A while ago, I received news that after sixty-two years, the eparchial newspaper “Church and Life” will soon publish its last issue.

While I am saddened about the decision to discontinue publishing our eparchial newspaper, I am not totally surprised.  A lot has changed since 1960.  Sixty years ago, most Australian and Canadian eparchies published their own weekly or monthly newspapers. Today, in Canada, for example, not one of the five eparchies print their own newspaper. Of the hundreds of newspapers which existed previously in almost every diocese in Canada, there is only one paper still publishing for the whole of Catholic Canada.  Even this publication cannot really be called a newspaper, but rather a Catholic evangelizing, catechetical paper which speaks about Catholic opinion and the teaching of Christ.

Currently, “Church and Life” is published monthly.  The war in Ukraine, for example, is being fought virtually and live on television (on current media).  “Church and Life”, cannot compete with this type of current media that we have become used to.

Today, every eparchy and diocese have their own website.  Each of the sites is successful in varying degrees.

The Eparchy or our local church needs a full and comprehensive social media presence.  However, this presence is not needed for current news event distribution, but rather for the purpose of evangelization.  Each site must be of such quality that people would want to visit it on a regular basis.  They would want to visit it and rely on it for answers and points of reflection for their spiritual journey.

Most Eastern Catholic Churches are in the minority in the diaspora.  Our unique history, spirituality and religious culture in this minority must be prominent in our website.

Our eparchy must have the active participation of the local clergy and faithful of our church.  No one will visit our site just to see a repeat of another site.

I was the bishop of the eparchy for almost half of the history of “Church and Life”.  Those twenty-eight years were challenging and interesting.  We had the paper and created the website.  Much changed during that time.  The next phase of our eparchy’s religious development is now in new hands.

During those twenty-eight years, I committed myself to publish a religious reflection in each and every issue of the paper that was published.

I want to thank our Andrew Kania for his contribution to the newspaper over many years as well.  He is very popular among the readers.

More of this kind of dedication is necessary. I pray that it will develop like that on a different platform now.

As we say goodbye to “Church and Life”, as such.  I ask that those who can and want to, recommit themselves to the church’s future.  I believe that a media presence is critical to our existence as a church in Australia.

As we stop printing “Church and Life”, I would like to acknowledge those who helped with the paper in the last twenty-eight years. Unfortunately, I do not have the documents from which I could give an accurate list of editors and co-editors, who in often heroic circumstances spent their time to make sure that the paper was published and distributed.  Literally, hundreds of different individuals came together to make the editions happen.  For many years it was published weekly and later monthly.

May God bless all of you.  We tried, but I’m not sure that we showed an appreciation fully for all that “Church and Life” meant and contributed toward the growth of our faithful in Australia.  May God bless you all.

I pray for the present leadership of the Church, who have a monumental task to perform.  May the Holy Spirit give you strength.

                                             God bless you,

                                             + Peter Stasiuk, CSsR