Ave Maria Press has been in continuous business since 1865, when the visionary Holy Cross priest Edward Sorin, who had founded the University of Notre Dame twenty-three years earlier, started the Ave Maria magazine. Father Sorin’s goal was to produce a magazine honoring Mary, focusing on Catholic families, and showcasing the best American Catholic writing. Despite discouragement from naysayers who didn't believe it could be done, Sorin launched his magazine. In a daring move for his era, he soon turned the reins over to a woman, Sister Angela Gilespie, a nurse veteran of the Civil War. The Ave Maria grew quickly, and by the turn of the twentieth century, it was the most popular English-language Catholic magazine in the world. During the 105-year run of the Ave Maria, the Press also published books and pamphlets, a program it began to develop more fully in the 1960s. When declining circulation forced the magazine to cease publication in 1970, book publishing was pushed into high gear. Over the years, Ave Maria Press has published such important Catholic authors as Joseph Champlin, Tom Corcoran, Thomas Green, Edward Hays, Lisa Hendey, Francis MacNutt, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Christine Valters Paintner, Michael Pennock, Joyce Rupp, Mother Teresa, Michael White, Robert Wicks, and Macrina Wiederkehr. Now established as a major Catholic book publisher and still under the ownership of the United States Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Ave Maria Press is home to Sorin Books, Forest of Peace, Christian Classics, and Spiritual Book Associates, a book club. It perpetuates Fr. Sorin's vision to honor Mary and provides an important outlet for good Catholic writing. Ave Maria is also recognized as a leader in publishing Catholic high school religion textbooks, parish resources, and books on prayer and spirituality.