About Liguori Publications
Liguori Publications is a nonprofit Catholic publishing company that came into existence through a saint, some students, and a once-famous St. Louis resort.
Let’s start with the saint. St. Alphonsus Liguori was a bishop and moral theologian living and preaching in Naples in the eighteenth century. He was fervent about using common words in his preaching so that everyone—from the least educated to the most—could understand. His letters and other writings are full of dismay about preachers more interested in entertaining themselves and the elites than in reaching the people. It’s important to note here that his way of preaching was to start with people where they are, honoring their experiences and understanding. His preaching wasn’t, well, preachy.
When his health began to fail, he transferred his zeal to writing. He was quite a prolific writer, publishing nine editions of his masterwork, Moral Theology, along with more than 100 other books and reams of letters. In 1732 he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), charging his men with spreading out out and preaching to the masses. To this day, the formal habit of the Redemptorists—their uniform—is structured so the wearer can easily ride a horse.
The Redemptorist congregation grew and spread across the world, which brings us to the students.
In 1911, a handful of Redemptorist seminarians in Wisconsin began publishing a magazine for Redemptorists and their families called The Autocrat. It became a monthly magazine two years later and was renamed Liguorian, which was easy to pronounce for Italians, those seminarians, and their families, but which has sometimes been a tongue twister for people unfamiliar with the saint.
Liguorian continued to be published in Wisconsin for the next three decades. In 1932, Fr. Donald Miller served as seminary rector as well as Liguorian editor. He encouraged his students to write for the magazine, which came to enjoy national recognition and prominence.
In 1947 the magazine left Wisconsin. Fr. Miller brought ten Redemptorists and his brother from Wisconsin to a 135-acre pastoral campus 25 miles south of St. Louis. That brings us to the resort. The land was once the home of The Cedars, a popular resort in the early 20th century. Before the place became a resort, it was owned by Benjamin O’Fallon, the nephew of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame.
There at the resort, Fr. Miller founded the Liguori Mission House and Liguori Publications, the new publisher of Liguorian. Because the publishing house required a post office, Fr. Miller also founded a town: Liguori, Missouri. At first, Fr. Miller used the existing buildings on the property. A new Mission House was built in 1958 and in 1964 a new home for Liguori Publications.
Liguorian became popular among other Catholics. For a time, it was the most widely circulated Catholic magazine in North America thanks in large part to “roadmen,” Redemptorist preachers who traveled the country preaching and offering subscriptions. As the operation grew, Liguori Publications began producing books, pamphlets, and other material for Catholics in addition to Liguorian. All of the work was guided by St. Alphonsus’ legacy, speaking to people in words everyone can understand.
Today Liguori Publications is a nonprofit company owned by the Redemptorists of the Denver Province, employing laypeople and Redemptorist priests and brothers. Besides Liguorian, which celebrated its centennial in 2013, we publish some of the most widely used parish materials in the country as well as books aimed at people exploring faith. We have thousands of titles, hundreds of which are available as ebooks. Many of our publications are award winners.
Like the saint and like the Redemptorists, we like to help people learn about the Church, and we like to help parishes solve problems.