In October, El Mensajero Católico will mark its 10th year of serving the Rochester area’s Hispanic community.
The monthly Spanish-language newspaper was established in 2005 by Rochester Catholic Press Association, which also publishes the Catholic Courier, the monthly newspaper of the Diocese of Rochester. Three thousand copies of the first issue were released the weekend of Oct. 14-15, 2005.
El Mensajero currently is distributed to approximately 8,500 readers at more than 200 locations, including neighborhood stores, community agencies and churches. As the only locally based newspaper providing consistent journalistic coverage of the area’s Hispanic community, it has earned numerous press honors for its high-quality reporting, graphic design and photographic excellence.
"El Mensajero is the key to the Hispanic community, since we don’t have a lot of ways to inform our community of important information," said Hilda Rosario Escher, CEO and executive director of Ibero-American Action League. "Personally, I look forward to reading it when it comes out."
One hallmark of El Mensajero‘s coverage is in-depth reports on such important issues as immigration, health care, education, social justice and crime prevention. During 2015, Staff Writer Annette Jiménez has taken an in-depth look at the issue of poverty in the Rochester area. Last month, Jiménez won a first-place award for Individual Excellence — Writer from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.
In addition to news and issues coverage, El Mensajero also showcases the diverse cultural and religious celebrations taking place in Rochester. Latina Unidas, an organization that supports Latino women, often has been featured in El Mensajero for its events empowering young girls, such as the annual ¡Soy Unica! ¡Soy Latina! rally.
"We are pleased to learn of El Mensajero’s 10th anniversary, " said Daisy Rivera Algarin, founder of Latina Unidas. "Like many organizations in Rochester, we have enjoyed reading and staying in touch with our local Latino community. We have also benefitted from its publication and organization support."
Pike Co. Vice President Mauricio Riveros, who last September was named the Rochester Hispanic Business Association’s Hispanic Business Person of the Year, said that El Mensajero brings three things to the community: language, hope and history.
"It is refreshing to see the news in our language," Riveros said. "El Mensajero brings hope and ambition to our community and is part of our community’s history. If there is an event going on in the Hispanic community, El Mensajero Católico is there."
Grace Tillinghast, president of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association, echoed Riveros’ sentiments.
"El Mensajero Católico has provided for the last decade a venue for Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Diocese of Rochester, not only to celebrate and share our faith, but to be informed about what goes on in the community," she said.
In honor of the newspaper’s anniversary, El Mensajero‘s staff is planning a community celebration on Oct. 2 at St. Michael Church, 869 N. Clinton Ave., Rochester. The event is being presented in conjunction with the second-annual leadership conference of El Instituto Pastoral Hispano, which will take place the next day at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford.
The newspaper’s Oct. 2 celebration, which is free and open to the public, will begin with a 6 p.m. Mass, followed by festivities in the church hall.
Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, publisher of El Mensajero, will celebrate the Mass, and the homilist will be Peruvian Father Lorenzo Ato, who also will be the keynote speaker for the Oct. 3 Instituto event. A priest of the Archdiocese of New York, weekly radio and TV host, and Spanish-language columnist for the archdiocesan newspaper Catholic New York, Father Ato, who has dedicated his life to Hispanic Catholic communications in radio and television, also will briefly address the crowd during El Mensajero‘s "birthday party" following Mass.
Featuring music and dance performances as well as traditional food representing Mexico and the Caribbean, the party will begin in St. Michael’s Church hall immediately after Mass. Such local dance groups as Borinquen Dance Theatre, Grupo Cultural Latino and Papoloti will perform, along with several local musical groups.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Further details on El Mensajero Católico‘s anniversary event will be published in upcoming issues as well as at www.ElMensajeroRochester.com. For more information on El Instituto Pastoral Hispano’s conference, contact Lynette Saenz, director of the Cultural Diversity Office for the Diocese of Rochester, at 585-328-3228, ext. 1318, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.