joe-poirier-photo“You never know where you’re goin’ till you get there,” is a quote by the Looney Tunes character Sylvester the Cat which I used it for my yearbook quote when I was a senior at Marquette University High School.

Last October, I interviewed with the Catholic Herald for a position as a reporter. At the time, I was in the middle of my fourth year as a high school teacher. I had taught English at Marquette High for two years under its Alumni Service Corps program, and then taught for another two years at Divine Savior Holy Angels and Dominican high schools as a long-term substitute – teaching various subjects from business to church history.

After my interview with the Herald, I wasn’t sure where I would be working the following year. I really enjoyed teaching, but I was also looking to pursue another career opportunity as a journalist because I studied journalism and English at UW-Madison.

When I did not hear back on a decision from the Herald for nine months, I thought they had given the job to someone else. But apparently another position needed to be filled and that became the priority.

During those months of waiting, I had the opportunity to write several freelance articles for the Herald, and the experiences I had working on those stories persuaded me to remain patient. As with all good news, it was worth the wait as I am now a member of the Catholic Herald staff and the editor of myFaith, its publication for young adults which is published three times per year.

In this capacity, I hope to inform, entertain, educate young adults on their faith.

The theme for this issue of myFaith is about former Catholics returning to their faith. The quote by Sylvester the Cat speaks to that idea. Faith is a constant journey where the path we take and the final destination cannot be mapped out.

Being a Catholic has been a strong component throughout my life and has helped me shape my career as a young professional, — from teacher to journalist.

My parish is Old St. Mary’s, but I like to visit other churches around Milwaukee. It always amazes me when I run into a former acquaintance at Mass who I didn’t think was Catholic or very religious.

I usually find out later that they weren’t very involved in practicing their faith but are looking to give the church another shot. One of my favorite Bible stories is the parable of the Prodigal Son because we are reminded that God believes in second chances.

There’s an organization that is offering second chances to those who have fallen away from the church. Read about “Catholics Come Home” and its new campaign aimed at millennials on Page 9.

According to its founder, Tom Peterson, statistics show that about 80 percent of young adults will leave their faith by age 23. His organization attempts to reach those fallen-away Catholics and to let them know the church is still there for them. Read how his organization’s is reaching out to millennials seeking “something more.”

In this issue you’ll also meet Erika Reinders, a young woman from West Allis who shares her experience of returning to the church and the complexities her decision entailed.

Her story, told on Page 8, includes her experiences with some of the local groups that reach out to young adults and which helped bring her back into the Catholic fold.

In our two myGeneration features, we introduce you to two brothers from Brookfield and a campus missionary, originally from North Lake, who will spend the next couple years in Boise, Idaho.

The Pokémon Go craze seems to be taking over certain parts of the archdiocese – just ask the people who live near Lake Park in Milwaukee. The east side park has become a Pokémon Go hotspot, drawing huge crowds — much to the chagrin of neighbors, according to recent news reports.

Is there any danger in this craze? Fr. Jerry Herda tackles question in his column on Page 5 and offers a suggestion on something worth hunting for!

Finally, with the NFL football season in full swing, diehard Chicago Bears fan, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, provdes an “extra point” to his Take 5 and offers his outlook on the Packers’ season on Page 15. Packer fans, you won’t be disappointed!