Marian Helper Magazine Takes First Place

For the third straight year, Marian Helper magazine won top honors in the 2008 Catholic Press Association (CPA) awards competition at the Catholic Media Convention May 31 in Toronto, ON, Canada. The magazine again won first place for "General Excellence, Religious Order" magazines.

Marian Helper, published four times a year by the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Mass., circulates to about 400,000 readers in North America. The Association is the spiritual benefit society of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, a religious congregation of priests and brothers.

In announcing the top prize for excellence, which in Catholic publishing circles is equivalent to the movie industry's Oscar for Best Film, the judges wrote: "The writing in this magazine is consistently strong. The reporters often use enticing leads that keep me wanting more, and their [descriptive] details put me right in the middle of the sentence. The magazine serves its readers not only as a useful information guide but also pushes its readers' thoughts and beliefs."

In addition to taking first place, Marian Helper also won third-place recognition among magazines of all classes for Best Cover, Four Color, Large. The cover - for the Summer 2007 story, "After 91 Days of Terror, How Did She Learn to Forgive? - was photographed by Felix Carroll and designed by Theresa Peloquin. The judges noted: "Very bold image. The expression of the young girl's face draws the reader to this cover. This image also works well with the headline, making the reader want to find out how this girl learned to forgive."

The awards are the most prestigious in Catholic journalism and draw fierce competition from the international Catholic press. This year, the CPA received more than 3,000 entries for 225 awards. Only about nine percent of the entries won recognition.

Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, director the Association of Marian Helpers, is the publisher of Marian Helper magazine. Father Seraphim congratulated and thanked the staff for their "hard work, dedication to excellence, and commitment to helping the Marians spread the message of God's healing mercy and love."

"Winning this award was a team effort," said Dave Came, executive editor of the magazine. "My hat's off to the writers, designers, and photographers for the amazing work they do on behalf of the Marians and their Association. We are small in numbers, but every staffer strives for excellence. Further, our many Marian Helpers - the Association members - make inspiring contributions to the magazine."

Came heads a creative staff that includes senior editor/writer Dan Valenti, senior designer/associate editor Mary Flannery, writer/photographer Felix Carroll, and designer Catherine LeVesque. Theresa Peloquin worked as the magazine's managing editor and senior designer for part of the awards year. She is now senior designer for the Marians' New Media Department.

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