The Majellan, a magazine with a long history and a favourite among many Catholic families in Australia and New Zealand, is celebrating its 70th year of publication this year.
To mark the milestone, a commemorative book titled Celebrating 70 years of Family with Majellan was launched in Melbourne on 4 April.
The book features popular articles and reflections from past editors, as well as some thoughts about what the future holds for the magazine in terms of a digital focus.
The Majellan was first published in January 1949 by the Redemptorist Congregation in Ballarat. The first editor was Father John Hogan, who also happened to be a gifted snake catcher.
Forerunner to the magazine was a four-page bulletin, the League of St Gerard Majella.
The response to the bulletin was so overwhelming that the Redemptorists decided to expand the publication into a quarterly magazine. The aim was to make St Gerard better known among Catholic mothers, as their special patron – the mother’s saint.
Today, the strong Majellan tradition continues where the focus remains on the family, with articles of interest that address a range of issues affecting families.
Under the patronage of St Gerard Majella, The Majellan has long incorporated a strong focus on families and mothers.
The life and work of St Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists and a man committed to the poor and marginalised, strongly influences the formation of articles.
In the magazine’s 70-year history there have only been six editors. Fr John was followed by Fr William Stinson, Fr Max Barrett, Bishop Paul Bird of Ballarat, and Fr Michael Gilbert.
The first lay editor David Ahern was appointed four years ago.
Chief Executive Tony Biviano said The Majellan still enjoys a strong readership of some 10,000 subscribers.
“The future is looking bright. Plans are in place to develop new special editions focussed on ‘expectant’ families and digital versions will be introduced in our 70th year,” he said.
Bishop Bird said: “Over the years, The Majellan has sought to address the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of each generation, especially in relation to family life,” says. “The commitment to be close to families continues to the present”.
Fr Edmond Nixon, Redemptorist Oceania Provincial, said the book is an acknowledgment of the hard work of many people.
“The Majellan’s long and distinguished life is testament to the commitment of the Redemptorist Fathers, Brothers and lay people who have worked on the magazine,” Fr Nixon said.
“The Majellan has helped mothers and families and the Redemptorist congregation will continue to assist families to grow stronger in these challenging times,” says Fr Nixon.
The book is available from Majellan Publications and costs $27.95 for Majellan subscribers.