It’s a great time to be a journalist for a diocesan paper


By Barb Arland-Fye


When The Catholic Messenger went to press on Tuesday, March 12, the Catholic Church’s cardinals had just begun the process to elect a new pope. I called our printer and asked if we could extend our deadline by three hours, just in case an announcement would occur by then.  My prayers to the Holy Spirit to stall the election until Saturday or Sunday rightfully went unanswered. On deadline we had news that the cardinals had cast a vote, but it was negative as evidenced by black smoke.
The next day I took a late lunch break to buy a birthday present for my mom and was driving back to the office when I turned on National Public Radio (NPR) and heard what sounded like bells in the background.  Mixed feelings of anticipation and dread filled me. Would nearly every diocesan newspaper in the United States which goes to press on Wednesday have the joyous news of a new pope while our newspaper would be reporting about black smoke?

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