CHARLESTON—Deirdre Mays, longtime editor of The Catholic Miscellany, published her farewell paper with the edition of Jan. 28.
After 24 years with The Miscellany, which is the first weekly Catholic paper founded in the U.S., Mays is leaving to pursue new professional adventures and to help her family care for their mother.
“The best part of the job was shining a light on the good that people can do for others, whether of their own accord or as part of a ministry,” she said.
Mays first came on board in 1995-96 as a photojournalist and was then promoted to assistant editor. After a brief sabbatical, she returned to her role as assistant editor before advancing to director of communications for then-Bishop Robert J. Baker.
In May 2002, she was promoted to editor. During her tenure, she served under three bishops: Bishop David B. Thompson, who passed away in 2013, Bishop Baker, and our current Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone.
Mays has often expressed her gratitude to Bishop Guglielmone for his unflagging support of the Catholic press, and for “tolerating me getting [his dog] Barney riled up to play.”
“I will miss Deirdre very much,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “She has done an excellent job as editor of the Catholic Miscellany these many years as she presented the face of the diocese very well. I wish her well … and I am confident she will be an asset to whatever new venture she embraces.”
Mays said she was blessed to have worked for Msgr. Richard D. Harris, “who was my supervisor, poor man. He was most kind and generous, and maintained his sense of humor over the two decades that I reported to him.”
“It was a pleasure to be her supervisor,” Msgr. Harris said. “I trusted her abilities, her knowledge and admired her professionalism, especially during challenging situations. She was a joy to talk with, and always willing to accommodate any of my requests for assistance. Even when they were last minute and she had deadlines pressing, I could always count on her. I will miss our laughter and times of joking together. I pray she will find much happiness and joy in her future.”
Mays said she enjoyed many aspects of her time in the diocese, and one of the highlights was watching the seminarians go through formation and seeing the priests they would become.
She also excelled at finding ways to present the faith to the community, leading the paper to capture a slew of awards, year after year, from the Catholic Press Association.
Under her direction, The Miscellany won multiple awards for best newspaper publication. Mays also won personal awards for her photography and led her staff, with encouragement and faith in their talents, to win a host of individual honors.
“I loved working with The Miscellany staff in coming up with ways to offer education and inspiration to readers so they can better understand and live their faith,” she said. “It was an honor to work with such intelligent women.”
That sense of respect and appreciation was mutual.
Mays is recognized by her team not only for her intelligence and strong journalistic strengths, but also for the integrity and compassion with which she approached every day.
Staff members speak fondly of the creative flair she brought to the paper and the office, her love for all God’s creatures, and her sense of fun.
Mays plans to pursue freelance photography and other journalistic opportunities.
“It was a great privilege to even attempt to continue the work of Bishop John England,” she said. “I endeavored to represent the diversity of the diocese — both in its people and all of its parishes — and the beauty of Christ’s teachings.”