ROME – There’s a great scene in the film classic “Spinal Tap” in which a founding member of the band, Nigel, leaves, and the other constant presence, David, tries to play down the significance of his departure by pointing out that over the years 37 different musicians have shuttled in and out of the lineup.
Of course, the interviewer, famously played by Rob Reiner – and, for that matter, David too, not to mention the viewers of the film – all know that Nigel isn’t just another musician, but part of the heart and soul of the band from its beginning.
In that spirit, let me say at the outset that Inés San Martín isn’t just another correspondent for Crux either, and so her departure today leaves a hole in our heart and soul, too, that will be difficult to fill.
Inés has been here from day one in 2014 – indeed, even before there was a Crux – and her contributions over the last eight years are far too numerous to catalogue.
Yet we’re not mourning today but celebrating, because Inés is moving on to a position that represents the culmination of her accomplishments to date, as well as the beginning of an exciting new chapter in her story.
Shortly, Inés will be taking up duties as the new Vice President of Communications for the Pontifical Mission Societies USA, a papally-sponsored organization with the charge of helping to bring Christ’s message to the world, especially in countries where Christianity is new, young, poor, or all three.
She’ll be helping to tell the stories of those churches in her characteristically vivid, well-reported style, the same qualities that have made her a must-read at Crux. A native of Argentina, Inés has a special feel and passion for the diversity of Catholicism around the world, and she’ll be well positioned to bring that reality home to audiences in the United States and beyond.
Her commander-in-chief at the Pontifical Mission Societies will be Monsignor Kieran Harrington, an old friend who was also at the origins of Crux in his former role as the head of DeSales Media and the Vicar for Communication in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Over the years, he’s had plenty of opportunities to watch Inés in action – and, clearly, he knows talent when he sees it.
In the days and weeks to come, Crux will undertake the daunting task of trying to figure out how to fill the shoes Inés leaves behind.
In the meantime, we’ll be cheering our lungs out for her in her new situation – not that she needs the encouragement, of course, because she’s perhaps the most self-motivated human being on the planet, and the real challenge over the years has never been getting her to start working but getting her ever to stop.
In bocca al lupo, Inés … that’s a Roman expression loosely meaning “good luck,” which would take way too long to translate literally. You already know it, Inés, but I’ll say it out loud here anyway: No matter what else happens, this isn’t goodbye.