Diocesan News

Tablet Celebrates 116th Anniversary of Catholic Publishing

The first edition of The Tablet was published on April 4, 1908. It has not missed one week since.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — With this edition, The Tablet celebrates its 116th year of weekly publication — never having missed an issue. 

On April 4, 1908, The Tablet’s first pages ran off the press as a private business enterprise. William P. Lawler, publisher of the Newark Archdiocese’s Monitor, was picking up where several previous attempts at publishing a local Catholic newspaper in Brooklyn had failed. 

He had the blessing of Brooklyn Bishop Charles E. McDonnell, but that’s all he had from the diocese. It wasn’t until December of the following year that Bishop McDonnell decided to buy all the stock of the fledgling newspaper after he saw it was a viable operation. 

The Tablet’s first office was located at 66 Court St., and the first editor was Father James J. Coan, an Irish-born priest who later became a monsignor and chancellor of the diocese. The managing editor was Joseph J. Timmes, who was in charge of the day-to-day operations. 

Bishop McDonnell regarded The Tablet as an “influential means of spreading religious information and instruction and forming a link for a closer welding together of the far-flung centers of Long island.” At the time, the Diocese of Brooklyn comprised all of Long Island. 

In its first editorial, the paper saw itself as an uncompromising advocate “of Catholic teaching and Catholic practice pure and undefiled, for the spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of our people.” 

This week’s issue strives for those same lofty goals, committed to informing its readers about what’s happening in the Church on the diocesan, national, and international levels.