Celebrating honors for the Catholic Review

Allow me, if you will, to brag for a few moments about the staff of Catholic Review Media.

We are a small team of people who produce the news and features you read every month in the magazine and every day online. The team includes not just journalists, but also a graphics designer and sales, administrative and other employees who support our mission to “inform, teach, inspire and engage” the people of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

These hardworking people have been honored in recent months by three varied press associations with judging by respected peers in journalism and publishing.

The Catholic Review picked up 32 awards combined from the Associated Church Press, the Catholic Press Association of the U.S. and Canada, and the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association.

In the MDDC Editorial Awards, we received 18 awards (nine first place and nine second) in this competition against our predominantly secular colleagues in Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Most of these were judged against similar-sized publications, non-dailies with more than 20,000 circulation.

In the ACP, an ecumenical group, we received seven – four Awards of Excellence (first-place awards), two Awards of Merit (second-place) and one honorable mention (third place). The Awards of Excellence include two Best-in-Class, for blog (Julie Varner Walsh) and for Regional Denominational Magazine. For the past four years, we were named Regional Newspaper of the Year, so it is rewarding to continue that tradition in the magazine category.

In awarding the Catholic Review the Best in Class Award of Excellence for Regional Denominational Magazine, the ACP judges said, “Celebrating and reflecting on all things Catholic in the greater Baltimore area and beyond, this publication truly covers the waterfront, with news and features that grab the reader.”

We also won seven awards at the annual CPA contest, competing this year for the first time in magazine categories. Included among these is an honorable mention for Diocesan Magazine of the Year.

The CPA judges gave an honorable mention in the Diocesan Magazine of the Year, noting, “One tenet of journalism applied to magazines like these is ‘keep it local,’ and Catholic Review lives up to this. Doesn’t veer from the hard issues with columns like ‘Peace is a decision’ and a very strong message from Archbishop William E. Lori on the Department of Justice report on police in Baltimore.”

When we write and produce the magazine, we don’t do that with the judges in mind. Our readers are our focus, first and foremost. But in January each year, we look back at what we have produced and select the entries for the contests. It’s a good exercise, because it reminds us of what we did well, and what we ought to improve. It’s also gratifying when peers in our profession provide feedback and judge that our work is among the best in the region or the country (or two countries, in the case of the CPA).

We will miss one of those contributors who helped make the publication great in the last couple of years. Erik Zygmont, staff writer, left Catholic Review Media in the middle of July to move his family to New Hampshire. He still has a few stories in the hopper, so you will continue to see his byline in the coming months. We wish Erik well.

If you’d like to join this award-winning team, Catholic Review Media has two openings for staff writers, one of whom must be able to speak, read and write in Spanish. For details, visit archbalt.org, click on “Careers” in the top menu, and search for keyword “Review.”

Below are the awards from the respective associations:



  • Informational Graphics: first place, Sara Travlos, “Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet”
  • Public Service: first place; Archbishop William E. Lori, Christopher Gunty, Erik Zygmont; “One Baltimore”
  • Religion Reporting: first place, Zygmont, “Work in Progress”
  • Breaking News – Social Media: first place, the staff, “Archdiocese of Baltimore announces two new auxiliary bishops”
  • Online Commentary or Blog: first place, Rita Buettner, “Open Window”
  • Sports Page Design: first place, Travlos, “IND vs. Mercy”
  • News Page Design: first place, Travlos, “God is Great” (a feature on the “Woodstock nun”); and second place, Travlos, “Praying in color” (iconography)
  • Feature Page Design: first place, Travlos, “Five things to know about First Fruits Farm”
  • Local Column – Critical Thinking: first place, Archbishop Lori, “Not that Baltimore”
  • Local Column – Feature or Humor: second place, Buettner, “Life is not a race”
  • Art or Illustration: second place, Travlos, “God is Great”
  • Multimedia Storytelling (Sports): second place, Kevin J. Parks, “Loyola University Maryland swimmers head to Rio Paralymic Games”
  • Multimedia Storytelling (News): second place, Parks, “St. Clare Parish in Essex welcomes Easter services with new renovations”
  • Environmental Reporting: second place, Paul McMullen, “Green day in Gambrills, where Incarnation students plant 600 saplings”
  • Medical and Science Reporting: second place, McMullen, “Her saving hands and heart”
  • Best Web Video: second place, Parks, “Monsignor Slade Catholic School student uses remote to attend class”
  • Special Section: second place, the staff, “The Class of 2016”


  • Best in Class, Denominational Magazine, Regional: Award of Excellence (first place): the staff
  • Best in Class/Online: Blog: Award of Excellence, Julie Walsh, The Space Between
  • Photography: Photo Spread w/Article or Cutline, Magazine/Journal: honorable mention, Parks, “Scenes from an Ordination”
  • Art/Design/Graphics: Print Publication Redesign: Award of Excellence, Travlos and the staff
  • Online/New Media: Publication Website: Award of Excellence, George P. Matysek Jr. and the staff
  • Public Relations/Marketing: Electronic Newsletter: Award of Merit (second place), Matysek and the staff, The Catholic Review electronic newsletter
  • Best in Class/Online: Digital Edition/Mobile Publication: Award of Merit, the staff, The Catholic Review Digital Edition

Catholic Press Association

  • Diocesan magazine of the year: honorable mention, the Catholic Review staff
  • Sports reporting, magazine, second place, McMullen and John Strohsacker, “IND tops Mercy as ‘The Big Game’ turns 50”
  • Magazine cover, four-color, large format (over 6”x9.5”): third place, Travlos, August issue, “Peace, Love and Faith”
  • Regular column by a bishop or archbishop, diocesan magazine: honorable mention, Archbishop Lori, Charity in Truth
  • News photo story, magazine: third place, Parks, “Scenes from an Ordination”
  • Electronic Newsletter: honorable mention, George P. Matysek Jr.
  • Best redesign, magazine: honorable mention, Travlos and the staff

Christopher Gunty

Christopher Gunty

A Chicago-area native, Christopher Gunty is associate publisher/editor of The Catholic Review and CEO of its parent publishing company, The Cathedral Foundation/CR Media.

He has spent his whole professional career in Catholic journalism as a writer, photographer, editor, circulation manager and associate publisher. He spent four years with The Chicago Catholic; 19 years as founding editor and associate publisher of The Catholic Sun in Phoenix, Ariz.; and six years at The Florida Catholic. In July 2009, he came to Baltimore to lead The Cathedral Foundation.

Chris served as president of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada from 1996 to 1998, and has traveled extensively learning about and reporting on the work of the church, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Haiti, Poland, Italy, Germany and finally in 2010 visited the Holy Land for the first time.