A New Day in Catechesis - Our Sunday Visitor Acquires Harcourt Religion Publishers from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Our Sunday Visitor announced today its acquisition of Harcourt Religion Publishers (a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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Our Sunday Visitor's people, products, and mission complement our vision and commitment to provide solid, age-appropriate catechesis. Together, we'll be able to respond to parish and school needs like never before -- with exceptional speed, creativity, and new formats.

Huntington, Indiana (Vocus) June 5, 2009

Our Sunday Visitor announced today its acquisition of Harcourt Religion Publishers (a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. This brings together two of the nation's leading Catholic publishing groups. Terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

The strategic combination of the two companies' product lines, services, and innovations represents an unprecedented, one-source solution for lifelong faith development within Catholic parishes and schools. Joined together, they provide a dynamic approach to systematic and intentional catechesis for all members of the faith community.

Through the transaction, Our Sunday Visitor solidifies its ability to help millions of Catholics of every age bring their faith to life, while Harcourt Religion Publishers substantially extends the reach of its curriculum base.

"We are thrilled to welcome Harcourt Religion Publishers into the Our Sunday Visitor family," said Greg Erlandson, President and Publisher, Our Sunday Visitor. "They have long stood out for their curricula and forward-looking support tools. The joining of our product lines not only reinforces both missions, but it leverages similar corporate cultures that value innovation, hybrid solutions, and sharing what the Church teaches and why to Catholics of all ages."

President of Harcourt Religion Publishers, Diane Lampitt, added, "Our Sunday Visitor's people, products, and mission complement our vision and commitment to provide solid, age-appropriate catechesis. Together, we'll be able to respond to parish and school needs like never before -- with exceptional speed, creativity, and new formats."

Our Sunday Visitor will retain Harcourt Religion Publishers' existing management team, support staff, field representatives and product line. Harcourt Religion Publishers' customers will continue to work through their established local sales representatives and gain immediate access to a wider array of products and programs. Over the next several months, customers can expect to see expanded service support, expedited fulfillment services, and new hybrid products and services. Harcourt is a registered trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, and is used by Our Sunday Visitor under license.

The announcement has won early praise from leaders in the catechetical field.

"This announcement brings together two great traditions in catechesis and lifelong faith formation," said Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, former chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. "Our Sunday Visitor has an exceptional history of bringing the Catholic faith to a wide-ranging audience. At a time when education in the faith and strong Catholic identity are of critical importance in our Church, I am confident that Our Sunday Visitor's acquisition of Harcourt Religion Publishers will contribute to a new day in catechesis."

"The joining of two Catholic Publishing entities with such deep commitment to the Catechetical Ministry over many years, can only be cause for celebration," said Anne Comeaux, Catechetical Director of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Harcourt Religion Publishers is best known for its award-winning ''Call to Faith K-8 Series,'' innovative ''Call to Faith eConnect'' web tool, liturgical-catechetical sacrament preparation programs, and the nation's number-one-ranked Catholic high school religion programs.

Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. was founded in 1912 by priest John F. Noll (later Archbishop of the Ft. Wayne/South Bend, IN, Diocese), as the publishing company for a Catholic newsweekly serving the needs of the Church. Nearly 100 years later, the not-for-profit organization stands as the nation's largest Catholic publisher, holding many prestigious editorial awards and distinctions across their extensive product line of early childhood curricula, sacramental preparation tools, adult education programs, vacation bible school, books, periodicals, pamphlets, websites, offering envelopes, and many other programs for parishes and individuals -- offered in multiple formats and frequencies.

Through its publishing operation, offering envelope division, and charitable institute that gives monies generated by Our Sunday Visitor's activities back into the Catholic community, Our Sunday Visitor continues to answer the needs of Catholics everywhere with products and services that help bring their Catholic faith to life.

For more information, http://www.newdayincatechesis.com.

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