Research & Scholarship image

Special Collections and Archives


Records of an association of Catholic communications professionals, which hosts the Gabriel Awards to recognize for outstanding broadcast journalism. The collection includes records of the Gabriel Awards and related publications.

Gift of the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals, Dayton, Ohio, 2002-. Processed by Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist), 2009-.

Historical Note

The Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals is the U.S. affiliate of Signis, the international Vatican-approved Catholic association for communication founded in 2002. The Catholic Academy is a national network of broadcasters, communication directors, public relations personnel, and media personnel.  This network provides professional support and access to related experience and resources and sponsors the annual Gabriel Awards for excellence in commercial and religious communications.

The Catholic Academy grew out of a merger of two international organizations founded in Europe during the 1920s: UNDA, for radio and television, and OCIS, for cinema. In the United States, the Catholic Academy succeeded UNDA-USA and the Catholic Broadcasters Association, and in so doing, it continued to sponsor the Gabriel Awards established by the Catholic Broadcasters in 1965. All three organizations presented the awards through a national presentation with the exception of 2009 when a local presentation in California was held instead.

Notable Events

1948-1972 The Catholic Broadcasters Association served Catholic radio and television professionals.
1965- At a dinner presentation at the Waldorf Historia Hotel (New York City), the Catholic Broadcasters Association established the Gabriel Awards for excellence in commercial and religious communications.  The Gabriel Awards succeeded the earlier Gold Bell and Silver Bell awards.
1972-2002 UNDA-USA served Catholic radio and television professionals and continued the sponsorship of the Gabriel Awards.
2002- The Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals has continued to serve Catholic communications professionals and the sponsorship of the Gabriel Awards.

Notable People

Arnold, A. (Alice) Dorothy (1920-) Catholic Forum of the Air, founding member; Catholic Broadcasters Association, national office coordinator, 1948-1958; Gabriel Award recipient, 1967.
Catoir, Rev. John T. St. Jude Media Ministry, founder and president.  The Christophers, board chair, 1978-1995; Association of Catholic TV and Radio Syndicators, 1983-1985; Catholic Press Association, president, 1988-1990.
Geaney, Rev. John J., C.S.P. (1937-) UNDA-USA, president, 1978-1984.
Schisla, Charles John (1937-) Catholic Broadcasters Association, board member, 1968-1972; UNDA-USA, charter member, 1972-1997, Gabriel Awards chair, 1978-1982.

Scope and Content

The following record series comprise the records of the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals:

Catholic Academy Series 1, Video Recordings: Recollections on the develop of Catholic communications by notable leaders.

Catholic Academy Series 2, Proceedings: Schedules, programs, and handouts from the Catholic Media Convocation, a joint annual meeting of the Catholic Academy and the Catholic Press Association.

Catholic Academy Series 3, Gabriel Award: Comprised of nominations forms, lists of entrants and winners, and banquet programs since 2002. The preceding Gabriel Award records are included in the series 3 records of the Catholic Broadcasters Association (1965-1971) and UNDA-USA (1973-2002).

Catholic Academy Series 4, Publications: Contains printouts of e-ffinity, a monthly online newsletter, 2007-2010.

Catholic Academy Series 5, Website: By employing the online service "Archive-it," the Marquette University Archives has captured and archived the Catholic Academy website twice a year since 2011. Included are any attached newsletters, PDF handouts, and video recordings.