31 May 2012
Wel-com has a new editor, well, not quite. After more than seven years of editing the monthly newspaper in the Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses, Cecily McNeill has decided to share the workload.
Assistant editor Derek Johnson has settled into the office, working full days in the middle part of the week while Cecily tries to keep her hours to 20 a week by working only in the mornings.
Derek comes from the United Kingdom and Canada and has been living in Wellington for the past six years.
He is a journalist, freelancing for a number of industry magazines, a musician and father of two young children.
Wel-com is distributed free to nearly 23,000 homes through parishes and schools in the two dioceses and goes to many more subscribers throughout the country and overseas.
Wel-com was the idea of Cardinal Tom Williams when he was Archbishop of Wellington. He wanted a free newspaper that would tell the good news of happenings in the diocese. The first issues were prepared by Fr Bernie Hehir in 1984, becoming a monthly production in 1986.
Former editor Marilyn Pryor assumed the editorial work in the 1990s and the newspaper spread throughout the Palmerston North Diocese as well.
In the seven and a half years that Cecily has been editing the newspaper, it has gone to full colour with slightly better quality paper for the front, back and centre pages. The font has been updated as has the quality of the photos.
Advertising manager Ray Byrne became a Wel-com contractor in 2008 and hugely boosted the advertising revenue. With the help of graphic designer Jane Byrne, the ads took a new lease on life.
A Wel-com Editorial Advisory Board comprising Fr James Lyons, chair, retired Anglican journalist Julia Stuart, Br Kieran Fenn, and former Fairfax manager Paul Elenio supports the team and gives constructive feedback, particularly when potentially controversial issues arise.
Archbishop John Dew as proprietor, has continued Cardinal Tom’s wish that the newspaper tell the good news of Catholic communities in the two dioceses and Wel-com welcomes photos and articles of events in parishes in the central third of the country.
As well as giving the good news of many thriving Catholic communities, Wel-com has embraced the instruction from Vatican II to reflect the Church in the world. As well Wel-com tries to publish spiritually enriching and theologically stimulating reading about Church and the Reign of God.