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September 26, 2016

After 24 years I almost feel like this story should start like an episode of Star Wars. "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .".

Working 24 years for the Western Catholic Reporter has been both an honour and a privilege for me.

I've served three bishops, seen a number of reporters come and go, and for me the best was working for only one editor - Glen Argan. His leadership has allowed me to grow and use the skills I acquired.

Glen has often asked me if I'd ever thought, back in the day, that I would work for one place for 20+ years.

My answer has always been the same. I would tell him that I would have said, "Are you nuts?"

I came to the WCR after almost 20 years in radio and 13 or 14 different stations. In radio, 20 years would have been virtually impossible. At most stations, if you were there more than five years, it was only because somebody had superglued you to the chair.

There is so much to say. Twenty-four years is a long time.

The staff both at the paper and the archdiocese were welcoming and easy to work with.

Doing sales, one of my first positions, I met a ton of people throughout the archdiocese. Most everyone was great.

My best memory involves Father Mike McCaffery and "six degrees of separation."

Father Mike had found out that I had spent some time in seminary, and asked me which one. I told him the Servite Seminary in Hillside, Ill., just over the road from Chicago.

Father Mike started chuckling and told me a couple of Servites had been his close friends. I asked him who?

And he told me, "Father Anselm Dennehy and his brother Mark."

You could have hit me with a brick and I doubt I'd have felt it. Father Anselm Dennehy had been the rector of the seminary when I was there.

As I said, over 24 years leave a lot of memories and I can't get them all in. Suffice it to say I'll miss all of you.

Now, as I've said many times, "It's time to go and pretend that I know what I'm doing."