From the Editor: April 2024

In the beginning of my career, I attended a coworker’s Easter party. Though agnostic, John (let’s call him that) was from Ireland—where Christianity is more ingrained in the culture than it is here—and Easter was important enough to him that he did not want to spend it alone. 

So, after attending Mass and hosting my own family for Easter, I grabbed a bottle of wine and headed over to John’s house. A different coworker opened the door, and when I cheerfully greeted him with “Happy Easter!” he replied, annoyed, “Ah yes. Happy Spring.”

This really rubbed me the wrong way at the time. Like John, this coworker evidently was also not a Christian—to the point where he did not even want to respond politely to an Easter greeting. “Why go to an Easter party, if you’re going to be like that?” I remember thinking.

But looking back, I find it remarkable that he was even there. He clearly felt uncomfortable about the holiday, yet he endured John’s reverent tales of attending Easter Mass with his parents in Dublin as a boy, he enjoyed John’s homemade hot cross buns and partook in all the general merriment. John would laugh so hard to hear me say this, but in a way, he was evangelizing—or at least cracking open the door to Christianity. I feel certain that the person in question left the Easter party feeling less threatened by religion.

So my challenge to you this Easter season is to crack open the door for someone who needs it. Invite them over for your family’s Easter meal, bring them to an event or Mass at your parish—introduce them to Catholic culture and prove to them, through your actions, that all are welcome.

This issue of The Catholic Echo, which takes us almost all the way through the season of Easter, is one of celebration and joy. We have a feature story on the people around the diocese who are living Pope Francis’ call to care for the environment on page 22. On page 15, we tell the story of the Mathis family, who worked with Habitat for Humanity and parishes from the Stark County Deanery to build themselves a home in Canton last year. Then, on page 33, junior high students from St. Christine School talked with The Catholic Echo about how they enjoy attending Mass—and if that isn’t good news, I don’t know what is!

Happy Easter! Happy Spring! And please enjoy this issue. 

Until next month,

Katie Wagner 


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Katie Wagner

Katie Wagner is the Editor In Chief of The Catholic Echo magazine and Associate Communications Director for the Diocese of Youngstown. Originally from Indiana, PA, Katie graduated from Mercyhurst University, where she studied Strategic Communication and Voice Performance. She has been working in the communications, marketing and journalism fields ever since, including six years at Mt. Lebanon Municipality, where she served as the Senior Online Editor for Mt. Lebanon Magazine and earned two Golden Quill Awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. Katie cantors at her parish in her spare time, and she also enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
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