Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Letters to the Editor
(From the Dec. 16, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)
The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for length and style. Please limit letters to 500 words or less. Remember to be charitable.
Names may be withheld upon request, but letters must be signed, and include an address and phone number for verification.
Mail letters to: Editor, Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210-0048.
(Editorís note: The following letter was sent to Bishop Skylstad. The author graciously agreed to allow us to share the letter and its profoundly moving story in the pages of the Inland Register.)
Dear Bishop Skylstad,
I am writing to you in regard to the letter you sent to us parishioners about the diocese having to file a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
I have not been able to get it off my mind. I am 57 years old now and as a child I went into every kind of abuse. I was raped, molested; mental abuse, and physical abuse that lasted from the time I was 4 years old until age 13. I could tell you stories that would make the hair stand up on your head. I also could write a book that could make you laugh, cry, and scare your heart right out of you.
Anyway, some years ago I went to a Catholic Church and went through the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes and during the classes, the priest said we had to forgive everyone. So I asked him, Even if they committed bad crimes against you? And he told me, yes.
I left the class and I cried all the way home that night. I didnít know how in this world I was going to do that, and by the Grace of God I was shown how to forgive them (7x70). I had survived a lot of years on hatred for them. I forgave them all and today Iím free. Iím free of their control over me and Iím free of the sin of not forgiving them. I now pray for them all.
Now I realize these people who are suing the Church are victims as I was and I pray for them, so I donít want to take anything from them, but there is no amount of money in this world that is going to make them feel better about what happened. No one ever said to me, ďIím sorry,Ē or paid me one penny. I felt peace when I forgave them.
Also, the priests should be forgiven. God will judge. Not us.
I was also appalled by the record number of Catholics who said they would no longer pay their tithings, and some left the Church completely. I pray for them.
I wish you well and I pray for you and the Diocese of Spokane. Let us pray all will end well. God bless you.
Frances Newsom, Springdale, Wash.
To: Marjorie Garza.
Thank you for sharing your very personal and painful journey with us (ďAn abuse victim speaks out: ĎIf it hadnít been for Bishop Skylstad ... I donít think Iíd be alive today,í IR 12/2/04). You are one brave lady!
Catherine Mitchell, Spokane
I imagine many Catholics are praying for those abused by priests, nuns, deacons and other authority figures. But Iíve not seen anything about praying for the priests and others whoíve done these sinful things.
Of course, we can pray on our own, but there is a spiritual association called Reparatrix dedicated to a vocation of reparation for the sins of those ďconsecrated souls not living their vows.Ē They are lay women and lay men who live this vocation by attending daily Mass, saying the Stations of the Cross (using special prayers and intentions of reparation), a full rosary, and the major hours of the Divine Office.
If you join, you can live in your own home, parish and work place Ė just offer your sacrifices and prayers for priests, using the motto ďto love and suffer.Ē Priests who, remaining in place, live a penitential Rule whose purpose is reparation for their own sins and for those of their brother priests are Priest/Reparators.
I have not lived up to all these ways of praying for the priests who have not lived their vows, but if you are interested in knowing more about joining in these prayers of reparation, you may write to: Reparatrix, P.O. Box 1112, Park Ridge, IL 60068.
Velda Weid, Spokane
Irrespective of age, Christmas is an event. We stir from our sleep to find not a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, but ourselves in transformation. The Holy Spirit has intervened and there occurred a miracle of conversion. (Romans 12:2)). Where for a time we had received milk, we are now ready to be fed food that is solid. (I Corinthians 3:2). It is a season of change and we observe our faith maturing. Hope has been realized. As a result of this second baptism, we are no longer children born of Adam, but are born again and made sons and daughters of God. We are now heirs to his kingdom. (John 3:3-6)
This conversion bestows many spiritual gifts and works upon its recipients. They will be useful in building up the body, and unsurpassable later for the eternal benefits they secure. (I Corin-thians 12; James 2:17). Anyone seeking to find his perfect presence this season has only to ask. Christ is waiting to give us the greatest gift of all, as only he can regenerate a life. (John 3:16). We are free to choose.
Just as we are, wherever we may be, we can ask to receive Christ in the spirit. It is a life-altering experience, because we will be given a new heart. We can always trust him with our lives, because his Father is our Father, too. He loves us and will guide us every step of the way. If we accept this gift, we are assured a peace the world cannot give and a place in the hollow of his hand.
His gift is light. The greater the number receiving his presence, the more brilliantly his light will shine. Surely, this is what gives a magnificent glow to the Christmas season.
Connie Pomeroy, Spokane