CatholicNews will miss the services of two of its longest serving volunteers, both in their 80s, who have been helping to pack the paper for distribution over at least four decades.
Due to their advanced age, Ms Mildred Longue, 89, and another volunteer, who declined to be interviewed, will take a break from their service to the archdiocesan newspaper starting this month.
They are both part of a team who have been faithfully coming to the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre (CAEC) to pack the paper every fortnight.
Ms Longue, from the Church of Sts Peter and Paul, started her volunteer work with CatholicNews (CN) at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
She later helped pack the paper in a building beside the Church of Sts Peter and Paul, where CN was formerly located, before coming to the CAEC in 2000 when CN moved to the building on Highland Road.
Ms Longue has also been helping to sell the paper at Novena Church with another team of volunteers on Saturdays from 7-11.30 am.
CN volunteers sell the paper at the church in three shifts – in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Ms Longue, a mother of four, told CN she was baptised as an infant in St Joseph’s Church (Victoria St). She helped out in the canteen for about 10 years and presently attends monthly prayer group meetings at the church.
She is also a choir member at the Church of Sts Peter and Paul and a member of its Funeral Fund Society.
“I’m happy working for God because I find it gives me peace of mind,” said Ms Longue.
“I find joy when I do the packing for CatholicNews as it keeps me busy. However I’m a bit sad now that I won’t be helping as I’ve been so used to it,” she added.
CN’s managing editor Fr Johnson Fernandez said, “Several of them were helping in packing the newspapers long before I joined the CatholicNews in the mid-80s. Some of them were doing this as part of the work of the Legion of Mary.
“All these years I see their commitment and dedication. We have been truly blessed by their contribution,” he said, adding that he was “sad to see them go due to their age”.
“For me they are the unsung heroes of our local media.”
By Martin See