The editorial column which appeared with this, the first issue of the Spirit & Life publication in May 1965, read as follows:
Tabernacle and Purgatory makes its bow under the new name of Spirit & Life. Caught up in the surge of renewal which the Spirit of God is breathing upon our era, our magazine too reaches out toward new horizons and new perspectives. Not that old ideas and old traditions will be relinquished just for the sake of being new. Rather, we aim to present them in new perspective, in the light of the New Pentecost now shedding its radiance on so many facets of our daily living...
Sr. Mary DeSales Markert, OSB, editor
Welcome to our online edition of Spirit & Life. Older readers may remember the title it bore for 60 years: Tabernacle and Purgatory, or T & P as it was called by the sisters. The title reflected a former era’s popular devotion to the souls in Purgatory.
We believe that ours is the second oldest continuously published Catholic magazine in our country, with “Emmanuel,” published by the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, being 10 years older. The “Messenger of the Sacred Heart,” known for its Apostleship of Prayer, originated in Canada in 1891.
Two sisters are given special recognition in the special May/June 2004 centenary issue which you can access from the archives. Sr. M. Juliana Bresson was born the same year as our magazine, and so celebrated her 100th birthday at the same time as the magazine. She spent much of her life working in the printery.
Pictured in the middle of the centenary cover is our dearly loved Sr. M. DeSales Markert, who was editor from 1935 to 1969 and went joyfully to God in 1993 at the age of 92. With faith, wit and wisdom she guided the magazine’s transition through the aftermath of Vatican II, and when it was time to step down, she did so graciously, writing: “Our life is but the unfolding in time of the eternal purpose of God’s love for us. The value of all that we do lies in the free and faithful fulfillment of his divine designs. In his goodness he has permitted me to devote many years to the literary apostolate in our editorial department—a work which I have loved and enjoyed. It has woven itself intimately into the warp and woof of my religious life, and has become a kind of vocation within a vocation. Now at his call, I gladly relinquish this work to take up a new assignment, which I know will also be a source of joy…”
“The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” said Jesus (John 6:63). We hope that Spirit & Life will add spirit to your life.
Sr. Lenora Black, OSB, Editor