BROWN-ROA Publishers, a longtime producer of Catholic curricula and textbooks, has announced it will now be known as Harcourt Religion Publishers. Matthew Thibeau, president of the rechristened house, said the new name was a nod of recognition to the branding power of its parent company, Harcourt, which acquired BROWN-ROA five years ago.

"To change our name to reflect that of our parent company sets the stage for our long-term growth and the continued development of new products and expanding to new markets," Thibeau told PW from the Harcourt Religion Publishers offices in Dubuque, Iowa.

Harcourt Religion Publishers will launch its new name with a Web site,, scheduled to be online later this month. The Web site will further capitalize on parent company Harcourt's name recognition by offering links to its main site and access to its general trade books.

Under the Harcourt Religion name, the house will shift its focus from revamping old products to developing new ones. Last year, it published two new Catholic life curricula, and the third portion of this series will be published this year. While the company currently has no plans to branch into the general trade, Thibeau said he would like to reach beyond the Catholic school and parish market into the Catholic home. "We feel that in the future, new markets are going to be multigenerational," Thibeau noted. "We'd like to develop a line of products that would enable families to talk about what their faith means."