Persons, places and things: It takes a team …


By Barb Arland-Fye

Pope Francis has described work as a “path of sanctification” and I am witnessing that in our Catholic Messenger office. Our staff of five collaborates, coordinates and lends a hand to one another


with remarkable charity and compassion as we enter the third month since we reduced staffing by one position.

“Work is not only a means of earning a living: it is also a place where we express ourselves, feel useful, and learn the great lesson of concreteness …” the Holy Father said in his catechesis during a General Audience focusing on St. Joseph (Jan. 12, 2022).


Our lessons in concreteness include two of our staffers taking on new responsibilities, which require additional training, along with patience on their part and from the rest of us! One of our staffers immediately offered to take back some of the duties the other two had been handling before they took over our office’s circulation/database management and bookkeeping responsibilities. The rest of us are picking up assorted and sometimes unfamiliar tasks and developing a greater appreciation for the many moving parts of the overall operation.

Our gratitude, occasionally sidetracked by hiccups in the process, extends to the Chancery staff who lend a hand when we ask and to a former Messenger staffer who assists us as she is able after finishing the day in her full-time career. God bestows graces on our team and in our work — even as the team dealt with office-wide illness last week.

A passage from Ecclesiastes (4: 9-10) comes to mind: “Two are better than one: They get a good wage for their toil. If the one fails, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other help.”

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic — which created worldwide upheaval — required all of us to understand and to adapt to significant change, hopefully making us more resilient and certainly appreciative of who is in charge of the universe.

There is an old joke that goes: “How many Catholics does it take to change a lightbulb? What? Why does the lightbulb need to be changed?” Well, now we’re learning to change the lightbulbs without a protracted debate that keeps the job from getting done.

During a visit with a friend recently, she and I talked about St. Paul’s reference to the one body of Christ made up of many parts. Sometimes, in our humanness, we feel bad about the gifts we lack and wish we had the gifts of another person. But we can’t all be ears and we can’t all be arms or feet.  Each of us, with our separate gifts must come together to form the one body of Christ. “But as it is, God placed the parts, each of them, in the body as he intended” (1 Corinthians 12:18).

Thank you, Anne Marie, Lindsay, Phil and Tony, for trusting God and reaching out to one another, to help us become the body that God intended for The Catholic Messenger.

(Contact Editor Barb Arland-Fye at

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