You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Could St. Jude be the patron saint of journalists?


To pray is one thing.

To pray for journalists?

There’s an act of faith.

I wasn’t in the main room at the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center on Monday when Kenith Britt asked Springfield Rotarians to bow their heads for that prayer.

And the smart-alec in me wants to say that saved us both from a lightning strike.

But that would be too flip.

Britt, who is the president of Catholic Central High School, composed the prayer because he knew I was in line speak at the weekly Rotary meeting.

I wish I’d been in the room when he began and saw the disappointment in his eyes when I returned to the room just as he was returning to his seat.

Gladly, that didn’t stop me from hearing his prayer, at least in my mind.

Britt is an able writer. And in reading the folded, slightly rumpled typed copy he retrieved from his pocket, it was easy to hear his voice.

Its rhythms were prayerful. Its tone was thoughtful. Its message was meaningful.

“Lord, You are truth,” he began. “And you have called journalists to an important task — to tell the truth.”

“But to do that, they must find it,” he continued. “And as they pursue it, it comes in many parts.”

That’s true for everyone, of course, something I was struck by two years ago at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill., where an exhibit allows the visitor to stand in place and watch as the images of a series of speakers tell President Lincoln what he should do about emancipation.

It brought to mind our current times when everyone seems to believe the decisions facing our government are obvious — but none agree on what the obvious thing is.

“One group tells them one thing,” Brit continued, “another, just the opposite, another something else.”

His next sentence made me smile.

“Give (journalists) the wisdom and understanding and skill to know which parts are true,” he said, “and then to put the right parts together in the right order.”

The second part of that plea would seem much simpler, of course, but that’s not always so. Presenting things in an understandable way is, in some ways, more difficult than understanding them in the first place. It’s sometimes hard to predict what people will read into the written word.

What came next struck me as being true of citizens as well as journalists: “As they do their jobs, they are often manipulated, misled, managed and maligned. May they not be discouraged. Gift them with patience, guide them with common sense, guard them from pessimism.”

To that, I’d only add: Grant them the grace of alliteration and parallel construction Mr. Britt uses in his prayers, a grace that continued with his prayer.

“May they be sensitive instead of sensationalistic; reflect reason, not ridicule; be balanced not bitter.”

He continued asking that we “describe not distort … educate and even entertain … but never … entice.”

“Finally, father,” he said, “may each journalist be reminded that with great power of the pen comes great responsibility. May they exercise it in a way that pleases you.”

As I finished reading the prayer, a scene from “The Untouchables” came to mind.

In it, Elliott Ness, played by Kevin Costner, asks the Irish cop Jim Malone, played by Sean Connery, and the Italian cop George Stone, played by Andy Garcia, are sitting around the table smoking cigars and having a drink after their first successful strike against Al Capone.

Ness asks Malone about something he has in his hand.

“Ah, I’m among the heathen,” Malone laughs. “This is my call box key, and that … is my St. Jude medallion.”

“Saint who?” Ness asks.

“Santo Jude,” says Stone in Italian. “The patron saint of lost causes.”

“And policeman,” adds Malone.

Although belief in patron saints was foreign to me even in my more faithful days, on Monday I wanted to add journalists to the list of those under St. Jude’s care.

Which, I guess, Ken, is a journalist’s way of thanking someone not only for their thoughts and prayers in this instance but their thoughtfulness and prayerfulness on behalf of a group at least some consider a lost cause.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

5 things to know about Meijer home delivery
5 things to know about Meijer home delivery

Meijer’s home delivery starts today in the Miami Valley, allowing customers to shop for more than 55,000 items online. The service will cover 2,100 square miles including Miamisburg, Middletown, Lebanon, Huber Heights, Englewood, Springfield and Troy, acccording to the company. That’s more than 415,000 houses that can be serviced by Meijer&rsquo...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-CV-0227 - National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2005-3 v. Leeann N. Demers aka Leeann N. Evans, 5871 South Dr., and Kevin L. Evans, 1600 Groop Road, complaint for $54,633. 17-CV-0228 - Geico Casualty Company v. Brian Lee, South Charleston, complaint for $46,500 for damages and injuries suffered by plaintiff’s...
Booted from a Delta flight? You could get $10,000 as payment
Booted from a Delta flight? You could get $10,000 as payment

Delta is now letting employees offer customers almost $10,000 in compensation if passengers give up their seats on overbooked flights. The decision comes after a disastrous month for United Airlines when a passenger was dragged off of an overbooked flight. The passenger, David Dao, was left bloodied and injured after being forcibly removed. Several...
Discovery of suspicious item in Oklahoma cemetery leads to laughs
Discovery of suspicious item in Oklahoma cemetery leads to laughs

Police in Collinsville got quite the laugh after an officer identified the true nature of what they first believed was a drug drop.  When a local tree service was removing trees at a Collinsville cemetery for a road widening project, crews say they found what looked like a drug drop. >> Read more trending news They say they found a tube...
Man accused of chopping down utility pole
Man accused of chopping down utility pole

A Kentucky man is facing charges after deputies said he chopped down a utility pole near his Graves County home with plans to sell the pole’s transformer back to the power company, according to multiple reports. Authorities arrested Jared Hayes, 40, Tuesday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking, according to...
More Stories