Before I moved out here, my brother gave me an icon of the Holy Family fleeing to the desert shortly after the Epiphany of our Lord. Funny guy, my brother.
I’m a native Texan, and to us, Texas is awful close to the Promised Land, so by moving out here to Phoenix last month, my brother implied through his gift, my family would be taking a similar journey as the Holy Family.
Of course, this was all said in the context of fraternal humor. But there was an aspect of truth to this. The reality is, there was a time when I would have never considered leaving Texas to go anywhere, yet here I am in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona.
I believe that my vocation, in addition to being a husband and father, is to be a Catholic journalist. I remember being asked when I was in college how I reconcile being a Catholic gentleman with being a journalist. My response then, as it is now, is that as journalists, and as Catholics, we seek the truth. But since then, I’ve also found the opportunity to serve the Church directly with the talents God has given me, as a journalist, and my career in the Catholic Press is my way of living out my vocation.
When this opportunity came up to become editor of The Catholic Sun, my family and I prayerfully discerned that this was where God was calling us. So like St. Joseph, who was called by God to take his family to the desert, we’ve been called to come to Arizona.
This is where God was calling us, and who were we to argue?
To be sure, this was no easy decision — after all, like myself, my wife is also a native Texan, and in addition to overcoming the state pride that all Texans have, we also had to make the decision to leave behind our friends who we’ve known for years, our extended families that have deep roots in the state, and our careers that we’d established. But this is where God was calling us, and who were we to argue?
So now that I’m here, how do I use my talents to serve the Lord and his Church? The values of news are timeliness, location, and relevance. To this, as a Catholic publication, I’d add whether it promotes or hinders the Gospel. Are we faithful to the Magisterium? Do we inspire? Do we show what we believe through compelling stories, rather than just tell what we believe by listing doctrines?
In the last 10 years, the nature of how people get their news has also changed dramatically. The emergence of social networking has allowed people to engage with each other and share their faith. “In social networks, believers show their authenticity by sharing the profound source of their hope and joy: faith in the merciful and loving God revealed in Christ Jesus,” writes Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his 2013 World Communications Day Message.
In a similar way, I hope to continue to use the tools that God has given us via new media to share our content on the digital continent. I want our readers to connect with us through these media, to engage in conversation, and to join us in promoting the Gospel.
Personally and professionally, this is a new adventure for me. Thank you for reading The Catholic Sun, and I look forward to serving you, the Catholic faithful, by providing the best content we can.
Tony Gutiérrez has worked in Catholic media for seven years, most recently as associate editor for the North Texas Catholic, the news magazine serving the Diocese of Fort Worth. He is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and most recently was the social media chair for the Texas State Council. In September 2014, he and his wife, Tiffany, welcomed the birth of their daughter Katie.