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Friar’s E-Spirations: Franciscan Media Launches Digital Magazine

New Beginnings

A few months ago, the company I work for, Franciscan Media, ventured into new territory with the publication of a new digital magazine, Liberty + Vine. I sat down with the editor, Susan Hines-Brigger, to talk about this exciting project.

Q. What is Liberty + Vine?
Liberty + Vine is a monthly digital magazine that seeks to meet people wherever they are on their spiritual paths. Our tagline is “at the intersection of faith and life,” and that’s where many of us are. Liberty + Vine strives to bridge the gap between our faith lives and our daily lives.

Q. Could you describe the tone of Liberty + Vine for Friar Jack readers?
We try to strike a popular, conversational tone. Faith doesn’t always have to be a heavy subject. We offer a balance of meaty, spiritual content and fun, contemporary pieces. We hope Liberty + Vine will foster discussion and reflection.

Q. What can readers expect each month?
A. Readers can expect a wide range of content, from feature articles to shorter reflection pieces, commentary on movies, books, music, and more. It also includes news and information to help answer questions about faith, as well as a bit of inspiration. We hope it offers something for everyone.

For instance, in the September issue, we have an article about Rob Sheffield, a contributor to Rolling Stone, and participant on various VH1 panels, such as “100 Greatest One-hit Wonders.” Along with the article, the staff provided a list of their own favorite songs, which can be heard via a playlist on Spotify.

Q. What about other future issues?
Animals and the legacy of Francis of Assisi are featured heavily in October’s Liberty + Vine. The November issue will have a Thanksgiving flavor. What makes this magazine so great is that it provides life-affirming, inspirational content. And it’s portable! Liberty + Vine goes where you go, on whatever device you choose.

Q. What are your hopes for this project?
A. I hope Liberty + Vine will help people find ways to bring faith into their lives. Single parents who have lost touch with their spiritual roots, Mass-going families, young and hungry faith seekers: we are all under one tent. Liberty + Vine hopes to reflect and celebrate that.

Q. How can people subscribe to Liberty + Vine?
Go to for more information. There you can subscribe or download the August issue—which is FREE. This will give readers a taste of what we’re doing. I think people will like what they see!

Dear Friar Jim: Thank you for your article on the Ten Commandments. We don’t hear about them except when courts are ordered to remove them from somewhere, yet we need them now more than ever. It seems like they are completely ignored—not even considered at all. As you said in your article, they are given for our safety, and they contribute to peace and harmony in our lives. Marion

Dear Friar Jim:
What a different and wonderful world it would be if people lived by the Ten Commandments rather than suggesting they be trashed! Heads up, Ted! Patricia

A: Dear Marion and Patricia: I think we see with open eyes that, when society discards the Ten Commandments of God, they are discarding a truth of God. They substitute lies such as, “I get whatever I can get in whatever way I can get it.” It’s a value system turned upside down, and it is devoid of any value that addresses Jesus’ two basic laws: “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” Friar Jim