John Limb, then publisher of Oregon Catholic Press, asked me a question about 15 years ago.

“How’s your ministry going?”

I responded, “You mean my job?”

He was surprised I didn’t see my reporting as ministry in the church. I explained that I was not in the front lines serving the poor, teaching, leading prayer or any of the other acts I considered ministry. I was telling stories about all that.

“That’s ministry,” Limb said with his good natured laugh, which is as smooth as expensive Kentucky bourbon.

Even as editor of this newspaper and El Centinela, I still am not ready to say I am a minister. Storyteller is more accurate.

I chose this life because God made me an introvert — speaking and working in groups is not my strong suit. Sitting in the quiet and thinking and creating — that’s my calling. Like many introverts, I tried for years to act extroverted. But now I am grateful to God for my introversion and recognize that the church need people like me, too.

Even in the cave-dwelling era, human groups had their alpha hunters, wise souls, industrious workers and clever raconteurs. But when darkness fell, and everyone circled the fire, it was time for the storyteller to emerge, recounting tales of the day and giving meaning to what otherwise could be a confusing existence.

Journalists are the heirs of these prehistoric correspondents. Those of us who report on behalf of the church have the absolute best stories to tell. It’s our task and privilege to explain that the saving sacrifice and teaching of Jesus are not mere artifacts, but are made present in the here and now.

As a reporter and editor, my great hope is that fence sitters in society, the “spiritual but not religious” crowd, read our stories and decide to throw their lot in with the church and let Jesus embrace them.

If that’s ministry, I suppose you can call me a minister, a minister of stories.

Langlois is managing editor of The Catholic Sentinel and El Centinela.