November 11, 2014
Hi, I’m new here. I’m the Director of Communications and Media Services for the Diocese and excited to navigate this faith journey with you.
First, a little information about my background. I was raised on my family’s farm near the small town of Braddock. I graduated from Steele-Dawson High School and, from there, attended Concordia College, a liberal arts, faith-based college in Moorhead, Minn. I earned a degree in communications with a focus in writing.
Shortly after college, I lived in Grand Forks for some time and worked at an advertising agency as a graphic artist. I then moved to Rugby and began working at the weekly newspaper. It’s here where I developed my love of writing and graphic design. My husband, Matt, and I ran the newspaper, the Pierce County Tribune, for nearly 15 years before moving to Bismarck in 2010. At that time, I accepted a job as communications director for an agriculture commodity group, the National Sunflower Association. Most recently, I worked for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture as a marketing specialist where my main area of focus was to promote the Agriculture in the Classroom program.
We have lived in Lincoln since 2011 and have two, very active children, Abby (age 7) and Ryan (age 5). We are parishioners at Church of the Ascension.
Along with all the background information, I’d like to take this opportunity to share just a little about my faith and philosophy surrounding my new position here at the Diocese. Growing up on a farm, I’ve always said that I’m a farm girl at heart. As you can see, most of my career has been in journalism or agriculture. But underlying all of my life experiences has been my Catholic faith. I grew up attending St. Katherine’s parish in Braddock with all the usual steps along the way that a young Catholic kid takes. I drifted away from my faith while in college, but thankfully returned in early adulthood.
Deciding to leave my job with the department of agriculture promoting our state’s greatest industry was a difficult one. I did so because I was being pulled in the direction toward deepening my faith with Jesus Christ and the Church. I was seeking a path in my career toward more meaningful work.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you each month. Sometimes my column will focus on what’s going on in the world around us and sometimes it will focus on what’s going on in my world. My daughter is a second grader and entering one of the most exciting times in the life of a youngster in faith formation. She will be taking part in her first Reconciliation this fall and her first Holy Eucharist this spring. I will be sharing my viewpoint as a parent guiding our children on this journey. The DCA is a great platform to share these experiences.
Communication has changed so much in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that all our telephones were tethered to the wall and when you wanted to contact someone you dialed them up or sat down to write them a letter. Nowadays, the communication methods are much more immediate. We want our information now and we don’t want to wait. We want to choose what information we digest and when.
The Catholic Church retains our credibility and strong foundation by maintaining steadfastly to our beliefs and ideals. We cannot change those to match popular culture or cater to the whims of society. We cannot change the foundation of our message. Despite the ever-changing communication needs of the audience, we must stay the course.
What we can change is the way we communicate our message. That’s why you will continue to see a great deal of emphasis toward online and social media presence. We will maintain several forms of communication in order to best reach our audience, the Catholic community.
My goal is to lead the effort to bring positive attention to the Church in western and central North Dakota. I have a passion for communicating our message in order to “tell the story” of the Catholic Church. Too often the Church is a victim of criticism and hostility. I believe it’s because we need to do a better job of telling our story. That’s my mission.