I was working part time as a reporter for the Sentinel when, in the early 1990s, an acquaintance at the Oregonian encouraged me to apply for a position there, saying she thought I’d get the job.

“Admittedly you’ll have to do a couple years covering traffic accidents and fires,” she said.

But then I could do meaningful reporting.

It was an easy opportunity to turn down, despite it being a full-time position.

At the Catholic Sentinel I already wrote about interesting people and meaningful issues I cared about. I’ve still never covered a traffic accident and I’ve never had to be “objective” on crucial issues of faith, human dignity, life and the environment — issues on which the popes and the church speak clearly.

I left the paper to return to Colorado in 2004 for family reasons. I quickly discovered it wasn’t the writing that I missed. (Admittedly, I still did some of that for national Catholic magazines and Denver publications.)

I missed the Sentinel’s staff, our small, tight-knit group of good-hearted people.

When I returned to Oregon and the Catholic Sentinel in 2015, I found a much-changed work schedule, with the paper appearing every two weeks instead of weekly. Surprisingly, this meant more work instead of less, because the Sentinel has a smaller staff and now is online with a social media presence.

What hadn’t changed was what I loved: the staff’s loyalty to one another and to our work. The essentials remain: We believe in our work in the world, are thoughtful about the issues we report on and care about each other. We’re human and imperfect, but we all try hard to get the story right and to be respectful of one another, our sources and our readers.

That’s why I work for the Catholic Sentinel.