As the latest Christmas and New Year edition of AD2000 goes to press it hardly seems possible that over 20 years have passed since the late Bob Santamaria took the bold step of launching a religious monthly just when even secular periodicals were struggling to remain viable.
Since then, the advent of the Internet, with its easy access to all forms of information, has made the task of maintaining a print magazine doubly challenging, while the shrinking number of practising Catholics in the younger age brackets continues to reduce the potential pool of readers for a religious journal such as this one.
Despite these obstacles, AD2000 has continued to hold its ground while exerting an influence out of proportion to its circulation. In many sections of the Church in Australia it is seen as a balanced, informed presenter and defender of orthodoxy; and in the Vatican it has a significant presence, being regarded there as a reliable window on the state of Catholicism in this country.
If this important role is to continue, our circulation needs to be kept up, or preferably, increased. Readers with friends or relations interested in religious issues might consider a gift subscription as a Christmas present, while those in churches where this journal is not currently sold might see if their parish priest is willing to make it available to interested parishioners. This office can provide advice and help in these areas, phone (03) 9326-5757.
Meanwhile, particular gratitude is due to those many priests around Australia who support and promote the sales of this journal in their parishes - some of them since its very beginning in 1988; and likewise the thousands of loyal subscribers who persevere, despite the occasional unavoidable price rise. Mention should also be made of those generous people who have given to the Fighting Fund.
All involved with AD2000 wish you a very happy and holy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.
Michael Gilchrist: Editor (email address available on request).