Former Zenit editor to head communications for archdiocese
By Roxanne King
The Denver Archdiocese will welcome its new communications director next week.
On Sept. 17 Karna Jean Swanson, 38, starts her new role overseeing the communications tools for the archdiocese, which include its print, online, TV and radio presence.
Swanson’s position means she will serve as spokeswoman for the archdiocese and as general manager for its Denver Catholic Register and El Pueblo Católico newspapers.
“Karna Swanson is a highly competent, highly intelligent professional,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila said. “More importantly, she is a person of prayer—of deep faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. She has a heart for the new evangelization, and the skills to assist the Archdiocese of Denver in building the body of Christ.”
The communications director post has been vacant since June, when former director Jeanette DeMelo left to serve as editor-in-chief of the National Catholic Register. DeMelo had served as communications director for nearly seven years.
“I’m looking forward to my new role, and the opportunity to work with Archbishop Aquila, and to communicate his vision for the archdiocese going forward,” Swanson told the Denver Catholic Register from her home in Omaha. “I’m also excited to work with the other members of the archdiocesan team to communicate the message of Christ in the context of the new evangelization.”
Swanson, who grew up and resides in Omaha, Neb., graduated from the University of Dallas, Texas, with a degree in politics. Her print journalism experience includes serving on her high school and college newspapers.
For the last eight years she has worked in online journalism, first as editor of the English-language edition of Zenit, a Rome-based news service that focuses on the Vatican, and most recently as editor of the English edition of Aleteia, a Rome-based Catholic information and networking site that strives to connect “truth-seekers” with those who have answers to the most pressing problems of the day on faith, life and society.
“I see my role as communications director for the Archdiocese of Denver as a way to bring all my experiences in traditional and new media together in one position,” Swanson said.
Fluent in English and Spanish, Swanson has been married since 2006 to Tomás Lozoya, a computer programmer who hails from Mexico City.
What is she most looking forward to in her new job?
“For the past 10 years I have worked from home,” she said, “so more than anything I’m looking forward to working side-by-side with an amazing team.”
She added that a plus is the move to the “beautiful city” of Denver.
“I’m sure my husband and I will be very happy.”
The greatest challenge she faces?
“Being a newcomer to the archdiocese, I have a lot to learn!” she said. “My first priority is to just soak up all the information I can about the archdiocese.”