Wanted: graphic designer with a sense of mission
April 18, 2019
This month I’m taking a break from exploring the fundamental concepts of the faith pertaining to the archdiocese’s pastoral vision to discuss a pressing matter for our archdiocesan newspaper.
When a new leader takes the helm of an organization – as I did when I became the editor and general manager of the Catholic Voice six months ago – that person’s aim is generally to guide his team to build on the foundation of their predecessors, taking the enterprise to new heights. (In the Catholic context, we understand that this only happens by God’s grace.) The corresponding danger, then, is to fall back, allowing the organization to become less than it was or could be.
Such thoughts occurred to me in mid-November as I listened to our graphic designer tell me that he had received an offer he couldn’t refuse and was resigning from the Voice. As you can imagine, this highly specialized position is absolutely critical to our success, and cannot be filled, even on a temporary basis, by someone else on staff.
John Bosco has been with us over four years. He’s evolved from someone with limited print production experience to a seasoned professional who designs the pages of all our publications – the Catholic Voice, La Voz Católica and the Archdiocese of Omaha Directory – with expertise, efficiency and ease.
Over and above his mastery of production, he has brought to his work a solid grounding in the Catholic faith – and an ardent love for it. These have come to the fore in many ways in his day-to-day work, from his ability to spot issues with submitted content, to his selections of photography and artwork to accompany articles, to his participation in editorial meetings where story ideas are considered and approved.
So advantageous has this Catholic dimension been for our paper that we’re reluctant to fall back to a position where layout was well, just layout. So as we quickly wrote up an employment posting for our open position, we made it clear that we preferred an active, practicing Catholic to fill it. And if such a person was not available, we thought, we’d at least get a number of applicants who articulated a sympathy for the mission of the church.
We posted our job listing the week before Thanksgiving. Needless to say, what happened next was, at least to me, a bit surprising. First was the small number of applicants. We received only about 10 in the first month the position was available. That might be because we are partial to Catholic candidates. It might also be because we’re offering newspaper work, which might be viewed as less exciting than the digital media where many graphic artists work today.
Second was the speed at which these applicants were finding other employment. Of the 10 who applied, we were interested in interviewing two based on their qualifications. One accepted another job before we were even able to interview her; I conducted a successful screening interview with the second, but he received an offer he couldn’t refuse a day before our scheduled in-person interview.
It appears that the job market for good graphic designers is red hot. No doubt it’s partially a function of the Omaha area’s low unemployment rate. But that puts extra pressure on those of us who hire for the church, which relies heavily on donations for its income and often struggles to provide competitive compensation to its dedicated employees.
Which leads me to make two modest requests of you, dear reader. First, could you please pray for our esteemed archdiocesan newspaper, so that we would be able to hire a suitable graphic designer as quickly as possible? Second, if you know such a person who is Catholic or at least has a strong sense of mission, could you encourage them to apply at https://archomaha.org/about/careers/?
For the Catholic Voice to accomplish its purpose – to inform its readers of news from a Catholic perspective, to instruct them in the faith and to inspire them to grow in holiness – it must be firmly rooted in Christ Jesus. These things must rigorously inform the Catholic culture of our office, which brings each issue to publication. And nothing is more important in cultivating that culture than our employees.
Thank you for your help, and have a most blessed New Year!
Dan Rossini is editor and general manager of the Catholic Voice. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.