Ralph Mclnerny and Michael Novak founded this magazine in 1982. They broke new ground with Curses—in doing so they changed the landscape of Catholicism and the conservative movement in America. For the first time, lay Catholics who were obedient to the Magisterium and confident in the past and future of the American founding could be heard in the public square.
McInerny and Novak have served as CRISIS publishers and editors for fourteen years; they nurtured it from its perilous beginnings to the established place it occupies today. Meanwhile they pressed onward with their own distinguished careers: Ralph Mclnerny, who is scheduled to deliver Scotland’s prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1999, is one of the world’s foremost Catholic philosophers, as well as a leading mystery writer, the creator of Father Dowling. Michael Novak, the internationally known philosopher and social theorist, lecturer, and columnist, was the recipient of the 1994 Templeton Prize. Between them they have published more than eighty books, all the while overseeing the publication of a monthly magazine called CRISIS.
Mclnerny and Novak have asked me to take over the reins of publishing CRISIS, and I have gratefully accepted. They will remain with CRISIS as founders, writers, and constant advisers. Any attempt to say “thank you” to them for the generosity they have shown in trusting me with their creation can only fall short. I will show them my appreciation by carrying CRISIS toward the next millennium. In doing so, we will take our Holy Father’s On the Coming of the Third Millennium as our guide. Over the next four years expect to see a series of meditations as suggested by the pope in his apostolic letter.
In taking this road, OUSTS will continue to follow the vision of its founders for the future of the magazine. McInerny and Novak have always sought to bring the authentic teaching of the Church to bear on America in a manner that would replace its defunct and discredited liberalism. It is a vision I share, in part because I have received it from them and those who instructed them.
The first page of the first volume in November 1982 contains the words, “A new Catholic spirit is being born. It calls for a new voice.” As its new publisher, I promise that CRISIS will continue to speak with that voice. I also promise that as we speak we will listen, especially to John Paul II and the Magisterium, as well as to the great voices of the past—the fathers and doctors of the Church, and the leaders of this century’s Catholic renaissance, among them Maritain, Dawson, Chesterton, Belloc, Gilson, Mauriac, Undset, Simon, Sheed, and Von Balthasar.
CRISIS, however, has never been content simply to recall past glories; we will continue to bring you the best in Catholic and conservative thought. Expect to meet the new Maritains and the new Chestertons in the pages of Otis’s. Expect to read about the whole range of cultural concerns, from politics and the Church, to education, art, public policy and philosophy. Expect also an unwavering stance in the protection of the unborn and the traditional family. CRISIS may be changing hands, but it is decidedly not changing its commitments.
In the months ahead we hope you will be hearing more about CRISIS. You can see it now on national newsstands, such as in the Barnes & Noble Superstores, or you can dial us up on our World Wide Web page. Many other exciting projects are now in the formative stages and will be announced soon. We hope you are happy with our progress thus far. Next month’s issue will include a reader’s survey card just so you can tell us how we are doing—please tear it out, fill it in, and send it back. I promise that we will act on the results.
Thus, as I attempt to follow in the footsteps of two great men, I am
Deal W. Hudson
Publisher & Editor