Novena was born eighteen months ago with the goal of becoming a world-leading source for news on religion in Europe and beyond and a mouthpiece for the most authentic reforming currents in the Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, today that dream comes to an end for us.

Like so many around the world – with whom we stand in solidarity – the COVID-19 crisis has hit us hard, and after months of holding on and seeing the light flicker and fade at the end of the tunnel we’ve made the difficult decision to cease publication, effective immediately.

But our need to say farewell doesn’t mean that everything we’ve stood for disappears with us! On the contrary. There are many in the Church today fighting for the same causes of Catholic reform, accountability, inclusion, solidarity, social justice, co-responsibility and the like that we have fought for and who have inspired us, and whom we look forward to following in the future. Not least of all those who have contributed to Novena in some shape or form over the past year-and-a-half.

A big thank you from my part as editor and director to Mada Jurado, Matt Kappadakunnel, Angele Bucyte, George Karpouzas, Daniele Palmer, Danail Hristov, Patrick Carolan, Ferenc Jenei and Eva Rimai of Katakombablog and Professors Michael G. Lawler and Todd A. Salzman.

If I have forgotten any of our contributors, I apologise and will happily acknowledge you here if you remind me!

My deep gratitude also goes out to Novena’s friends, especially David and Jacqui, at Pressenza International Press Agency, who believed in us from the outset and reached out to us to establish a content sharing agreement.

Thank you also to The Conversation and Fair Observer, who with their generous republishing provisions are showing the way forward for media outlets in this age of information without paywalls and other borders.

In terms of more Church-related news, opinion and analysis, I would also like to express my respect and admiration for Mike Lewis and the contributors of Where Peter Is, who have certainly come to earn their space on our page under our top stories. Thank you, Mike, for your important ministry and for being such an encouragement!

My gratitude also to Luis Gutiérrez of Mother Pelican, who is producing some of the most insightful and prophetic analysis in the Church today.

Last but certainly not least, a big thank you from me to all of you – our readers! – for trusting Novena as your go-to Church news source over the past eighteen months.

It has been a real privilege to work as hard as we have been to bring you the most important stories in religion news, and we are very grateful that you have appreciated our work to the point of signing up for our newsletters and/or sharing and discussing our articles on social media.

To those of you who so generously donated money to the fundraising campaign we’ve been carrying out during this November, I will be in touch with you personally in coming days to thank you once again and to organise the return of your contributions.

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And so it is with mixed emotions that I write these last few sentences on Novena. With gratitude for what has been and with hope for the future, but also with sadness that it wasn’t to be. But I take heart in words Pope Francis said just yesterday at the Mass he celebrated with the new cardinals:

“If we are awaited in Heaven, why should we be caught up with earthly concerns? Why should we be anxious about money, fame, success, all of which will pass away? Why should we waste time complaining about the night, when the light of day awaits us? Why should we look for ‘patrons’ to help advance our career? All these things pass away. Be watchful, the Lord tells us”.

Whatever nights you might be facing, may the light of a new day shine for you too. And may God give you the grace to keep a holy, watchful Advent in preparation for God’s coming this Christmas.

One final point: we will keeping the bare bones of Novena online at least for the foreseeable future, with the hope that others may be able to make use of the information that we have worked so hard to report.

If you would like to contact us in the future, please use the following email address – novenanews@gmail.com – as all others will be going offline. Thank you!

Author

PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.