Best stories of 2018 and a request

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Gratuitously cute picture of our youngest two at their cousins’ house earlier this year.

When I was a little girl of 10 or so and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said ‘ teacher’  or ‘singer’ or ‘lolly shop owner’ or ‘ writer’.  I’m now over 40 and all of those things have wound their way into my life in some way or another (even the lolly shop one — if you count being a dispenser of sugar-laden stuff to my kids).

I remember the dread-filled excitement of waiting for my mother, my first reader, to finish reading a story I had laboured over and finally decided to let her see. She always said they were really good.

Today mum still faithfully reads all of the articles I write in my capacity as a journalist at The Catholic Weekly newspaper. And she thinks they are all great, or at least, she tells me they are even when I know not all of them can be great given that I write around 10+ stories every week.

But The Catholic Weekly has a long tradition and I’m very happy to be a small part of it. I figure I’m lucky to have been paid to meet some amazing people this year and tell a bit of their story, to try to make someone feel or do or discover something just by sitting at a computer and typing sentences onto a screen.

But it is a real-life job, not a dream, and I have real targets and such to meet. The ever-present deadline is the biggest thing, mixed blessing and curse that it is, and the other is page views.

That’s where you come in. I would love to get 1000+ page views for my favourite stories of 2018, will you help me?

These best stories are either on topics I think are quite important, or ones I just really enjoyed writing, or involve people I really enjoyed meeting or who affected me in some other way.

Have a look, and if you like one or two, I’d really appreciate it if you shared them through your own networks by word of mouth, email, social media, carrier pigeon, whatever :

Andrew Brazier completes solo Pacific sail for Indigenous literacy and 15000kms solo across the Pacific
My conversations with the young doctor and adventurer Andrew Brazier, and following his epic journey through his blog, were a highlight of my year. These two stories were easily my favourites to write.

Street feast a joy for city’s marginalised
I used the word ‘joy’ in the headline with good reason. This lunch at the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral for the city’s poor was a good idea and really enjoyable. I hope it becomes a regular thing.

A conversation with Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
This was the Melbourne Archbishop’s first interview the day after the announcement of his appointment. The popular former bishop of the Broken Bay Diocese in NSW said he got the news a week earlier by phone while he was engrossed in rugby league’s State of Origin decider.

I’m dying…and I reject euthanasia
I learnt more about surrendering to God’s will in the hour I spent with mother-of-three Anna Corry than any other spiritual exercise I might have tried this year.

Offer of asylum to Asia Bibi
Important news – stay tuned on this one.

Papal honours for special seven
This is one of those routine reporting jobs that always turns up a bunch of amazing life stories that should be told! I’m working on one right of them now, so look out for the follow-up. Can you guess whose it is?

Hitting the high seas with a heavy heart
I was so intrigued by this! This gentleman is not Catholic, but is planning to undertake the Camino de Santiago to expunge his guilt over something he failed to do which he regrets every single day.

Prayers, support pour in for “beautiful Milan’s” fight for life
Several weeks after this story was published, this little girl died. When I got a call from the photographer telling me the news our editor immediately stood up and led our team in a prayer for her grieving family. We were sure that Milan who suffered so much in her short life was already on her way to heaven.

 

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