I remember my delight when I interrupted my dad’s bedtime reading to tell him I’d made a shocking discovery about the Chronicles of Narnia: Aslan the lion represented Jesus!

Katie age 9 felt privy to a previously hidden window into C.S. Lewis’ brilliance. It was the first time I’d encountered the joy of layered meaning in writing, even if I later learned my insight was, alas, not groundbreaking.

When I became a reporter for a Catholic newspaper on the East Coast, I was drawn to something similar in the stories we could tell.

Catholic journalists strive to report with facts and fairness, but there always is an added layer — a deeper meaning and a relevance for the spirit. Be it in a profile about a convert, a recap of a Christmas pageant, a story on a church dedication, or even a piece about an abusive priest, each story has something to share that could, if the story is told well, serve the soul through its underlying meaning or message.

In a way these narratives can be a minute window into God’s brilliance.

Four years ago, I moved with my young family from D.C. to Portland in large part so I could take a job with the Sentinel.

I’d discovered the paper tells a wide range of stories, some in the form of news briefs about fundraisers, others in-depth, fearless reporting pieces that shed light on where members of the church have fallen short and point a way toward healing. Among local Catholic papers I’ve learned about over the years, the Sentinel is among those with the greatest breadth, the most incisive stories and abundant examples of how humans stumble and strive toward flawed holiness.

A reporter for seven years now, I still find writing hard. Parenting amid a pandemic has brought added hurdles. But it feels worth the effort to follow the news and hear people’s stories and attempt to imperfectly share their layers of meaning with you, our readers.