On February 29, 1996, The Catholic Spirit made its debut. Bishop Edward T. Hughes, then Shepherd of the Diocese established the Diocese of Metuchen’s official newspaper and said the name was chosen “to indicate our reliance on the Holy Spirit. We pray that the spirit of the Lord will animate our pages and lead us to produce a spirited and lively newspaper.”
Reflecting on the importance of the newspaper, Bishop Hughes said, “I wanted the newspaper to help strengthen the faith of our Catholic people, keep them informed about the church, about what it does and its teachings, and to challenge them.”
The paper started with about 10,000 subscribers. Just under 5,000 subscribers had been receiving The Metuchen edition of The Monitor, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton, from which the Diocese of Metuchen was created. Another 5,000 individuals signed up for the newspaper after receiving a letter, mailed to all families within the Metuchen Diocese, asking them to subscribe to The Catholic Spirit.
In order to boost the circulation of The Catholic Spirit in 2010 Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski approved bold new changes to the diocese’s official newspaper. On July 8, 2010, The Catholic Spirit began a new chapter in its 14 year history. The paper went from a weekly, subscription only publication to a bi-weekly newspaper distributed in all parishes. Today the circulation of the newspaper is about 18,000.
Subscriptions remained available for those individuals who wished to receive the paper at home or lived outside the diocese. In addition, an electronic edition of the paper was posted online.
The Catholic Spirit’s latest chapter began on August 1, 2013 with the launch of its new website at: www.catholicspirit.com The website includes the paper’s electronic edition as well as a photo gallery, movie reviews, blogs and other items not found in the printed edition. It also provides viewers with breaking news whether it is local, national or international.