by Art Dignam
Catholicism has always been important to my wife, Joan, and me. Both of us share a strong sense of the faith and it is the foundation of our 43-year marriage.
Many of our first dates included me picking her up on Sundays, going to Mass at Our Lady of Mercy in her hometown of Forest Hills, and always followed by lunch. In 1968, we were married there.
“Religion” is a word people don’t gravitate toward using anymore for the connotations that are associated with it, but I can truthfully say that religion has always been an integral part of my family life.
I was born in South Ozone Park and attended St. Clement Pope Church and its elementary school. My family then moved to Middle Village and we were actively involved in Resurrection-Ascension, Rego Park. Weekly Mass attendance was always a must in our house and Catholic education was important to both of my parents. After St. Clement School, I attended Bishop Loughlin M.H.S. My ties to the Diocese of Brooklyn are strong.
Joan and I are drawn to realizing what we owe to God and the Catholic Church, and we actively seek to give back and participate. Last week, The Tablet announced its merger with Trans Video Communications and the new entity under which they operate, DeSales Media Group. As the opportunity to work with the new media outreach in the diocese unfolded, it very much “fit” into our personal outlook.
I have never taken a job unless I could do it with full focus and commitment, and I feel very strongly about this as my time with the DeSales Media Group has started. (See story on Page 4.) I believe I can contribute, make an impact and have fun. Over the course of my career, I have learned that if you have confidence in yourself and prepare for your life challenges, you will be “successful.” Success can have different meanings, but it should always include a sense of mission, happiness and satisfaction. I hope to bring that feeling to DeSales.
Our mission is to assist the Diocese of Brooklyn by focusing on how to reach Catholics most effectively in today’s multi-media environment, while at the same time addressing what is important to Catholics as they navigate their faith through daily life and their use of new media.
We are at the cutting edge of the vast media offerings in society. If we don’t make this effective for Catholics by focusing on contemporary issues facing the Church, it is a lost opportunity for the New Evangelization.
What is yet to come is exciting and challenging. We at DeSales are focused on the future. As the patron saint of journalism, St. Francis de Sales, once said, “Be who you are and be that well.”
Dignam is the chief executive officer of DeSales Media Group. He and his wife, Joan, are parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Centerport, L.I., where they serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and Art is on the Parish Finance Committee. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, and is an adjunct professor at Queens College. They have three children and seven grandchildren.