeared in the March 2015 issue of Vermont Catholic.

Staff Writer Cori Fugere Urban was recognized with a third-place award for "Best Feature Article" in a diocesan magazine for her story on Bennett Stenger, a student at St. Paul School in Barton who had been diagnosed the previous February with Rhabdomyosarcoma, and his brother, Chase, who became honorary Vermont State troopers for a day courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.

Ann Cutter-Specht, art director at the magazine when the winning entry was published in the November 2015 issue with numerous photos by Urban, earned a third-place win for design. Cutter-Specht retired earlier this year.

"Excellent coverage that incorporates great details and shares a feel-good story," the judges noted.

In the critique of Winchester's review, the judges said, "The first sentence of this compelling review of a compelling book gives us the reason for checking out the book – we all have held a grudge. The reviewer maintains that focus, reminding us of our penchant for holding grudges against ourselves, our friends and our God. The review then teases us with just enough of the book to allow us to understand not only the core of the book, but also of the core of ourselves."

The Catholic Press Association hosts the Catholic Media Conference each year, where decision makers in Catholic communications and those interested in the field come together to share information, to learn about the changing industry and to network with one another.

This year's conference was co-hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. "I am extremely proud of our award winners," said Vermont Catholic Editor Pat Gore. "They are all using their God-given talents to build the Body of Christ here in Vermont."

She praised them for their years of work for the diocese, saying they have been dedicated, professional and creative in their work, never ceasing to strive to do their best. "It is a pleasure to work with them and to collaborate in producing a top-notch diocesan magazine," she said.

Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne also addressed Catholic media at the annual conference.

In today's age of cyberbullying and online vitriol, be sure to take the high road and build people up rather than tear them down, Bishop Coyne told the Catholic communicators.

"What can I say to make things better? What are the words that may impart grace to those who hear?" the bishop, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Communications, asked the group to consider.

He said he knew the journalists in the room were "acutely aware of the significant decline in the tenor of public discourse" during the last few years, a fact that is readily apparent in publications' comment boxes and social media.

In such an environment, the bishop urged communicators to lift up good examples of humanity, charity and grace and, if possible, "engage in some form of active ministry to others: feeding, housing, counseling, visiting or praying."

Last modified onFriday, 15 July 2016 02:58
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