By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published October 5, 2023
ATLANTA—For 60 years, The Georgia Bulletin has been the source of Catholic news for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In commemoration of the anniversary, an endowment named for its late executive editor Mary Anne Castranio has been established.
The fund supports The Georgia Bulletin as the newspaper of historical record for the archdiocese, in all present and future print and digital forms of storytelling. The endowment is managed by the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia.
Mary Anne Castranio joined the newspaper as executive editor in 2003. She was a well-respected colleague, contributing to the conversations surrounding Catholic newspapers, magazines and online publications on a national level by being elected to the Catholic Press Association (now Catholic Media Association) board. Castranio served as vice president of the board and the Southern regional representative.
Castranio died Oct. 12, 2018, while in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with association and Catholic News Service colleagues.
Upon learning of her death, then-Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory remarked that Castranio willingly placed her communication skills at the service of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
“She always presented the church’s teachings and principles with integrity and honesty,” he said.
Castranio earned a bachelor’s in English and music education from the University of North Carolina. She received a master’s in secondary English education from Georgia State University.
Later, Castranio studied for a master of science degree in technical communication. She worked as a senior technical writer for more than 12 years at IBM and for nine years at MAPICS, Inc. She spent two years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before joining The Georgia Bulletin.
Castranio played the piano nearly every Sunday at St. Joseph Church, Marietta, and was a parent volunteer for the Girl Scouts and her daughter’s marching band activities.
Beginning in 2003, she led The Georgia Bulletin through changes in the media landscape with the social media boom as the newspaper staff continued to earn awards from the Catholic Press Association. Under her direction, the newspaper and its website were redesigned. She facilitated creation of Facebook and Twitter accounts early in her tenure. An e-newsletter featuring key stories of interest was introduced later.
Diocesan papers ‘essential’
A 2023 survey by the Catholic research institution CARA (the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) shows the faithful are accessing Catholic materials at a higher rate since its last research poll in 2011. The Catholic Media Use study by CARA found that 62 percent of weekly Mass goers believe the print version of their diocesan newspaper or magazine is an essential part of how the diocese communicates. Sixty percent of monthly Mass attenders responded similarly. In the three months prior to being surveyed, 49 percent of respondents indicated they had read their diocesan newspaper or magazine. Seventeen percent had read in print, 21 percent online and 10 percent in print and online.
The Castranio endowment was established in June, and donations of any size will have an impact on the newspaper’s work. The bi-weekly publication covers issues important to Catholics including the Eucharistic Revival, the Synod, school and parish events as well as features on Catholics living their faith. The newspaper is the only source of official statements from the archbishop and publishes priest assignments and regular columns from the bishops.
The paper’s quarterly feature, “Young Adult Angle,” shares news and commentary by and for young adults, and “From the Archives” looks back upon the Catholic community’s history in North and Central Georgia.
While advertising revenue covers most publishing costs, the endowment will provide resources to invest in technology and people to produce the best possible publication and introduce new platforms.
“We’re grateful for the collaboration between the Catholic Foundation and the archdiocese in establishing the fund,” said Nichole Golden, editor of the paper. “In this current environment of division and partisan media, The Georgia Bulletin remains a reliable news source about the church. Your contributions to the endowment will help it thrive for generations to come.”