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Our history

During a time when Catholics were living in the shadows, persecuted and neglected, Cardinal Vaughan set up the CTS to dispel prejudice, and offer spiritual support to UK Catholics.

CTS Origins

CTS was founded by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, in 1868, 18 years after the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in this country. He also built Westminster Cathedral. From the 1850’s as new opportunities opened up, both politically and technologically, CTS took up the growing power of print and communications. Concerned to help the Catholic community living in the shadows, persecuted and neglected, feeling very unsure of itself Cardinal Vaughan set up the CTS to dispel prejudice and ignorance, offer spiritual support, formation and education in faith and morals, to reconnect UK Catholics with the wider life of the universal Church, papal teaching and the spiritual riches and treasures of the Church.

Through our tracts and affordable booklets on faith, doctrine, morals, devotion, lives of saints, and current debates, Catholics became educated when there was little else going for them. With street trolleys and display boxes in parishes, networks of supporters, conferences and talks, CTS’s efforts helped give back confidence to Catholic faithful at every level.

CTS drew on the great minds and writers of the time, through the two great wars, the new ideologies, and several great social and Church upheavals. CTS facilitated the widespread circulation of teaching through papal documents, especially during the Second Vatican Council and was pivotal in disseminating its documents.

During the Second Vatican Council, in recognition for services rendered to the Vatican since our inception, the CTS was awarded the title Publisher to the Holy See.

CTS Today

Many people of all ages and backgrounds have good reason to celebrate being Catholic today and are grateful for their faith. They are able and willing to articulate the joy and hope that faith brings, the clarity of vision and purpose it inspires. Faith in Jesus Christ can and does transform lives and CTS is one of the agents for hope, for change, communicating the essence of the Good News which sits at the heart of the Christian faith. CTS is proud to be a small part of the support network that accompanies people in their search for the truth about life, about death, suffering, joy, hope, mercy and true happiness.

Delve into the CTS Archives

In 2018, CTS celebrated 150 years of publishing! In honour of our birthday, we shared some of the gems that celebrate the huge range and variety of CTS publishing over the last 150 years. Here are our favourites from the series.

Medieval Christianity

Medieval Christianity Christopher Dawson

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Unending Conflict

The Unending Conflict Hilaire Belloc

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Christ Upon the Waters

Christ Upon the Waters John Henry Newman

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Who is Joseph?

Who is St Joseph? Herbert Cardinal Vaughan

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