Catholic San Francisco

History of CSF


Catholic San Francisco's first edition was datelined Feb. 12, 1999, but its beginning goes to "A Journey of Hope Toward the Third Millennium: The Pastoral Plan of the Pilgrim Church of San Francisco," the pastoral plan for the archdiocese developed between 1993 and 1995. Adopted Dec. 15, 1995, the plan urged an in-depth study to determine the viability of an archdiocesan newspaper.


The archdiocese had been served by its own newspaper, The Monitor, from 1858 until 1984 when it was succeeded by other communications tools, including a monthly magazine. "A Journey of Hope," however, called on the archdiocese to revitalize communications efforts.


"Communications was singled out with some urgency as key to the implementation of the pastoral plan," wrote then-Archbishop, now-Cardinal William Levada in the paper's first edition. "The task force emphatically validated the need for a first-rate Catholic newspaper -- since many of the other recommendations for more effective communications could be greatly enhanced by such a vehicle," the cardinal wrote.


A later feasibility study found that the educational level in the archdiocese indicated high readership potential and an advertising base likely to carry much of the newspaper's budget, notably if it were mailed to every registered Catholic household in the archdiocese. Those cornerstones -- high readership, strong advertising support and total circulation, combined with an award-winning editorial product -- have defined Catholic San Francisco since its first edition.


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