Marites (Tess) Sison, editor of the Anglican Journal, has announced her resignation effective July 13.
Sison was appointed editor in 2014, moving from her position as the Journal’s senior staff writer. She has worked for the paper for more than 14 years.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to work for the Anglican Journal, which along with the diocesan newspapers, goes directly into the homes of 121,000 Anglicans across the country,” she said.
The church’s national, editorially independent newspaper won 83 awards during Sison’s three-and-a-half-year tenure, including numerous first prizes for general excellence from inter-denominational religious press associations in Canada and the U.S.
Under her direction, the Journal has reported on issues of church governance, while also digging into social issues, broader questions about faith and everyday life. “I would like the Journal to be out there on the ground and on the road, gathering stories that offer encouragement and hope, provoke deep thought and inspire positive change and capture the challenges as well as the courage, dynamism and goodness of those who have dedicated their lives to God’s plan,” she said in 2014.
Upon her appointment, she also committed to uphold the paper’s editorial independence.
In her time as staff writer and editor, Sison was also pivotal in building and increasing the Journal’s presence online, using social media, multimedia projects and special reports.
“I owe a lot to my talented and hardworking colleagues at the Journal and also to our freelance contributors,” she said. “I’m also extremely thankful to our faithful readers, whose contributions not only help finance the operations of the Journal, but provide staff with tremendous moral support to continue their work.”
She added: “At a time when journalism is in a state of flux around the world, including Canada, newspapers like the Journal count on readers and donors for support. In turn, they count on us to keep them truly informed about issues that affect them and the world.”
Since joining the paper in 2003 as a staff writer, Sison has been known for her insightful reporting on church polity, human rights, humanitarian crises and social justice. She has been applauded for her coverage of Indigenous issues, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and residential schools, which National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald called “sensitive, probing and fair,” at the time of her appointment as editor.
Sison also received numerous awards for writing and photography during her time reporting for the Journal.
Sison is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, where she studied mass communications. She has more than three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio and worked as a stringer for The New York Times. From 1987 through 2003, she was a fellow with the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. She has authored and co-authored several books on journalism.
“Since Tess joined the General Synod, she has been a valuable and well respected member of our team,” communications director for the Anglican Church of Canada Meghan Kilty wrote in an email to national office staff. “We will miss her professionalism, empathy and dedication.”