"Archbishop Noll was a man of boundless energy who made it his personal mission to educate American Catholics and non-Catholics alike about the Church and its teachings."

History of Our Founder

Archbishop Noll as a young manThe leaders of Our Sunday Visitor continue to draw inspiration from the simple four word mandate given to us by our founder, Archbishop John Francis Noll: To Serve The Church.

Priest, bishop, writer, editor, publisher, educator, speaker, entrepreneur: Noll (1875 - 1956) was a man of boundless energy who made it his personal mission to educate American Catholics and non-Catholics alike about the Church and its teachings at a time when Catholicism was much maligned in the largely Protestant culture of the United States. Few American Catholics have matched Noll's loyalty to and love for the Church, or his spirited efforts to communicate what the Church teaches and why.

Archbishop NollHe stood toe to toe against preachers at tent meetings and worked to keep the Ku Klux Klan from gaining influence in his town. He wrote and distributed pamphlets on issues of the day. He played a central role in the founding of the Catholic Press Association, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Legion of Decency. He assisted in launching NBC Radio's Catholic Hour with then-Father Fulton J. Sheen. And he took great care of his growing diocese, confirming 133,000 people and ordaining 500 priests.

The Archbishop's vision culminated with the creation and growth of Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., one of the largest English language publishing companies in the world and the largest manufacturer of church offering envelopes, as well as the Our Sunday Visitor Institute, which gives away $2 million per year to Catholic organizations around the country.

1875:

John Francis Noll is born on January 25 in Fort Wayne, IN, the sixth child of John and Anna Ford Noll.
1898: John Noll is ordained a priest at age 23.
1912: The first copy of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper rolls off the presses dated May 5.
1916: Noll introduces the concept of offering envelopes to Catholic parishes, and parishes from around the country start using them.
1921: The title of Monsignor is conferred on Father Noll.
1924: Fr. Noll starts printing a magazine for priests called the Acolyte, which still exists today as The Priest Magazine.
1925: Msgr. Noll is named the fifth bishop of Fort Wayne.
1933: Bishop Noll is named to a team of bishops responsible for starting the Legion of Decency.
1953: Bishop Noll is given honorary title of Archbishop.
1956: Archbishop Noll dies on July 31 at age 81.