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Issue Date:  November 2, 2007

From the Editor's Desk

Working out the kinks

Many of you have written us commending our decision to go to press every other week beginning in January. This move offers a way to cope with the steep and sudden increase in postal costs without raising the cost of subscriptions. We are most grateful for your support and encouragement. But as with all change, some of our readers would prefer we find another way. We hear you, though we do not have many options at the moment and must continue with our plan to go biweekly. Yet, however difficult it is for me to respond to the hundreds of e-mails I receive each week, I read them all and take seriously the many suggestions from our readers. We continue to be committed to finding ways to get the news to you in a timely fashion. The shifts in communication technologies are forcing the print industry to reconsider just about every facet of its operations, including customer service.

About three months ago, we began implementing a decision we made last spring to transfer all customer service operations back home to Kansas City, to enable NCR to resume full local supervision of its services. During the Y2K period, seven years ago, when older computers were being challenged by the new millennium, we made the choice to move our customer service and phone center to an outsource bureau. But as good as our outsource service was, we realize we can respond better to you, our readers, if NCR personnel are directly involved in attending to your concerns, questions and need for assistance. All mail and phone calls now come directly to our home offices on Armour Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo. It has taken some time to hire representatives, upgrade systems and work out the kinks, but we are back at full operation.

Our next challenge is to address the sometimes, perhaps more than sometimes, uneven delivery of the NCR newsweekly. Though we do not have much influence in the operations of the U.S. Postal Service, we are investigating options for improving delivery by working in partnership with the post office and studying those factors that can help improve the timeliness of our mailings. We thank you for your patience.

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One last note: We report this week on a father and daughter team, who were told they could not speak at a Catholic church in Minnesota because she’s a lesbian (see story). They were going to talk about the personal journey they have taken as a family in addressing the complicated issue of homosexuality and have written a book to share their story with other Catholic families. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to read their book and found it inspiring and worthy of note. It’s a story deserving to be heard.

Contact me at

-- Sr. Rita Larivee, SSA

National Catholic Reporter, November 2, 2007

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