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Editor’s Minute

Creative Choices

How do you make a call between two different styles? In one case—in this very issue—I’m referring to Sister Rose Pacatte’s wonderful article about Timothy Reckart, “Following The Star.” He’s a remarkable man who has crafted an outstanding animated film about the Holy Family for the holiday season. We could have illustrated her interview in more than one way—either in a more photographic style or with animated characters from the film itself.

Mixing and matching these could be done, I suppose, but Art Director Mary Catherine Kozusko knows that design brings hard choices. Which approach might be the strongest, most inviting visually? For everything that stays, something must go. I hope you agree with our choice: we couldn’t resist the cute animation.

Those kinds of choices are driving our behind-the-scenes work redesigning St. Anthony Messenger for the January issue. What will stay? What will go? Much like remodeling a room—in this case the whole house!—we’ve been talking and talking about possibilities, trying a little of this, changing a little of that, fussing over the details. It’s a long conversation among designers and editors.

One of the many things we have decided is to devote a special section to things Franciscan, led by Father Pat McCloskey’s “Ask a Franciscan” column (which vies for most-read column—competing with “Church in the News”), followed by his insightful look at Franciscan topics. Father Pat, who often introduces himself in public with “I’m on page 2,” will no doubt find a new, clever introduction.

The team has kicked me—this column, revised—to the front of the book. “From the Editor,” my new column, will often have a different flavor than “Backstory”—more about what’s in the current issue, with some occasional musings. Though I can’t compete with Father Pat, more than half of you read this column (thank you for answering Managing Editor Daniel Imwalle’s online surveys). Come January, I hope you’ll follow me to the front.

There will be more changes, all with you in mind. We pray that you’re going to love the end product. But between here and there? In these final weeks, lots of construction and difficult choices. And in the end? Great results. And Timothy, I hope you agree with our choice of animation for illustration instead of photos. It was a tough call.


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