Veritas Agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
This agency comes under the Episcopal Commission for Planning Communications and Resources
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Mr Chris Queenan, President
Bishop Brendan Leahy
Bishop John Fleming
Veritas has its origins in the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, which was founded in 1899 to publish and make available a range of religious materials that would appeal to the Irish people at the time. Prior to that, all such materials came from England and frequently did not answer the particular needs in this country. The Society operated on the basis of membership, with members receiving copies of all pamphlets that were published.
In 1928, Veritas Company was formed to take over the commercial aspect of the Catholic Truth Society. The shop at 7/8 Lower Abbey Street sold religious artefacts and the pamphlets published by the Catholic Truth Society. The company expanded by distributing pamphlets published in England and the United States. In the 1930s and 1940s Veritas supplied church vestments. In the early days, Veritas also engaged in the travel business, organising trips to Lourdes, Fatima and Knock. In 1933, Veritas organised one of the biggest ever pilgrimages from Ireland to Lourdes. Over 25,000 pilgrims travelled with Cardinal McRory as the leader.
Moving with the times
With the 1960s many changes came about in Irish society and it became apparent that the means of communication used by the Catholic Truth Society was not adequate to reach a more sophisticated, media-conscious population. In 1967, the Communications Centre was founded in Booterstown by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, under the directorship of Fr Joe Dunn. In 1969 it merged with the Catholic Truth Society to become the Catholic Communications Institute of Ireland. This name was recently changed to Veritas Communications. Its aim is to explore and use the language, culture and modes of communication of the time to speak to the people about God and about God’s message.
Veritas Publications came into existence in 1969. The first title published by the company was Patrick In His Own Words by Bishop Joseph Duffy. Intercom, a pastoral and liturgical magazine, was first published in 1970. Between 1979 and 1988, retail outlets were opened in Cork, Ennis, Sligo, Letterkenny and Stillorgan. In 1988 Veritas expanded into the UK by establishing Veritas Book and Video Distribution at Leamington Spa near Birmingham. The first Veritas branch in Northern Ireland was opened in Derry in November 2001. In August 2004 a new branch was opened in the Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin. In February 2005 another shop and a Christian Art Gallery were opened in Monaghan town.
Our function is to serve the needs of the Irish Church, so we seek to be alert to the questions and issues that are emerging and try to make resources available that address these, either through our own publications, or by sourcing them from other publishers for whom we are distributors.
Veritas is wholly owned by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and is governed by an appointed Executive Board. Bishop Brendan Leahy is President of Veritas.
Lindisfarne Books is an imprint of Veritas Publications. Veritas books and catechetical materials have always been used in Britain, as well as in Ireland. However, in 1997 we decided to establish our new British imprint with a particular focus on the British market, taking into account the different context and needs of the Church in Britain and of the British education system.
The name Lindisfarne was chosen with an awareness of the many links which have always existed between the Church in Ireland and the Church in England, it also captures vividly the journey of Colmcille from his native Donegal, ending in Holy Island or Lindisfarne off the north-east coast of England.
At present the Lindisfarne list includes titles in the areas of Catholic education, spirituality and theology, as well as some children’s titles.