[dropcap type=”4″]C[/dropcap]hris Benguhe, longtime columnist for The Catholic Sun, is far from his previous line of work.
The Brophy College Preparatory graduate was a tabloid reporter for years, until God showed him a different path for his life.
“I gave all that up when I wrote my first book,” Benguhe said. “God led me to do something different.”
Prior to his gig with the tabloids, Benghuhe wrote for People, a celebrity news magazine. A change of heart, he said, moved him toward telling the stories of everyday people rather than glorifying celebrities’ fame and fortune.
After stints in Los Angeles and Florida, he moved back to Arizona where his mother suggested he try writing for The Catholic Sun. Through prayer, Benghuhe said, he felt nudged to write about how to view life’s troubles through a lens of faith. Six months after he’d left the tabloid scene, the terror attacks of 9/11 shattered the nation’s consciousness. Benghuhe’s first column for The Catholic Sun examined the trauma.
Then, just months after the 19 terrorists attacked New York City and Washington, D.C., anthrax was delivered to the tabloid he’d left in Florida.
“It arrived on my desk that I would have been sitting at, and the guy who was there died,” Benghuhe said, overcome with emotion. “And I would be dead most probably. I feel so grateful every day that I’m alive and able to do what I’m doing and that I’m not doing what I was doing before.”
Publisher: Amor Deus; 1st edition (2015)
Author: Chris Benguhe
Published: February 2015
Length: 247 pages, paperback
Although he lived just off the beach and regularly mixed it up with celebrities, Benghuhe said he doesn’t miss the glitz. The anthrax murder revealed something to him about his previous employment.
“That death was so symbolic of what I was feeling every day when I did that,” Benghuhe said. “I was so cold inside all the time. It was the greatest job I ever hated.”
Years later, as he looks back over a decade worth of writing for the Catholic press, Benghuhe said the unhappiness he felt was God’s way of telling him it wasn’t where he belonged. The experience gained would be used to fuel a new direction in his life, Benghuhe said.
“A Better View,” his column in The Catholic Sun, focuses on faith and the everyday people who make a difference in the world. The ordinary people he’s met, Benghuhe said, have inspired him.
“Those people — they’re my heroes and I get to interview them and glorify their actions,” Benghuhe said. “I feel blessed every day to be able to do that in my writing.”
Benghuhe’s latest book, “The Best of A Better View,” is a compilation of years of columns published in The Catholic Sun. The author of four other books who’s also a regular contributor to The Saturday Evening Post, Benghuhe said writing for a Catholic newspaper is a blessing. The secular media, he said, takes a dim view of religious people.
“It’s almost that you’re an anathema,” Benghuhe said, “even though 90 percent of America has a Christian calling, you can’t say that in the general media.”
Benghuhe still lives blocks from the all-boys Jesuit high school he attended in the 1980s and frequently writes his column while seated at the nearby Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub. Before tapping away on his sleek laptop, Benghuhes said he always prays that God will inspire his words.
“I pray that the thoughts and ideas that are coming through me are HHis his and not mine,” Benghuhe said. He often hears from readers that they were touched by his columns in The Catholic Sun.
“To know that my column can connect to people on a visceral level like that is a godsend,” Benghuhe said.
Local media star Pat McMahon, host of “The God Show” on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR, wrote the introduction to “The Best of A Better View.” Benghuhe has been a guest on McMahon’s show over the years.
“Chris Benguhe and I are not Pollyannas,” McMahon writes. “We don’t deny the existence of evil and hate and disease. We just believe that “A Better View” of life, in all its wonder and majesty, helps us find the spiritual strength to guard against them.”