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Inside NCR

NCR’s advertising staff at church’s cutting edge

By now Summer Listings I has leaped out or fallen out of your NCR. A quick glance will reveal what an enormous undertaking it is and what a great job NCR’s advertising department does. All those ads are a sign of the times.

If anyone tells you the church is dying, just show them Summer Listings. The church has seldom been so alive. Ideas, movements, debates, crusades, retreats, conferences, courses, workshops, from theology to you-name-it, are creating a ferment and excitement that the world has scarcely seen since the golden Middle Ages when the new religious orders, new universities and other such manifestations brought spirituality back to religion and a new daring replaced the previous doldrums.

This intellectual and spiritual phenomenon crept up on us. We had grown accustomed for centuries to leaving the management of religion to the hierarchy, who, while adept in many ecclesial areas, are generally not prepared by temperament or training to be pioneers. The sense of the faithful, by contrast, is located on the ground floor. Wherever the church is healthy, it’s local and vice versa. Right now, that sensus fidelium is bursting out all over, most obviously in this country where prosperity and freedom foster it, but also around the world, where its impact will be even greater.

Like Summer Listings, our classified ads have expanded in recent years. They, too, are an expression of the emerging laity. Before, chanceries and motherhouses moved church personnel around. Now, lay persons must advertise themselves, and church institutions must advertise their needs. NCR is glad to help and grateful to our inordinately talented staff.

National Catholic Reporter, March 6, 1998