This year is one of major transition for editors at America. Five of our number are moving on to new assignments: two to new works and three to studies. At the same time, two new lay co-workers will join the editorial board, and three lay people will become officers of America Press Inc.
Father Joseph A. O’Hare, president emeritus of Fordham University in New York, has been part of the editorial team or its leader for 17 years. From 1972 to 1974 he was an associate editor and from 1974 to 1984 editor in chief. In 2004 he returned for a second term as associate editor. Joe, a beloved figure around New York City, headed the city’s Electoral Campaign Finance Board and served on the city’s Charter Revision Commission. In the past five years he penned many of our editorials and comments on U.S. politics. He could also be relied on for judicious advice on sensitive issues. He now turns to pastoral work, which he loves.
Father Dennis M. Linehan has worked as an associate editor since 1994. Unheralded, Dennis assumed many necessary but tedious jobs, particularly assembling our semi-annual index. In addition, he vetted manuscripts, edited the letters section and oversaw the final proofreading. For the last several years, he also scanned the Catholic press to prepare our weekly Signs of the Times news feature. Around the editorial table, he was always a source of historical perspective as well as “high class” and mostly reliable gossip—a particular gift of Jesuit historians. In September Dennis will move to the Jesuit Center at Wernersville, Pa.
Jim McDermott was known here for his enormous creativity and affability. Always interested in videography, he produced a number of short videos for our Web site, and in the coming year he will be completing some unfinished film and video projects as he applies to film school.
Jim Keane is returning to his home state of California for theological studies at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University. Jim, a man of prodigious talent and accomplishment, was our most reliable rewrite man. He worked with Jim McDermott on the historical pieces drawn from the America archives. He wrote exceptionally sensitive cultural criticism and some of our best humor. His “Oops!” article was the hit of our centennial issue (4/13).
Matt Malone leaves us at the end of August for theological studies at Heythrop College, London. Matt has served as our art director these past two years and oversaw the magazine’s redesign last winter, a major feat which has won acclaim. For the last several months, he has also edited the Signs of the Times weekly news section.
As the Jesuits move on, we are preparing to welcome lay editors. We are pleased to announce that in September Kevin Clarke, formerly of the Claretian publications Salt of the Earth and U.S. Catholic, will join us as an associate editor, returning from Chicago to his native New York. Before too long we hope to announce the arrival of a second lay colleague.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that in this our centennial year, we are completing the transition to a mostly lay board of directors. Elected as officers of America Press Inc. are Albert Pierce, chairman; Kathleen Anderson, vice chairman; and Christina Peppard, secretary. Dr. Pierce is director of the Institute for National Security Ethics and Leadership at the National Defense University. Ms. Anderson is executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation of Los Angeles. Christina Peppard, an ethicist, is scholar-in-residence at the (Episcopal) Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. I will continue to serve as president of the corporation.