Abbey Press To Close Two Divisions Next Year; 71 Full-Time Employees Affected

abbeySt. Meinrad (Local Sources) – After nearly 150 years of printing and marketing Christian books and gifts, Abbey Press will close two of its main divisions, Trade Marketing and Printing, in mid-2017.

Remaining open will be the Publications division, which produces the popular CareNotes line of booklets, Elf-help and other books, and Deacon Digest magazine.

The closings, which will affect 71 full-time and part-time co-workers, will be completed by June 30, 2017. Those affected will receive generous severance packages, and employment and counseling services to assist with the transition.

Archabbot Kurt Stasiak, OSB, made the announcement on December 1, explaining that the decision was a difficult one. “The Press has had a long, rich history of service and outreach to people of faith, and our co-workers are very proud of that. It’s heart-breaking to see so many lose their jobs, when they have tirelessly devoted their lives to this place and its mission,” he said.

In recent years, Abbey Press has struggled to overcome the challenges of a competitive marketplace. Those challenges have included rising costs, changing technology, overseas suppliers, and declining print and religious gift store markets.

The introduction of new marketing, products and suppliers, along with other cost-saving efforts, improved the bottom line. However, even with added cuts and downsizing, sustainable profitability with all of its sales divisions could not be reached.

A work of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Abbey Press has its beginnings in 1867 when the monks purchased a secondhand printing press for the use of the monastic community.

The Press grew to become a major source of support for the Archabbey, and continued to grow into an international marketer and manufacturer of inspirational and religious cards, gifts, books and other publications. In its heyday, Abbey Press employed more than 300 co-workers.

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