Katie Scott's exploration of Islamophobia won several national award categories.
Katie Scott's exploration of Islamophobia won several national award categories.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For the third year in a row, the Catholic Sentinel has been named one of the best Catholic newspapers in the nation.

The general excellence award for non-weekly papers with smaller circulation was one of 30 honors received by the Sentinel and El Centinela June 21 during the Catholic Media Conference here. The recognition covered material published in 2018.

Ed Langlois, managing editor of the papers, credited the entire staff.

Awards came in many categories, including writing, investigative reporting, social justice coverage and design.

Before the current streak, the only time the Sentinel garnered the top prize was in 1959.

Staff writer Katie Scott’s article on islamophobia and the role of Catholics earned multiple awards. It took first place among papers of all sizes for news writing on a national topic. It also topped the charts for coverage of interfaith issues, again among papers large and small. The same story won honorable mention for news analysis.

Scott’s deep dive into the phenomenon of elders who are homeless took first place for reporting on senior citizens, a category that includes publications of any size.

First place went to the Sentinel for its design of pages showing the paintings behind the altar at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The paper took second place in the same category for a layout called “Evangelization 101.”

The Sentinel’s coverage of the Corpus Christi procession in downtown Portland received first place for coverage of a local event, with Scott doing the writing.

The Sentinel editorial pages were named the best in the nation among Catholic newspapers of any size. Langlois’ editorial on the environmental movement, “Keep your eye on the ball,” took third place.

Langlois took home two prizes for reporting on vocations. First place went to his piece on how women religious who live in ones and twos use the internet to stay connected with their broader religious communities. His profile of Sister Mary Margaret Delaski of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist earned honorable mention.

Among papers of all sizes, the Sentinel’s coverage of the sexual abuse crisis in the church took second place for reporting on the urgent topic. That package included a column by Archbishop Alexander Sample.

The team won several awards for reporting on social justice movements, a category that includes papers of all circulations.

News editor Kristen Hannum took second place for reporting on rights and responsibilities for her look at the men of Blanchet farm, who tend pigs and build tiny houses as they recover from addiction.

Langlois’ piece on Unete, a Medford organization that advocates for migrants, earned second place for reporting on the dignity and rights of workers. Karen Mertens assisted with the reporting.

Scott’s story on an addiction recovery program with a Catholic identity earned third for reporting on the call to family, community and participation. Scott also won a social justice honorable mention for a story on how St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland supported and accompanied an asylum seeker.

In the category of best news analysis among papers of any size, second place went to Langlois’ explanation of the basics of evangelization. Scott took third place in the category for a deep look at teen suicide. Third place went to Scott’s profile of midwife Carissa St. Onge Carneiro.

Scott took another third place award in the Knights of Columbus contest awarding stories about service. The Knights honored her piece on volunteers in Eugene helping homeless kids learn to read.

Columnist Heather Renshaw received honorable mention for family columns, a category in which papers of all sizes in the U.S. and Canada compete.

Scott’s moving look at how hospitals are helping parents spend time with infants who have died took an honorable mention for feature writing. Scott also earned an honorable mention for in-depth reporting with the piece on homeless seniors.

El Centinela, the Spanish language newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, earned seven awards.

Its 2018 coverage of the clergy sexual abuse crisis was judged best among all Catholic newspapers in Spanish. Its coverage of Easter Vigils, with images from Francisco Lara and Kim Nguyen, took first place among photo stories.

Lara, who in March left his post as a reporter, earned first place for reporting on the dignity of the human person with a story on a walk for refugees and immigrants.

Rocío Rios, who stepped down as editor in March, took first place for an analysis of an art exhibit on Dreamers, youths in the U.S. under the DACA program.

Rios won second place for a Christmastime editorial on families who were separated at the U.S. border. Second place went to Rios for her profile of Liliana Luna, an advocate for students here under the DACA program.

Rios also took second place for reporting on rights and responsibilities with a story about a Portland State University discussion on immigration.