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September 26, 2016

Shortly after I graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor's degree in translation, I moved to Japan as part of a government program to have native speakers help teach English to Japanese students.

One of the things that hits you hardest when living in a foreign country is the importance of communication.

People everywhere have a strong desire to connect to each other, to share joys, to share pains, to share news and opinions, to pass thoughts and feelings from one soul to another.

Finding the right words to express all that can be a struggle sometimes, especially when people speak different languages and dialogue is halting and full of errors.

When I returned to Canada, I was fortunate enough to be hired on as the proofreader and subscriptions manager for the Western Catholic Reporter.

I've spent the last four years going over every page of the paper, combing through every article and column, in order to make sure the stories you read are free of errors, and to help our writers present their best possible work to you.

Once again, my work was focused on clear communication and building connections. I even earned a second university degree in communications while working at the WCR.

As the subscriptions manager for the paper, it was also my responsibility to answer your phone calls and email inquiries. I've spent the past four years communicating directly with our readers, and hearing both the concerns and joys they wanted to share with the paper itself.

When the WCR transitioned into a paying subscription model, it was heartening to know that many readers connected with the publication enough to stick with us and purchase paid subscriptions, some subscribing as far into the future as 2022.

Playing English vocabulary games with energetic Japanese teens and making sure that Catholic news articles are free from errors might seem worlds apart.

But both are part of a larger human desire to connect with others, to communicate both one's deepest feelings and life events with each other.

The end of the WCR has come as something of a surprise to us; with it, we lose our opportunity to communicate directly with you on a biweekly basis through our print publication. Despite that, however, the desire to communicate still lives on.

I'm glad that in my time here I was able to play some part in the history of this long-running, highly-awarded paper and help bring news and insights to you.