On Sept. 20, I wept because of Scripture. It wasn’t the actual content of God’s word, but only the chapter and verse numbers.

Since my first day at the Catholic Sentinel in 1993, I’ve had the job of looking up the liturgical readings for the coming weeks and typing them to be printed in the paper. On Sept. 20, I readied the readings for this final issue. And I sobbed, face on the desk and hands on the back of my head.

In the course of three decades, I had chances to pass along this beginner’s chore. Lord knows, I quickly handed over obituaries to the first newcomer I could. When I became managing editor, I even reluctantly gave over the parish news beat, which is the very core of our journalistic enterprise.

But I retained the little liturgical readings assignment through four archbishops, my wedding day, the births of my children, the dawn of the internet, the 9/11 attacks, the deaths of both parents, a pandemic and the birth of a grandson.

I never heard if anyone actually used our liturgical readings. No letters to the editor praised their style or, alternately, chided me for a misplaced colon or dash. I suspect few readers cared much, especially in this digital age, when apps will read the Bible aloud for you in an Australian accent if you want. But I hold out hope that just once, because I did my task, someone encountered God’s saving love.

That’s one reason I blubbered. The other is simply because I kept at liturgical readings every issue and few people knew and it was an act of steadfastness I carried cozily in my chest. Without that duty, I feel colder, at least temporarily.

The thing to do now, of course, is actually read Scriptures more. Someday, the warmth will return.

Langlois is managing editor of the Catholic Sentinel.