September 26, 2016
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
I've always have had a dickens of a time saying goodbye. But here goes.
My past 15 years here at the WCR have been good ones, a time when the stories we ran opened hearts, nourished people's faith.
It was an unlikely place for me to come to after my years in the secular press. I won national awards there and enjoyed my profession.
Truth be told, I almost did not apply to work here. I thought some Roman Catholic heavyweight journalist would take the job.
But I had a dream, and it showed me being in a room with priests and nuns. When I woke up I thought "What the heck! It's worth a shot." So I applied and I won.
In many ways it was like being plunked into a foreign land.
The newspaper staff numbered seven, different from the newsrooms of 100 plus I was used to.
The rules and regulations were so different from those of the rambunctious newsroom. This was a religious world, a world that was centuries old.
Blunders were few but memorable. One that still sits in my mind was running the wrong picture of a pope. Eagle-eyed readers caught it and the chastisements were many.
Looking back, it is the sitting on the sidelines and watching major events in the faith happen that springs to mind.
I have watched three popes minister to their global flock. I have seen faith carry people through horrendous situations. Perhaps the greatest gift I have been given is that my work allowed my own faith to grow.
True, work on a religious paper is usually not held in high regard in the journalistic world. That is its loss.
Stories in the WCR told of acts of giving, acts of astounding generosity and stewardship that would never be documented in a society that demands the sensational.
Time and again, I would say out loud, "Where in the world would we be without the Church?"
I loved having my We Are One column to write. It was as though I was chatting with a friend. Many kind readers responded. I shall miss that connection.
WIDER VANTAGE POINT
My work here at the WCR allowed me to widen my vantage point on life. Prayer became a daily habit. I came to know the journeys of saints.
But once I step out the door each evening, the world's reality slams me and tests my faith.
Pope Francis delights me and I have used his words and statements of faith when delivering grace to audiences at Second Chance Animal Rescue annual dinners.
While realizing digital media is swallowing up much of the world's communication I still believe in the printed word.
I am sure my editor Glen Argan would silently moan "Here she goes again" when I would enthuse about WCR's powers of evangelization and say, "You never know where our paper ends up.
"Someone could leave it on the bus, in a plane, wherever and another person could pick it up and read it. Something in that paper could touch them, maybe even change their life."
Those words would regularly spill out of my mouth and heart.
STORIES OPEN DOORS
I firmly believed that especially when it came to recounting the words of the priests, brothers and the religious. One never knew when those stories would open a door.
As many of you know, print media is floundering. So I know a journalism job is, in all probability, not in my future.
Now it is time for a new chapter in my life. Just where and what it will be I do not know. But I shall miss you dear reader.
As Pope Francis always says, "Please pray for me."
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