ST. FRANCIS — A little over 30 years ago – how could it be that long? – I walked into the Catholic Herald offices for the first time. A recent Marquette University journalism graduate, I remember being nervous, but excited to begin work as a Catholic Herald reporter.

The front page of the Oct. 16, 1986 Catholic Herald includes the photo of Maryangela Layman talking with Bucks center Randy Breuer, taken by James Pearson, during media day at the Cousins Center.

The day also happened to be media day for the Milwaukee Bucks. My new bosses at the Herald thought it would be amusing to send the new reporter downstairs for photos, specifically a photo of me – at 5’1” on a good day with heels – next to 7’3” Randy Breuer who played center for the Bucks at the time.

They thought the photo would be a good way to let Catholic Herald readers know the Bucks had made the Cousins Center their practice home.

Now, some three decades later, as the Bucks prepare to leave the Cousins Center for the new practice facility being built downtown, it’s somewhat fitting that I, too, will be leaving the Catholic Herald and the Cousins Center.

While I’m not following my favorite sports team – although that would be an intriguing next step – I am leaving the Herald to start a new chapter in my life.

You’ll likely see changes in the Herald in the weeks to come as the publication becomes more closely aligned with the communications office of the archdiocese. These changes seemed like a good time for me to make changes in my own life, too.

But before I leave, I want to say thank you, to you the readers, who have supported the work we do for these many years.

My time at the Catholic Herald has never been work. Rather, it’s been a joy to tell the story of the Milwaukee Archdiocese through news, features, photos and editorials.

My role at the publication, which changed from reporter to special sections editor to managing editor, took me to several countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador), to Dodge Correctional Institution, the Milwaukee County Jail and into the homes and parishes of so many Catholics in our archdiocese.

From the young mother who chose life for her baby after meeting a pro-life vigiler, to the 92-year-old top fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, to the immigrant family who were embraced by the Beaver Dam community when they welcomed quadruplets, to the sister who chose restorative justice for her attacker after being carjacked, I’ve been blessed to meet inspiring and faith-filled people and to tell their stories. I hope you have been inspired as well.

The Catholic Herald has been a wonderful place to grow as a journalist, thanks to the amazing people for whom I’ve worked: the legendary Tom Smith and Ethel Gintoft, both members of the Milwaukee Press Club Hall of Fame; Eugene Horn whose writing still graces our pages in our Mature Lifestyle section and more recently Brian Olszewski who has totaled more than 40 years in the Catholic Press.

I’ve been honored to work for and cover three shepherds of the church: Archbishops Rembert G. Weakland, (now Cardinal) Timothy M. Dolan and Jerome E. Listecki. Each had his own leadership style and each brought a different type of spirituality and enthusiasm to the faithful of our archdiocese and for a Catholic journalist, they’ve all been exciting to cover.

While changes are on the horizon for the Catholic Herald, I hope the story of the archdiocese continues to be told in a way that brings you, our readers, closer to your faith.

I leave at this time, thankful for so many wonderful experiences. It truly has been an honor and a privilege to have played a role in bringing Catholic news to the people of our archdiocese.