Anita Draper
Catholic Herald Staff

If as a child I was distracted by the brilliance of stained glass windows, I trust God has forgiven my inattention to Mass. Scarlet, sapphire, jade — the colors were richer, more radiant, than anywhere else in our small village.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Chippewa County, just south of the divide between the La Crosse and Superior Dioceses. We milked Holsteins, which are cute but rarely inspiring, and celebrated Mass at St. Rose of Lima every week.

In a town devoid of art museums, church was the only constant source of beauty. Today, I’m still drawn to the history and grandeur of the Catholic Church, the music, art, language and mystery of old, old bones draped, with each generation, in new raiment.

It’s been years since I left home. I studied English literature in college and at graduate schools in Wisconsin and Illinois, worked at newspapers in Chetek and Eau Claire and married my sweet husband, Michael, in July. We plan to make Duluth our home.

“Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Unitarian minister and my favorite writer/philosopher from the Transcendentalism movement. Religion is also to inspire, and it is in sharing our stories, our experiences, that we inspire one another.

As the Superior Catholic Herald’s new reporter, I look forward to meeting you and telling your stories. Call me at 715-394-0213, ext. 2213, or email with ideas, inspirations or just to say hi.


Anita Draper, Staff writer