Solange De Santis, who has been a staff writer for the Anglican Journal since February 2000, on May 30 announced her resignation effective June 27.
Ms. De Santis leaves the Journal, the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada, to become editor of Episcopal Life Media, an integrated system of print, broadcast, and Web communication resources serving the Episcopal Church in the United States.
“I’m very excited by this wonderful opportunity at the Episcopal Church, but it will be difficult to leave the people of the Canadian church and an extraordinary group of colleagues at Church House,” said Ms. De Santis. “I have admired – more times than I can say – the Anglican Church of Canada’s commitment to a high quality, editorially-independent national publication where the mission is to serve the reader.”
Vianney Carriere, General Synod director of communications and information resources, described Ms. De Santis as “a ferocious defender of the newspaper’s independence and a dogged pursuer not only of truth, but truth in detail.”
In an e-mail announcement to staff at the national office, Mr. Carriere added: “A newspaper could not ask for a better ethic or in one who has that ethic, for better service. It has been said that the mission of the journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Solange has exemplified that principle in a truly remarkable way.”
Ms. De Santis noted that in her eight years with the newspaper, the church had to grapple with two major issues – the native residential schools crisis and the place of homosexuals in the life of the church. “Both these issues had wide-ranging implications both for the church and society, but they are complex,” she said. “I always felt I was writing for the average Anglican in the pews, so I always felt a responsibility to try to make very clear what was going on.”
She said that she also enjoyed “exploring the various expressions of the church,” from the Mission to Seafarers to the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine to diocesan life.” There are “certain manifestations of Anglicanism that are purely Canadian,” added Ms. De Santis, citing a writing assignment where she visited a seminary in the remote northern Ontario community of Kingfisher Lake.
Ms. De Santis, who has won awards for her work for the Journal, also pursued a special interest, “writing about the exploration of faith in the arts, especially theatre.”
Canon Robert Williams, the Episcopal Church’s director of communication, said Ms. De Santis was hired on the unanimous recommendation of a five-member review panel. He said that “clarity and creativity are among the many gifts” that Ms. De Santis brings to Episcopal Life Media. “Her expertise and contacts are far-reaching within the Anglican Communion, and her wire service management and diverse reporting experience make (her) uniquely suited to building synergy and continuity among (Episcopal Life Media) news outlets.”
Ms. De Santis begins her new position on July 1. “I’m looking forward to tell the church’s story – in the broad sense – and working with a very skilled and generous team,” she said.
An experienced journalist, Ms. De Santis has worked for the Wall Street Journal (as a reporter in the Toronto bureau), Reuters (as chief financial correspondent in Los Angeles, and later, as Canada news editor), and Associated Press (business editor and general news writer), among others.
In 1999, her book, Life on the Line: One Woman’s Tale of Work, Sweat and Survival,” was published by Doubleday. The book, an account of her experience working on the line during the final year and a half of a General Motors plant in Scarborough, Ont., was named a finalist in the 1999 National Business Book Award, Canada.
A native New Yorker, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Ms. De Santis has one daughter, Florence, 11.