The Story of a Company Family Owned and Family Oriented
1832—Two Brothers Begin Publishing Religious Reading Materials for the Immigrant Catholic Community
The history of William H. Sadlier, Inc. began in 1832 when two brothers, Denis and James Sadlier, emigrated from Dublin, Ireland to New York and began to publish materials to meet the spiritual and educational needs of the small but growing Catholic community. Under the name D&J Sadlier, they published an American edition of Butler's Lives of the Saints, an American Catholic Bible, and other devotional works, and eventually a weekly Catholic newspaper, The Tablet.
Mary Anne Sadlier
William H. Sadlier
F. Sadlier Dinger
Writing as Mrs. J. Sadlier, Mary Anne Sadlier (the wife of James) translated many religious books from their original French and wrote over sixty inspirational novels. She later received the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame and a special blessing from Pope Leo XIII for her services to the Church and her impact on Catholic publishing.
A nephew, William H. Sadlier, joined his uncles, later branching out to start his own publishing firm which still carries his name. William brought out histories, geographies, and readers for Catholic schools. Before he died at age 31, William begged his wife Annie to keep the family business. With the help of dedicated employees, the 26-year-old widow with three small children raised a family while running a publishing company in an exclusively man's world. The New York State Legislature had to pass a special bill authorizing Annie Sadlier to do business in her late husband's name.
In 1896 Annie's son, Frank, began to lead the firm decisively into the twentieth century with new programs in history and geography, and groundbreaking publications in catechesis. At Frank Sadlier's side was his nephew, F. Sadlier Dinger, who later took over the firm from Frank's widow, Neva Sadlier. Neva became Chairperson of the Board in 1939.
In the 1930's F. Sadlier Dinger proposed that traditional questions and answers of the Baltimore Catechism be accompanied by exercises, explanatory material, and tests. Written by Dr. Ellamay Horan, a leading figure in religious education, Sadlier's Baltimore Catechism with Study Lessons was an immediate success.
The 1950's-Sadlier, A Pioneer in Catechetics
Anticipating many of the emphases of Vatican Council II, in the late 1950's Sadlier pioneered the kerygmatic approach to catechetics, drawing upon the fourfold revelation of Christ through scripture, liturgy, doctrine, and Christian witness. This resulting series, called On Our Way, was developed by Sister Maria de la Cruz with the advice of Reverend Johannes Hofinger, S.J. and achieved national and international acclaim.
The 1970's-Sadlier Expands, Adding Oxford Book Company
Under F. Sadlier Dinger the firm enjoyed phenomenal growth in the publication of both catechetical and academic programs. The purchase of the Oxford Book Company in 1972 opened dramatically new and expanded opportunities in the academic subjects Sadlier was already producing-social studies, language arts, and mathematics.
In the early 1980's Dr. Thomas H. Groome worked with Sister Maria de la Cruz and Father Francis Buckley to write Sadlier's God With Us religion series. Following that, Dr. Groome was the primary author of Sadlier's Coming to Faith. This series represented another groundbreaking approach to catechesis, and remains one of the most popular programs in the country.
Meeting the Needs with Bilingual Programs and Online Resources
Throughout its history, Sadlier has worked to meet evolving cultural and contemporary needs. For example, today most of Sadlier's major catechetical programs have bilingual English-Spanish editions, and there is an English-Vietnamese language edition of The Spirit Sets Us Free, Sadlier's versatile program for Confirmation preparation.
In 1998, Sadlier launched CyberFaith.com to provide "Catholic resources for people of faith" for Internet users. Sadlier now has six web sites, including CyberFaith en español, that offer a variety of free and timely resources.
Breaking New Ground in the 21st Century
Today Sadlier draws upon its more than 170-year history to develop outstanding programs. In 2003 Sadlier introduced a new catechetical series-Sadlier We Believe. For We Believe, Sadlier sought and received input from catechists, teachers, parents, diocesan directors, bishops, professors, and other leading experts throughout the nation.
This was to ensure that the series presented authentic Catholic doctrine solidly, effectively, and engagingly-for students, catechists, and families. These experts represented many areas of expertise including catechesis, liturgy, scripture, Catholic social teaching, learning styles, and multiculturalism.
Under the Sadlier-Oxford imprint, Sadlier publishes the Sadlier Phonics and Reading program, the Vocabulary Workshop series, Progress in Mathematics, and other programs that are widely used in both parochial and public schools.
Frank and William Sadlier Dinger
Again Led by Two Brothers, Service and Excellence Continues
Just as the Sadlier Company was founded in 1832 by two brothers, Denis and James Sadlier, today Sadlier is owned and led by two brothers from the same remarkable family: Frank Sadlier Dinger, who serves as Chairman of the Board, and William Sadlier Dinger, who serves as President. Frank concentrates on the financial and operational side of the company while Bill continues to focus on the sales/marketing side of the firm. With their shared vision and oversight of Sadlier, the Dinger brothers are able to steer a course that is true to Sadlier's heritage and publishing plan.
Both men are Notre Dame graduates. Frank and his wife Beatrice have four children, Melissa, Angela, Cynthia, and Frank III. Bill and his wife Maureen have two sons, William and Michael. Children of each brother are proudly continuing the family tradition at Sadlier. Angela Dinger serves as General Counsel for the company, Melissa Gibbons is Director of Research and Planning, and Bill Dinger, Jr. serves as National Account Manager.
The leadership of F. Sadlier Dinger's two sons, Frank Sadlier Dinger and William Sadlier Dinger, has empowered William H. Sadlier, Inc. to continue its role as a respected and responsive voice in the field of educational publishing. The company is recognized and respected in dioceses, schools, and parishes throughout the United States for its outstanding catechetical and educational publications. Sadlier's tradition of quality for over 170 years has been nurtured by the vision, integrity, and dedication of the same family, who are honored to carry on that family tradition of excellence.