Bishop Braxton Writes Letter as The Messenger Editor Retires
Diocese of Belleville
Office of the Bishop
June 29, 2017
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
As the Publisher of our diocesan newspaper, The Messenger, I am writing, in my name, in the names of the Vicar General, Reverend Monsignor John W. McEvilly, and His Excellency, Bishop Stanley G. Schlarman, as well as all of the priests, deacons, religious, and the Catholic Faithful in southern Illinois, to express our great gratitude to Ms. Elizabeth (“Liz”) Kohl Quirin for her twenty-five years of dedicated service to our Catholic newspaper, most of those years as General Editor. Her daily efforts for a quarter of a century have been a positive contribution to the life of our Local Church.
Because The Messenger has a small but dedicated staff, Ms. Quirin has worn many hats during the years, including writing many of the featured articles and serving as the principal photographer. This has meant that she made her way morning, noon, and night to the farthest edges of the Diocese of Belleville making a record of events great and small. These have included numerous parish functions, social events, farm blessings, church dedications, ordinations, activities at our elementary and secondary schools, Confirmations, important liturgical events in our parish churches and in the Cathedral of St. Peter, groundbreakings, celebrations of Advent, Christmastide, Lent, Eastertide and the entire Church’s Year of Grace, and more.
Every Catholic Bishop is the Publisher of his diocesan newspaper. In some cases, this may mean little more than reading the paper when it comes out. In other cases, it may mean making decisions about every detail of every issue of the paper. I have always seen my role as one of collaboration, support, and oversight, taking an interest in every issue without becoming involved in the primary work of the Editor.
I have encouraged reporting on news and events in the local, national, and world Church that I deemed important for the Christian faithful in southern Illinois. As the primary teacher of the Catholic faith in the Diocese, it has been my responsibility for making sure that nothing appears in the paper that is contrary to the teachings and disciplines of the Church. My goal has been to encourage the efforts of the Editor in communicating the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of the members of the Church.
Ms. Quirin’s latter years at the helm of the paper have been at a time when all forms of print media are challenged by digital communications. Many diocesan newspapers have not survived. Most, including ours, have experienced a significant decline in subscriptions. Liz has made many efforts to increase subscriptions, made use of electronic media, and encouraged parishes to order even a small number of papers for distribution to the faithful. She would be the first to admit that she passes the paper on to her successor with an uncertain future. The Diocese would be diminished without The Messenger. I hope our Priests and parishioners will support the next Editor’s efforts to increase the number of subscriptions.
One of our departing Editor’s many outstanding efforts has been “Faith in the Marketplace,” an event each year at which The Messenger recognizes dedicated Catholic lay men and women for their distinguished examples of living out their Catholic faith in many different professions and acts of Christian service throughout the Diocese. During her years of service to the Diocese, she has demonstrated true faith in the marketplace.
So, now as she prepares to put down her editorial pen and camera and enter a new phase of her life with family members in Denver, Colorado, we assure her of our appreciation and bid her a fond farewell. When we think of you, Liz, our memories shall be happy ones and when we pray for you our prayers shall be full of joy.
Prayerfully yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D.
Eighth Bishop of Belleville
Publisher of The Messenger