To All CPA Members:

I look forward to the Catholic Media Conference every summer. Learning from my peers and other industry professionals over the years has made me a better journalist and a better editor. And the spiritual nourishment I receive at each conference makes me a better Catholic.

That’s not to mention how much joy I find in spending time with other members. It feels like a family reunion. I believe we all benefit from the opportunity to grow together both professionally and spiritually.

This year, things will be different.

You have probably been expecting this announcement. The Board of Directors has decided to cancel the in-person Catholic Media Conference this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with health concerns, dioceses and Catholic media outlets are facing a financial crisis. Many of our members have been furloughed and our leaders have put into place common-sense travel restrictions. As much as we’d like to come together to lift each other up in person, we simply cannot have a traditional Catholic Media Conference this year.

If you’ve already signed up for the conference, you will get a full refund.

But we will still have a CMC. The National Planning Committee, led by our gifted vice president Amy Kawula, is currently planning a digital conference. While that is still taking shape, I can tell you it will include professional development, networking and a celebration of your inspiring work through an awards program.

There is no doubt that a digital conference cannot replace our in-person conference. But the National Planning Committee will deliver the very best conference possible given the circumstances. The more we rally together as a church and as an association, the better we will be able to serve our audiences across the United States and Canada.

Despite the pandemic, we have already witnessed the strength of our network. The association will advocate for you, will provide the training you need and can offer consultation as you navigate the aftermath of the crisis. Through webinars, training sessions and digital regional meetings, we are already uniting to face these challenges together. Thank you for being a part of it.

JD Long-Garcia
Catholic Press Association