NZ Catholic won five awards at the Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) awards and the separate Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) awards held in Auckland last month.

An article by Rowena Orejana featuring the Vatican astronomer’s views on Jesus, Aliens and Faith won a gold award for Best Theological Article from ARPA.

The judge commented that as a judge (s)he “look[ed] for articles that mainly concentrate on the person and meaning of God, rather than the things that people do to gain access to God, or articles on denominational praxis, or biblical interpretation and so on”.

Cartoons by Steve Monson won an ACPA award for Best Original Artwork and an ARPA Silver Award for Best Humorous Item (the highest given in that category).

The ACPA judge commented that “editorial illustration can easily miss the mark and cartoons slide quickly into smug self-belief if not given appropriate thought.

The winner treads this narrow path with elegance, a nice take on the visit of the Vatican astronomer to Australia and New Zealand in 2016”.

The ARPA judge wrote that the NZ Catholic’s editor is to be commended for maintaining this cartoon, The Habit, in the paper.

NZ Catholic also won an ACPA Highly Commended in the Best Advertising Feature/Supplement category and a silver award in the ARPA Best Front Page newspaper category.

NZ Catholic editor Dr Michael Otto said he is pleased at the diversity of the awards won by the newspaper.

“It shows we have a strong team across our newspaper — writing, design, artwork and advertising,” Dr Otto said. “I think the broad range of excellence is something our readers greatly appreciate.”

Other New Zealand Catholic publications also featured at the awards.

Tui Motu Interislands won ACPA awards for Best Social Justice Coverage, Best Devotional Article,  Best Feature Multiple Authors and was highly commended in the Best Column, Best Ecumenical/Interfaith Story and Best Print Magazine categories as well as getting an ARPA bronze award for Best Profile Story.

Wel-Com, from Wellington archdiocese and Palmerston North diocese, received a highly commended for Best Editorial from ACPA, for a piece by Bishop Peter Cullinane. The newspaper also received a silver award for Best Design Newspaper from ARPA.

The Marist Messenger received an ACPA highly commended award for Best Original Artwork and an ARPA bronze award for Best Original Photography, with the latter produced by Glen McCullough, who writes NZ Catholic’s Sainted Glass column.

The top award from ACPA, the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence, went to the Melbourne Catholic. ARPA’s highest award, the Gutenberg Award, went to The Record Magazine and E-Record from the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth.

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