Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Letters to the Editor

(From the Dec. 4, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Eucharistic adoration

Editor:

In the “Faith and Values” section of the Nov. 8, 2003 edition of the Spokesman-Review, Spokane’s daily newspaper, there is an article titled “Popular devotions: Catholic bishops assert rosary, other devotional practices meant to bring God into everyday life.”

The article quotes “The Rev. Richard McBrien, a liberal theologian at the University of Notre Dame, is especially uncomfortable with the growing popularity of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, where Catholics pray in the presence of the consecrated bread from Communion.

“‘Jesus left us the Eucharist to be eaten, not adored,’ he said.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration … let our adoration never cease.” (1380)

“Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration.” (1418)

“To visit the Blessed Sacrament is … a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord.” (Pope Paul VI)

Many Catholics do not believe that the consecrated hosts that they receive in Communion is in fact the actual body of Christ. Spending time in Eucharistic Adoration may well help us, as Catholics, to believe in the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated hosts. The fifth decade of the rosary of the luminous mysteries is the “institution of the Eucharist.” The fruit of that decade is adoration. Blessed Mother Teresa (of Calcutta), recently beatified by Pope John Paul II, spent many hours before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration.

Let us pray for Father Richard McBrien and others who interject their personal opinions, instead of encouraging the faithful to grow closer to the Lord through the grace of Eucharistic Adoration.

Don Kaufmann, Spokane

Thanks for article

Editor:

Thank you for the article “President Bush Signs Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion.” (IR 11/13/03). Readers should also know that both Washington State Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (who were both raised Catholic) voted to continue this brutal procedure. Something to consider the next time their names appear on a ballot.

Margaret Rosenstine, Twisp, Wash.

Gratitude for Vocations Director

Editor:

Last evening I and many fellow Serrans were priviledged to attend the annual Serra Club Priest Appreciation dinner. It was a most enjoyable evening that included over 35 priests and seminarians.

It’s truly amazing the fantastic job Father Darrin Connall has done in creasing the number of young men now studying for the priesthood. It was only a few years ago that the number of candidates was down to around two to three per year. Father Connall not only has that number up to around 20, but plans are underway to build a new, larger, seminary.

With Christmas now in the offing why don’t the good parishioners of the Spokane Diocese place both him and Bishop White Seminary on their Christmas lists, in thanks for a great job.

The evening was not only enjoyable and relaxing but it left a comfortable feeling to know that the future of the Church, especially in the Spokane Diocese, is in such good hand in so many areas, especially in having one of the best bishops in the nation, but to have the seminarian area in such a fine state.

Despite the constant media attacks, it appears that those attacks have merely been an impetus to the Spokane Diocese.

Andy Kelly, Spokane

Homelessness

Editor:

On Monday, Nov. 24, the Spokane City Council had a hearing on a proposed ordinance that would have attached criminal penalties to homeless people who camped on City property. Two other ordinances would have prohibited “aggressive” panhandling, and interference with pedestrians. The camping ordinance carried a maximum of $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. Combined, the three ordinances would virtually have barred homeless people from the downtown business area.

Two ministers from the African-American community spoke eloquently against the ordinance, as did two other clergy. However, conspicuous by their absence were Catholic religious of the Spokane diocese. I did not see one in the audience, nor did one speak in defense of the homeless.

Fortunately, there were enough homeless people, people who had been homeless, people from the Homeless Coalition, and other concerned people, who attended the council session, who spoke against the ordinance, and who succeeded in having the City Council defer action on the punitive measure.

Punishing people for being poor is not something new in the U.S. or Spokane. Vagrancy laws were designed to do that. However, there is a growing movement in cities across the United States to criminalize ordinary behavior of the poor, such as standing on a public sidewalk.

For more information on this subject, please go to the web site of the National Homeless Coalition and its report on “It’s Illegal to be Homeless” at: www.nationalhomeless.org

I would hope that when this ordinance, #33289, comes before the City Council again, probably in January of 2004, that a representative group of Catholic religious and their leaders, would be present, analyzing the proposed ordinance, and leading the opposition, if necessary, against any repressive legislation affecting the poor.

Al Mangan, Spokane


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