I served as publisher of Oregon Catholic Press, the parent company of the Catholic Sentinel, from 1992 to 2017. While I did little of the work involved in publishing the paper, it was still a great honor to have my name associated with it.

When I first arrived at OCP in the mid-80s, the paper had only recently ceased being produced using a Linotype machine, but the layout was still done by hand. All of that changed under the able leadership of Bob Pfohman, Sentinel editor from 1981 to 2014. Bob brought the paper into the digital age, and shortly thereafter also introduced a website.

The other major change during my tenure was the decision by then-Archbishop John Vlazny to make the paper available free of charge in all parishes. This more than tripled the circulation of the paper, helping to inform local Catholics of news from around the diocese and the world. In my own parish of Sacred Heart in Portland, parishioners eagerly awaited the next issue of the paper. Copies always went quickly.

One thing that has not changed, however, is the quality of the paper. The Catholic Sentinel and its sister Spanish publication, El Centinela, have the distinction of being two of the most highly decorated Catholic newspapers in North America. Over the years, both papers have been consistently judged by the Catholic Media Association as among the best diocesan papers in the U.S. and Canada.

Much credit and thanks for the recent success of the paper is due to Ed Langlois, Sentinel editor for the last six years, and to his very able staff. These folks have never viewed their work simply as a job, but rather as a ministry. Week in and week out, they have labored tirelessly to bring news of the church into the homes of Oregon Catholics. We are better Catholics — and certainly more informed Catholics — because of their efforts. Thank you!

People are always amazed when I mention the fact that the Catholic Sentinel, established in 1870, is the oldest Catholic newspaper on the West Coast. I am proud of the legacy of the paper and admit that I am quite sad to see its long life and role in the archdiocese come to an end. This is the natural reaction we all have when a well-loved and trusted friend passes away.

For 152 years, the paper has been part of the glue that has held the Catholic community in western Oregon together. Through it, we have learned news of the church and of our fellow Catholics from around the archdiocese, the country and the world. The paper’s passing is the close of an era. This Catholic will miss it terribly. Requiescat in pace!

Limb is former publisher of Oregon Catholic Press.