American Catholic history
History of St. Anthony Messenger

first issue of Saint Anthony Messenger
The first issue of St. Anthony Messenger, the forerunner of St. Anthony Messenger Press, was published on June 1, 1893, by the Franciscan friars of Cincinnati as a monthly publication for secular Franciscans.

Over the years it has developed into a successful magazine for Catholics nationwide. Today it goes out to more than 350,000 subscribers across the country and around the world.

Among the major influences to affect its pages was the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). In the mid-60’s St. Anthony Messenger began to reflect the new outlooks of that Council.

The Beginning of
St. Anthony Messenger Press


In 1970, in the wake of Vatican II, St. Anthony Messenger expanded into St. Anthony Messenger Press. The religious development of Catholics was certainly high on its list of goals. Popular religious books began coming off the press, as well as publications like Catholic Update and Homily Helps—all under the St. Anthony Messenger Press logo.
The beginning of St. Anthony Messenger PressThe first issue of Catholic Update appeared in March of 1973. Its purpose was to meet the needs of parish adult education in the post-Vatican II Church. Its four-page popular handout format was designed for easy distribution at Sunday Mass.

Catholic Update helped explain the changes that were sweeping over the Church after the Council, especially those affecting the Mass and the other sacraments. For example, the Catholic Update “How to Go to Confession Using the New Ritual” by Leonard Foley, O.F.M., has sold over 2.7 million copies since its first publication in 1976.

Father Foley, who died in 1994, was St. Anthony Messenger Press’s most popular writer. His best-selling book Believing in Jesus—A Popular Overview of the Catholic Faith, has sold over 400,000 copies.

Many religious educators use St. Anthony Messenger Press’s ‘ Come and See,’ an RCIA process that makes heavy use of Catholic Update.

In September of 1982, St. Anthony Messenger Press began publishing Youth Update and in January of 1994 Scripture From Scratch, a monthly series on biblical topics. From February of 1997 through December of 2000, St. Anthony Messenger Press helped the Church prepare for the Great Jubilee with a publication called Millennium Monthly.


Expansion Into Video:
Franciscan Communications Comes Aboard


Catholic videos In August of 1994, St. Anthony Messenger Press acquired Franciscan Communications, the well-known Franciscan media enterprise located up to that time in Los Angeles. This acquisition has added a large number of outstanding catechetical videos and other Franciscan Communications products to the St. Anthony Messenger Press shelves and catalogs.

At the very time Franciscan Communications and its materials came to St. Anthony Messenger Press and greatly expanded its product line, St. Anthony Messenger Press was already starting its own video department.

Among the new video creations recently produced by St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications are six Catholic Update Videos on sacramental preparation as well as Scripture From Scratch II: The World of the Bible(16 video segments on biblical themes).


St. Anthony Messenger Press Hits the Internet

On the eve of the new millennium, St. Anthony Messenger Press has expanded its religious education outreach into cyberspace. In 1996, it established a presence on the World Wide Web through its Internet site known as AmericanCatholic.org, thus bringing the many materials of St. Anthony Messenger Press and Franciscan Communications to Internet audiences around the globe.

From its beginnings as St. Anthony Messenger in 1893 to its presence today on the Internet, St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications—with its print, video and audio publications—has contributed richly to the spiritual life of this country.

Expansion of our book line: Servant Books Acquired


The beginning of St. Anthony Messenger Press September 30, 2003 — St. Anthony Messenger Press, a 110-year-old Catholic publisher, announces it has acquired Charis Books, the Catholic imprint of Servant Publications of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"Both presses have the same mission of communicating the gospel in a popular way," said St. Anthony Messenger Press Publisher Rev. Jeremy Harrington, O.F.M. "We will continue to publish new books in the Charis line and build on the important legacy of Servant Publications and Charis Books. We look forward to working with the talented authors of Charis Books."

St. Anthony Messenger Press a member of the Catholic Book Publishers Association and the Catholic Press Association, will handle all operations for the Charis imprint in its Cincinnati offices and warehouse.


A Million Thanks to You!
All of us at St. Anthony Messenger Press—the Franciscan friars of Cincinnati and their many co-workers—are very grateful to so many of you who over the years in various ways have supported and participated in our ministry of “communicating the Word that is Jesus Christ.” We thank you sincerely and we ask God to bless you abundantly.

How to Reach Us
If you would like to subscribe to St. Anthony Messenger or receive information on our print, video or audio products, write or call us at:

St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications
28 W. Liberty St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Toll-free number (U.S. only): 1-800-488-0488


An AmericanCatholic.org Web Site from the Franciscans and
Franciscan Media     ©1996-2014 Copyright



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