The Visitor won 11 awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, including an honorable mention in the “newspaper of the year” category for large-circulation diocesan newspapers. The awards were announced June 23 at the 2017 Catholic Media Conference in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
The other awards, for work completed in 2016, were:
- First place, for best group or association blog for “From the Heart: A Catholic Blog for Central Minnesota,” coordinated by Visitor multimedia reporter Kristi Anderson.
- First place for best news writing on a local or regional event for Anderson’s coverage of the St. Mary Church fire in Melrose.
- First place for best editorial on a local issue for “Building bridges,” by editor Joe Towalski, writing about the importance Christians and Muslims building relationships with each other.
- Second place for best feature writing for a story by Anderson about a Stearns County program that assists people leaving prison to make the transition back into the community.
- Second place for best reporting of social justice issues for Anderson’s story “Paynesville man who walked to Guatemala still making a difference there 44 years later.”
- Second place for the newspaper’s Year of Mercy coverage for work done by Anderson and multimedia reporter Dianne Towalski.
- Second place for best online presentation of multimedia visuals for Dianne Towalski’s story and accompanying video “St. Cloud priest gives teens ‘Vital 3.0’ car tips.”
- Third place for best online presentation of multimedia visuals for a video featuring Bishop Donald Kettler and Deacon John Wocken cooking a CRS Rice Bowl recipe from Laos.
- Third place for best editorial on a national/international issue for Joe Towalski’s editorial “Pope Francis endorses this editorial,” addressing “fake news” and the importance of media literacy.
- Honorable mention for best reporting on vocations to the priesthood, religious life or diaconate for Dianne Towalski’s profile of Father Art Vogel, a retired priest of the Diocese of St. Cloud.