Diocesan communicators recognized for excellence 

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Rick Musacchio’s photo from Ash Wednesday in 2022 won a first place award in the Catholic Press Awards. Tennessee Register file photo by Rick Musacchio

The communications efforts of the Diocese of Nashville were recognized for excellence, winning 17 awards in the Catholic Press Awards presented during the Catholic Media Conference in Baltimore on Friday, June 9.

“I’m so proud of the communications professionals serving the Diocese of Nashville,” said Gia Riney, chief marketing officer of the diocese and the leader of the Office of Media and Evangelization. “It is gratifying that our team’s skills and talent were once again recognized at a national level.

“These awards are a reflection of our team’s commitment to proclaim the good news of the gospel, inviting the people of Middle Tennessee to experience God’s love and mercy,” Riney said.

Among the awards were two first place prizes.

Tennessee Register Managing Editor Andy Telli and Tennessee Catholic Conference Executive Director Rick Musacchio, the former editor of the Register, won first place in the Best Editorial on a National or International Issue – in a Non-weekly paper category for their editorial “Fourth of July is a time of hope and joy.”

“A solid piece that reminds the reader of our rights, freedoms, responsibilities,” according to the judges. “Well-written and timely. It is an uplifting column that is refreshing to read. Nice work!”

Musacchio also won a first-place award in the Best Photograph – Holy Days/Liturgical Seasons category for his photo “In the shadow of the cross.”

“I love everything about this photo – the lighting, the shading, the colors, the subject, the occasion,” the judges said. “The ordinary parishioner, complete with purse flung over her shoulder, blessed by the priest is something that probably everyone can relate to. The photo tells a story. It’s perfect.”

The diocese claimed four second place awards including:

• Best Initiative or Campaign – package. “The Gift of the Child: An Advent Celebration of the Family”, Office of Media and Evangelization, Diocese of Nashville, Office of Faith Formation, Diocese of Nashville. 

Judges’ comments: “Family. Fathers. Mothers. Baby Jesus. That pretty much sums up the importance of the Christmas season and outstanding videos, all narrated by a young boy, bring them together in thoughtful and relaxed ways. Family: love them no matter what. Fathers: They tell bad jokes but make sure we are safe. And the supreme Father, the one in heaven: He will help, just ask. Mothers: They take care of everything and make it look easy. Jesus: He came into this world a baby not as Superman. Yet angels sang at this birth. These videos form the centerpiece of a well-planned effort to bring people closer during Christmas with the hope that the togetherness will last a lifetime.”

• Best Editorial on a Local Issue – Non-weekly paper. “Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion”, Katie Peterson and Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “Strong writing and well argued positions make this a winning editorial.”

• Best Photograph – General News Photo. “Assumption Rising”, Andy Telli, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “This is an interesting photo that draws in the viewer to know more about the story, which is exactly what a good news story photograph should do. Nice composition and coloring. The “action shot” makes me want to know more, too. Great work!”

• Best Magazine Photograph – Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, or Diaconate. “Catholic Awakenings Magazine”, Diocese of Nashville Office of Media and Evangelization, Liam Farris.

The diocese earned four third place awards, including:

• Best Reporting on Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life, or Diaconate – One Shot. “Discernment is about discovering the will of God”, Andy Telli, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “Provides insight into an important part of being called to a vocation.”

• Best Regular Column – Family Life. “Faithful Marriage”, John Bosio, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “Great Pieces. Timely. Shares information that matters in a way that is easy to understand and interesting to read.”

Bosio also took second place in the Pastoral Ministry – Parish Life category of the book awards for his self-published book “Raising a Catholic Family Today: Building a Domestic Church, a Handbook for Parents.”

Judges’ comments: “As families strive to be the first schools of Christian virtue, this book helps parents and children to find ways to grow in prayer, holiness, service, and love. As Pope John Paul II always said, the family is the path to the civilization of life and love.”

• Best Story and Photo Package – By an Individual. “St. Vincent de Paul Society brings hope, healing after floods”, Katie Peterson, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “A moving piece that excels at centering the story in the experiences of the victims who received aid.”

• Best Photograph – Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, or Diaconate, “Dominican sisters celebrate 50 years of religious life, friendship”, Katie Peterson, Tennessee Register.

Judges’ comments: “This photo captured such a joyous moment between the subject. You can practically hear the conversation. Such candid photos are difficult to execute and good ones like this pop out.”

The diocese received six honorable mention awards, including:

• Best Freestanding Presentation of Online Video – Depiction of Religious Life

“The Gift of the Child: A Christmas Choral Celebration”, Diocese of Nashville Office of Media and Evangelization.

• Best Diocesan Pastoral Message – Audio or Video

Honorable Mention, Diocese of Nashville, “Consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”, Bishop J. Mark Spalding, Bill Staley, and Jayce Boynton.

• Best Editorial on a Local Issue – Non-weekly paper. “Pray that all will defend and respect every human life”, Andy Telli and Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register.

• Best News Writing on a Regional Event – Non-weekly paper. “Tennessee welcomes Knights from around the world”, Andy Telli and Katie Peterson, Tennessee Register.

• Best Photograph – Sacramental, “Bishop Spalding urges new priests to bring Christ into the world”, Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register.  

• Photographer of the Year, Katie Peterson, Tennessee Register.

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