Persons, places and things: Giving thanks


This week’s Catholic Messenger is dated Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day, which inspires reflection on God’s blessings.
Serving as editor of this fine publication for 10 years and nine months ranks among the things I am most thankful for, following faith, family, friends and health. My two sons have practically grown up during my time at the diocesan newspaper. Patrick was in first grade and Colin in ninth grade when I started. Being immersed in Catholicism has enriched our family’s prayer life and deepened our appreciation of what it means to be Church.
Patrick, who is taking an AP History course his senior year, has learned about the human failings of some Church leaders, but recognizes that the Church wasn’t dependent on any one of those individuals. It is dependent on God, through the mercy of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Moving to the chancery with my staff two years ago was a blessing. All of us continue to feel blessed being here. Chancery employees include us in the breaking of bread over the noon hour, celebration of birthdays and holidays, greeting of new employees and bidding farewell to those who have moved on.
We have ready access to resources — human, technological and textual — and office quarters that are comfortable and well maintained. We have the privilege of participating in Mass each Wednesday morning and on holy days of obligation in the chancery chapel.
The retired priests who live in the building look out for us. On one occasion, a retired priest helped me get into my locked office when I forgot my key at home in LeClaire on a Sunday morning. Another retired priest nearly 60 years ordained serves as proofreader for us, which is an invaluable service.
In what is being called “the digital era,” a time of revolutionary change for print publications and many other businesses, God continues to bless our publication with loyal subscribers who can’t wait to read each week’s issue of The Catholic Messenger. A number of them — we call them snowbirds — head south for the winter and ask that we forward their newspaper subscriptions to their winter address.
But we’ve also been blessed with access to Catholic Press Association members, some of whom introduced us to the “E-edition” concept — a facsimile of the newspaper in electronic form that subscribers can access through the Internet, on their laptops or mobile devices. You can check out our Catholic Messenger E-edition at
We are blessed with freelance columnists, a freelance photographer, a Spanish translator and other individuals with gifts that enrich our readers. The printer who produces and labels our newspaper is a blessing, along with the U.S. Postal Service that delivers it.
The Catholic Messenger Board of Directors blesses us with the expertise of its members in various fields, such as: theology, finance, publishing, advertising, marketing, personnel and history.
The parishes of this diocese are a tremendous blessing to The Catholic Messenger; without their support, we could not exist.
Each member of my staff is a blessing to this publication. We bring different gifts to the table and through the sharing of those gifts we put our heart and soul into every week’s edition of the newspaper.
Finally, I feel blessed to have a supportive, affirming husband who has made it possible for me to bloom where I’m planted.
Barb Arland-Fye

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