ACP Inducts Connors, Battes, Kunde-Anderson into Hall of Fame, Outstanding Service Award to Wright

Posted By: Therese Brown ACP Member News, Awards,

BALTIMORE, MD — “The Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) is very proud to announce its three latest Hall of Fame inductees, Dan Connors from Twenty-Third Publications, Anne Battes from RCL Benziger, and Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson from GIA Publications, Inc., and the 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Service Award, Vinita Wright from Loyola Press,” noted Mike Raffio, ACP president.

Because of the pandemic, these inductees and recipients will be honored at the 2022 ACP Membership Meeting, June 2-3, in Chicago, IL.

Connors, Battes, and Kunde-Anderson join other members of the ACP Hall of Fame who, like them, have dedicated their careers to the Catholic community and achieved significant accomplishments that advanced the ministry of the Church in their respective fields, catechesis and music. In their service to the Church, Wright has demonstrated a spirit of accompaniment that she has shared ceaselessly with those who have worked with and for her.

Anne Battes, recently retired publisher of RCL Benziger, has more than 36 years of experience working in Catholic education, having served as teacher, principal, religion and curriculum consultant in the Diocese of Dallas, and deputy superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She has also worked in parish settings, where she taught parish religious education programs from early childhood through high school, developed, implemented, and coordinated parish early childhood programs, and served as a youth ministry catechist at the high school level. As former president of the Catholic Education Collaborative, she worked with Catholic parishes and schools in partnership with Catholic universities and the business community for shared services.

Dan Connors served for more than 40 years in the Catholic publishing field, recently retiring from Twenty-Third Publications. He started in publishing as an editorial assistant at Emmanuelle magazine (a publication of the Priests’ Eucharistic League) and was promoted to managing editor before leaving in 1981 to join the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. He served as the managing editor of Pastoral Music magazine, editor of Pastoral Music Notebook, and was the founding editor of Pastoral Press, all of which now belong to OCP. In 1988, Connors joined the editorial department of Twenty-Third Publications as a book editor and also the managing editor for Today’s Catholic Parish. He went on to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Living with Christ: Your Daily Companion for Praying and Living the Eucharist, Catholic Digest, God’s Word Today, Exploring the Sunday Readings and The World of the Bible. Connors was promoted to Editorial Director of Twenty-Third Publications and served on the Publications Board of Novalis Publishing.

Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson, newly named Managing Editor Emerita of GIA's World Library Publications (WLP) division, is now committed to liturgical and music ministries at Ascension Church in Oak Park, Illinois. She previously worked as a parish music director at two parishes, as well as for the Archdiocese of Miami Ministry of Worship and Spiritual Life (Director of Music), the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Divine Worship (Director of Music), and World Library Publications, the music and liturgy division of the J.S. Paluch Company, Inc. (Director of Publications). Anderson served on the board of directors for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, the Association of Catholic Publishers, and the Church Music Publishers Association. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music education, a Master of Music degree in conducting, and has pursued theology and liturgical studies at Loyola University and Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Vinita Wright retired from Loyola Press in August 2021 after 31 years as a highly regarded religious publishing professional. Early in her career, she developed her editorial acumen by working at Tyndale House, and later Shaw Books, where she worked on several important nonfiction titles by Madeline L’Engle. Wright joined Loyola Press in 1999 and rose in the ranks, eventually becoming managing editor and the go-to editor for books on spirituality. She edited and sculpted some of the most important spirituality books that have been published in the last two decades including such bestsellers as My Life with the Saints by James Martin, God’s Voice Within by Mark Thibodeaux, The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien, Busy Lives, and Restless Souls by Becky Eldredge, Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney, and numerous books by William Barry, SJ. She is also an acclaimed writer of works of fiction and nonfiction, an author of 15 books, including Dwelling Places: A Novel, Days of Deepening Friendship, and her most recent book, Small Simple Ways.

The Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) is a membership organization of Catholic publishers, those who provide services to Catholic publishers, and individuals who work with Catholic publishers. The ACP provides opportunities for members to further the Catholic publishing industry, promote Catholic publishing and reading, and engage those they interact with including retailers, pastoral leaders, individual customers, and staff.