Q&A With Magnificat Editor-In-Chief Fr. Sebastian White, O.P.

Fr. Sebastian White, O.P. (left) with Br. Reginald Hoefer, O.P., in the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, New York City

In the summer of 2018, Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., became editor-in-chief of Magnificat (U.S. edition), a monthly liturgical prayer magazine with over 300,000 readers. Fr. Sebastian stepped in to succeed founding editor-in-chief of the American edition, Fr. Peter Cameron, O.P., after his 20-year tenure.

What are people looking for when they subscribe to Magnificat?

I think the big draw is that it helps people to pray and experience their faith and the communion of saints in a very personal and consistent way every day of the month. It also gives readers a real sense of union with the Church and with one another. Another draw of Magnificat is its beauty and the art included in it, which helps us to visualize and ponder the mysteries of the faith, and to keep them dwelling in our hearts. Good art helps us to lift our minds to God. The daily meditations are also really popular because they help people to pray over each day’s Gospel.

What do you personally bring to the position of editor-in-chief?

Fr. Peter is immensely talented and did such an incredible job as editor, so of course I cannot compare myself with him! I am just honored to be part of the Magnificat team and to offer the spiritual insights and important truths that I believe people need to hear. This is shaped by the experience I had as a preacher and from being chaplain at NYU and living at St. Joseph’s in Greenwich Village, which was my assignment for the first four years of my priesthood. I also returned to the Catholic Church just after college, after being raised in a Protestant church. This, too, shapes how I preach about the faith. That experience has given me a deep gratitude and joy at being Catholic.

What are your hopes for Magnificat going forward?

As a Dominican priest and as editor-in-chief, I want Magnificat to help people get to Heaven. I want Magnificat to help as many people as possible know and love Jesus, know and love Mary, and know and love the saints and the Catholic faith. I would love to see our number of subscribers continue to grow, because that just means more and more people are participating more deeply in the Mass, praying with the Gospel, praying with the saints, and continuing to grow in their faith.

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