Transitions at The Compass

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | May 17, 2022

Pointing to a new direction

“The Compass faces many challenges and opportunities in coming years to meet the needs of print readers and to reach out more to readers on the internet, using both current and developing technologies.”

These words were written by my predecessor, Tony Staley, on Aug. 31, 2007. He also announced: “This issue of The Compass ends my 18-year tenure as editor of your diocesan newspaper.”

How ironic that the challenges and changes that faced Tony nearly 15 years ago are the same challenges The Compass faces today. In the weeks and months ahead, your diocesan newspaper will undergo changes, seeking ways to reach out to more people across the 16-county Diocese of Green Bay and beyond. (Read our story here.)

What has been a weekly publication (except during the summer months, as well as Easter and Christmas) will now be published every other week. Next summer, this evolving publication may move to a monthly schedule while an e-newsletter, website and other digital technologies fill in the gap.

Just as Tony surveyed the landscape and saw it was time for someone else to lead the new direction, I am doing the same. Earlier this year, I informed Bishop David Ricken and my colleagues that I would retire and turn over the reins to someone else. My last day at The Compass is July 15. Now is the time for me to step aside and allow a new process to unfold.

My 14-plus years at The Compass have been rewarding, challenging and, most of all, part of a vocation that God presented to me when I began working in the Catholic press in 1983. From Salt Lake City to San Diego, then on to the Wisconsin dioceses of Superior, Milwaukee and Green Bay, I’ve been honored and blessed to work in religious journalism my entire career. Along the way, I’ve met and interviewed more inspirational people than I can count, their lives touched by faith in a way that humbled me in their presence. 

It’s hard to say how many photos I’ve taken or stories and editorials I’ve written over the years. What I know is that God has definitely had a hand in every image and every word published. 

The world of journalism, once dominated by newspapers, has been changing since the internet’s advent. Technology does not stand still, nor does it favor the printed word. The recent decision by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to close the U.S. offices of Catholic News Service, after 102 years of operation, is another sad sign of the times.

Sr. Helen Prejean, a leading advocate for an end to the death penalty and author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking,” captures what I believe has been the essence of my vocation in the Catholic press:

“Writing is like praying, because you stop all other activities, descend into silence, and listen patiently to the depths of your soul, waiting for true words to come. When they do, you thank God because you know the words are a gift, and you write them down as honestly and cleanly as you can.”

I’m grateful to all of my editors and colleagues in the Catholic press who had a hand in shaping my growth and helping me share the Good News for nearly four decades. I’m thankful, also, to readers who have given me inspiration to continue my vocation, and to my wife, Laurie, for allowing me to be on the road many nights and weekends covering events.

Instead of meeting deadlines, my days will now include adopting and adapting St. Ignatius of Loyola’s instructions to his followers: find God in all things. I will be doing this by practicing my longtime passion of photography. If the spirit moves you, visit

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