Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) had its beginnings more than 80 years ago. In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was rampant in Oregon and the persecution of Catholics was one of its main goals. To combat the Klan, Archbishop Alexander Christie established the Catholic Truth Society of Oregon -- the original name of OCP. The Society's purpose was to provide Catholics and non-Catholics alike with information about the Church and the activities of its educational and charitable institutions.
Within two years, the Society was distributing 250,000 pamphlets to 25 states, the Philippine Islands and parts of Canada. It established a lecture program and began sponsoring a weekly radio broadcast in 1925. The Society incorporated early in 1928 and borrowed the funds to acquire the Catholic Sentinel, the diocesan newspaper for the state of Oregon since 1870. OCP continues to publish the Sentinel, one of the most successful and award-winning diocesan newspapers in the country.
In 1934, the Catholic Truth Society made another historic decision. At that time, the Mass was still in Latin; so the Society began publishing My Sunday Missal, a small, inexpensive pamphlet-missal with each Sunday's liturgy printed in English. By the early 1940s, My Sunday Missal was being distributed to parishes throughout the U.S.
The '60s and '70s were times of sweeping change and renewal in the Catholic Church. To the Society, it was a time of increasing concern about how to restore congregational participation in the Mass. The Society's solution was the complete revision of My Sunday Missal. In 1971, the format of the missal was modified to include a better, broader selection of music and its name was changed to Today's Missal. The missal gained popularity in 1977 with the initial publication of its companion edition, the annual Music Issue. Now, Today's Missal is the most widely used missal program in the U.S.
Since then, OCP has added Breaking Bread, a popular annual missal, Unidos en Cristo/United in Christ, a bilingual, Spanish-English missal, Misal del Día, an annual Spanish missal, and several other missals in a variety of formats.
In 1980, the Catholic Truth Society changed its name to Oregon Catholic Press. The next two decades saw continued growth and accomplishment, including the publication of OCP's own collections of liturgical music.
In 1982, OCP published its first hymnal, Cánticos de Gracias y Alabanza, in support of Spanish-speaking communities. OCP now publishes 16 different hymnals, including Journeysongs; One Faith, Una Voz; Flor y Canto; Rise Up and Sing; and Spirit & Song.
In 1994, OCP acquired the music and products of North American Liturgy Resources (NALR). Included in this acquisition was Glory & Praise, the most popular Catholic hymnal ever published. In 1997, OCP published an expanded second edition of Glory & Praise, which included, for the first time, many popular songs published by OCP. In 1998, OCP acquired Pastoral Press, originally the book publishing division of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).
OCP was one of the first publishers of worship resources to expand its products and services in order to serve the multicultural Church. In addition to resources for Hispanic and African-American parishes, OCP also provides books, music and worship materials for Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Filipino communities.
Another aspect of OCP's long tradition of supporting and serving parishes throughout the world is the OCP Parish Grants program. Started in 2001, this annual program provides direct financial assistance to enhance the worship experience of Roman Catholic parishes in the U.S. As of March 2007, OCP had awarded nearly $700,000 to more than 350 different parishes.
OCP administers more than 20,000 music copyrights, has published hundreds of collections of music and more than 1,500 octavos/sheet music. Currently, two-thirds of the parishes in the U.S. subscribe to one of OCP's missal programs. Besides its publishing efforts, OCP conducts more than 400 workshops each year in parishes and dioceses across the country. OCP also exhibits its products and services at many conventions, conferences and trade shows.
OCP continues to expand the reach of its ministry through the use of ever-evolving technologies. 2003 marked the launch of Liturgy.com™, a web-based liturgy preparation program. OCP's suite of online tools now includes PrintandPraise.com™, the first web-based tool for creating customized worship aids, and LicenSingOnline.org which provides non-commercial reprint permission for more than 100,000 songs from over 340 different publishers and copyright holders. It makes OCP’s music available to churches of every denomination around the world.
In November 2003, OCP launched spiritandsong.com™, a publishing division and website devoted to contemporary-style music and the artists who write and perform it.
In spring 2005, OCP established a partnership with International Christian Resources (ICR) and three mainline Christian publishers: Logos Productions, in Minnesota; MediaCom Education, in Australia; and Wood Lake Publishing, in Canada. One of the fruits of this international, ecumenical effort is LicenSingOnline.org.
Today, OCP is a company with more than 175 employees dedicated to serving the needs of the universal Church by publishing the finest worship materials. Many on the staff are practicing musicians and liturgists, bringing invaluable life experience to their jobs.
OCP has grown and evolved in many different ways since its modest beginnings in 1922. But one thing has not changed, and that is OCP's ministry of service. This ministry is the foundation and driving force behind OCP's success. Serving others was the passion of our founders in 1922. It remains our passion today.