From the Editor: Thank You, Bishop Duca

by Jessica Rinaudo, Editor, The Catholic Connection

There’s a certain rush, at least for me, that comes with good planning. Most issues of The Catholic Connection are planned well in advance, infused with ideas from our writers, editorial board, readers and myself. Riding the excitement of all the new ideas handed to me recently and some shiny new Catholic Press Awards, I was ready to tackle and plan the editorial calendar for the next 12 to 15 months of The Catholic Connection.

As I sat down at my computer Monday morning, June 25, I began laying the groundwork for our August issue – always an annual report on our Catholic schools – when our Communications Director, John Mark Willcox, walked into my office and closed the door. After a moment of staring down at the floor, he looked up and said, “They’re moving Bishop to Baton Rouge. There’s a press conference at 10:00 tomorrow morning down there.”

My heart stuttered. No. This couldn’t be happening. After John Mark reiterated that this news could in no way be shared until after the press conference, I sat at my computer, staring blankly into the white depths of the blank pages of the next issue of our magazine. I had a very short time to process the news before I had to move into action.

I found myself on the phone with my counterpart in Baton Rouge, both of us quietly panicking as we discussed who would cover what events, when stories could be released, how to stream our respective press conferences and what to post on our social media platforms. I wandered in and out of Bishop Duca’s office multiple times that day, ensuring that everyone was on the same page about when the news would be released and how it would be done. Tears flowed from the small group of us who were working together on this, but we tucked them away to uphold the Vatican’s embargo on the news.

I realized this would mean our August issue would change to a special edition of The Catholic Connection, honoring our bishop of the last 10 years. Bishop Duca has always been one of The Catholic Connection’s biggest cheerleaders – from looking over every issue before it goes to press, to committing to writing his reflection each and every month. He has personally reached out and congratulated our writers and me each time we have won Catholic Press Awards, and has even been awarded three himself.

So Bishop Duca, while this issue could have never been planned, especially months in advance, it has come together with the love and support of our publication’s writers, the editorial board, the chancery staff, the churches and faithful of the Diocese of Shreveport, and countless other dioceses across the United States. It is our farewell, our love letter to you, of a kind.

From all of us who work diligently on The Catholic Connection every month: thank you for your support, Bishop Duca. We hope all our readers will treasure this special issue as much as we do.

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