Catholic magazine names its first female editor
A female journalist is to take over the helm of the Catholic magazine 'The Far East' for the first time in its history.
Religious affairs journalist Sarah MacDonald (48) has been appointed as the first female lay editor of the magazine founded in 1918 by the former Maynooth Mission to China, now known as the Society of St Columban.
The magazine focuses on the mission's work in Asia, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. It is published seven times a year and has a combined Irish and UK readership of 75,000.
Ms MacDonald is a religious affairs contributor to the Irish Independent as well as the international Catholic weekly 'The Tablet' and other publications.
A native of Rathfarnham in south Dublin, Ms McDonald said making history as the magazine's first female editor was a huge honour, but also a little daunting.
"It's a privilege and an honour, but it's also a bit intimidating," she said.
"I'm following in big footsteps," she said of the magazine's outgoing editor, Fr Cyril Lovett, who edited the magazine from 2003 to 2016. He previously served in missions to the Philippines and the slums of Brazil.
"In the context of 'The Far East', it's revolutionary," she added.
However, she believes her appointment is a sign that the Catholic Church is becoming more proactive in increasing the profile of women in the church. She also believes her tech and online background will help the magazine to reach out to a younger audience.