By Peggy Weber

Catholic Observer reporter since 1984

Born the same year as the Observer

The Catholic Observer sent out its final edition this week and thus ended an era for the Diocese of Springfield and Catholic journalism.

The first issue of The Catholic Observer in 1954

It is amazing to see the changes in the church through these pages. Yet,  it is reassuring to see how so much of the faith has stayed constant.

However, I am still amazed to look at the past and think what life was like back then.

The first paper told of a rosary procession at U. Mass. That would draw 12,500 men for a rosary procession!!!

Perhaps they drove to Amherst in one of  these.

1954 Ford

I think of everyone driving on Routes 5 or 9 to get there. Remember, Route 91 was not around.

Perhaps they had a car radio and were listening to music by this guy.

No one was talking on a cell phone or checking their e-mail or connecting via Facebook. In fact, scientists, in 1954,  thought that a home computer would look something like this in 2004.

Home computer

No one had an iPod or a small stero system. However, I think that turkey will always be in  style for a holiday meal.

Pope Pius XII was leading the church and parishes had lots of processions. I like that we still have them today. (We just reported on a wonderful procession in Northampton in June.) It’s nice when we take our faith to the streets.

PopePius XII

Parish procession

 And even a priest was featured in the movie that won the Oscar in 1954.

For 56 years, The Catholic Observer reported the news in the Diocese of Springfield and beyond.

It was a great vehicle for keeping people informed. It also made them think.

I am optimistic that our new magazine, The Catholic Mirror, will do the same.

Watch for the first issue in September.

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