Clarion Herald garners 17 Catholic press awards

By Peter Finney Jr., Clarion Herald

The Clarion Herald earned 17 awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, including honorable mention for best newspaper in the highest circulation category.

The awards – the most for the Clarion Herald in more than 25 years – were announced June 21 at the Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In addition to the Best Newspaper Award, the Clarion Herald won first place for Best Website (, and Kids’ Clarion editor Beth Donze won two first-place awards for Local Newswriting (“In prison, and you visited me”) and for best reporting on a special age group (“Cabrini senior practiced surgical skills at Stanford”).

“This is a fine piece of work where the echoes of the inmates are matched by those that minister to their needs – great work,” the judges said of Donze’s piece on an inmate ministry at Rayburn Correctional Center in Angie, Louisiana.

Praising her story on Cabrini senior Abigail Markey’s summer internship at Stanford University, the judges said: “Well-written, engaging article with excellent details and flow. A pleasure to read.”

The Clarion Herald website, designed by web master Lloyd Robichaux, was lauded by the judges for being “beautifully designed” and “offering a large amount of information without making the site feel or look too crowded.”

“The news section was nicely laid out and the variety offered under the special section tab was impressive. An excellent publication all around.”

The Clarion Herald also won first place for Best Promotional House Ad – Robichaux’s ad for Mommy & Me.

Four second-place awards

The newspaper took home four second-place awards:

Best Special Supplement (River of Faith: 300 Years as a New Orleans Catholic Community, 1718-2018).

“Beautiful graphics (especially a timeline running across the bottom of the pages), historical photos and maps, tell a story on their own in this section. In-depth writing makes 300 years of New Orleans’ Catholic church history (and its ties to the city) come alive.”

Best Reporting on the Celebration of a Sacrament (“‘Hands of stone’ to receive Eucharist for the first time”) by Peter Finney Jr. on boxer Patrick Pierre, preparing for his first Communion.

“It is a strong piece in the unfiltered coming of a man to faith through acceptance,” the judges said. “The story here is compelling.”

Best Regular Column on Family Life (“NOLA Catholic Parenting”), coordinated by Christine Bordelon.

“Interesting collection of work,” the judge said.

Best Diocesan Directory (2018-19 Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Directory), coordinated by Jonelle Foltz, Cheryl Dejoie-LaCabe, MJ Cahill and Lloyd Robichaux.

“A salient feature of this directory is the master index in the back. Should be a great time-saver for the busy user.”

• A third-place award went for Best Headline (“Brother, can you spare a palm?”), which summed up the search for palms for Palm Sunday after the 2018 winter freeze.

The Clarion Herald received seven other honorable mentions:

Best Special Supplement (“Mommy & Me”).

Best Reporting on Vocations (“With God’s grace, he is trucking full speed ahead,” ) – Finney’s story on Deacon Doug Busch’s journey from long-haul truck driver to the priesthood).

Best Newswriting on a Local Event (“Tent revival: ‘It’s a love thing’” )– Finney’s story on the Gospel tent outreach of St. Raymond-St. Leo the Great Parish).

Best Single Ad (“New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries” by Dejoie-LaCabe).

Best Use of Graphics (“River of Faith” timeline chart, by Robichaux).

Best Promotional House Ad (“Catholic Wedding Guide” by Dejoie-LaCabe).

Most Effective Use of Small Space (“Louisiana Air National Guard,” by Dejoie-LaCabe).

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