The Sacred Heart Messenger first appeared on 6 January, 1888. It has been in print continuously ever since, becoming a staple in Irish homes that has endured for generations. Writers such as Edna O’Brien and Sean O’Casey have referred to it in literature, which plays testament to the place it holds in Irish culture and heritage. Many well-known Irish writers have contributed to The Messenger, including former President Mary McAleese, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, theologians Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ and Fr Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, and educationalist and psychologist Fr Paul Andrews SJ. Cookery and gardening experts Marie McGuirk and Helen Dillon also contribute to the variety of content. I am pleased to continue the good work of former editors, all the time also being aware of the crucial role played by our promoters in all parts of Ireland and abroad.
The Messenger has its own in-house book publishing facilities, and publishes titles by authors such as Jesuits Fr Tom Morrissey SJ, Fr Brian O’Leary SJ, Fr Micheál MacGréil SJ, Fr Brian Grogan SJ, and a series of popular booklets on topics such as suicide, addiction to drugs, dealing with illness and bereavement, and issues of elder years. Our staff manages the entire print process from manuscript to design to published product.
In the first year of its life, promoters of The Messenger carried copies to 9,000 homes throughout Ireland. Back then, The Messenger cost all of one penny per copy, or one shilling for the year. Today, we reach over 60,000 readers each month, which makes The Messenger probably the biggest-selling magazine in the land. Along with the content of the magazine, the ways in which we reach our readers have moved with the times, and today The Messenger is also available online.
Throughout its evolution, the magazine has retained its core message: that God loves his people. The devotion to the Sacred Heart highlighted this truth for years, and we do our best to continue to make Jesus Christ known and loved through our pages. We also strive to communicate an up-to-date and forward-looking approach to the Church, particularly in the parish and school.
You too can join in this effort, by becoming a promoter or subscribing to The Messenger.
With many thanks and our prayers.
Donal Neary SJ, Editor