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 March 19, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)
The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.
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In times of uncertainty and trouble such as these, I believe it is important to give thanks to God for his goodness and mercy. On Jan. 15, the entire United States and people throughout the world witnessed a miracle of the rescue of passengers and crew from the plane that crashed in the Hudson River. I know this was the Lord’s doing and it would be fitting to acknowledge his mercy by holding a day of prayer in thanksgiving for the safety of these passengers and crew. Also, it would be fitting to beg for the Lord’s continued help in the days ahead. On this day, Mass would be offered and church bells would ring at the exact time when the plane crashed and God came to the passengers’ and crew’s aid. People all over would be praying together in thanksgiving.
I am presenting this idea to you because the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a visible sign of the Catholic Church in the United States. It is my hope that if you organize a day of prayer that other parishes across the nation will join you in thanking God and imploring His aid for our country. Please give this idea your prayerful consideration.
Besides this, I want to bring to your attention that in the late 1800s, Mother Cabrini founded orphanages and convents. She had stood on the slopes overlooking the Hudson River knowing that, when the time came, she wished to be buried in that spot. By 1890, she had completed all that God had asked her to do. This land, an estate of 450 acres next to the river, was owned formerly by the Jesuits. Because they had a lack of water, the Jesuits considered it useless for them and sold the land to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart led by Mother Cabrini. The Blessed Mother appeared to her in a dream telling her exactly where she would tell the workers to dig for water. This was successful. Water was found, another example of Mother Cabrini following God’s assignment for her. There was water where others had not found it earlier. During her life, she worked for the Lord trying to bring others to him and trying to know the directions he chose for her.
The wonderful pilot who brought that plane with all the passengers and crew to safety knew how to fly, but it is probable that much was through the intercession of Mother Cabrini. It was all a plan of her intercession, in my opinion. It is my prayer that you will pray, ponder all that I have included in this letter and know that thanking God, giving him glory, praise and honor is important so people will know that he, like Mother Francis Cabrini, saw that river area as a place for a miracle. Both through the grace of God were given miracles.
One last note: I was privileged to have Mother Cabrini present in my house many years ago for breakfast. I considered that an honor, since she later became a canonized saint. I pray the glory will be given to God (II Chron. 7:14). What occurred on Jan. 15 was a miracle, and the world should know to give thanks and praise to God for the reality of that and the other miracle given Mother Cabrini on and near the Hudson River.
Jessie Sacco, Spokane
The Inland Register’s (February 26, 2009) reprint of “Reverence in church” by Father Jan Larson of the Archdiocese of Seattle once again has me bowing and resolving to genuflect ever more deeply in shame that God (The Holy Spirit) can excite in him a mere “simple bow” before That August Presence, God (The Son). Father Larson appears to have fallen off Jacob’s Ladder and hit his head. Hard? This article rated an “F.”
Father I.J. Mikulski in The Question Box continues to counsel, in effect, turning the blind eye, burying the head in the sand, and scoffing, scoffing, scoffing as a means of dealing with the signs of the End Times; perhaps willing them to fade away? He hopes? “D-.”
Mitch Finley’s “Ongoing rosary prayer groups demonstrate dedicated commitment” article rates an “A+” for excellent reporting of prayer in action. Way to go, rosary prayer groups! Thank you, Mitch.
Father Michael Savelesky’s “Countdown begins” was a refreshing breath of hope until the sentence, “For the believer, Lent is more a time of awareness than spiritual exercises.” After pondering this thought in my heart (Thanks, Blessed Mom, for the assist) I rendered it “For the believer, Lent is (...) a time of awareness (and increased) spiritual exercises.” Still, I gave Father S. an “A” for trying.
We look to our clergy, Religious and spiritual journalists for enlightenment of the highest order as we seek to save our souls and those of our loved ones. It is truly sad when we have to ignore some of their efforts as counterproductive.
May the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ (in full measure and not watered-down with false peace signs) be with you.
(Abortions must be stopped, or life, as we know it, will be stopped. God has promised us this justice.)
Constance L. Brenner, Republic, Wash.
I feel there is a serious lack of discussion coming from the pulpit about the social issues that have a negative impact on our local and global poor. For the most part, homilies seem to center on theological interpretations of the Mass Readings. As more conservative seminarians are ordained, that message becomes ever more cerebral than practical in nature. I feel that as a result, there is a huge disconnect between the pulpit and the pew.
Even worse is the disconnection between those of us in the U.S. Church and those throughout the world who live in squalor that we cannot even imagine. The lack of awareness and understanding by some churchgoers about the grave humanitarian crises that so many experience is sometimes frightening. It is my belief that much of this disengagement with reality could be rectified if homilies focused on the poor and how we should be responding to their needs rather than the analytical thought that is so often imparted by homilists today.
I recently read a reflection by Patricia Livingston on one of the Readings for the day, from Matthew 25: “Whatever you did for one of these … you did for me.”
“The only thing that matters for our final judgment is whether we cared lovingly for those in need. This is what separates the sheep from the goats. There is nothing about prayer, nothing about dogma, nothing even about God. Only whether we cared for ‘these least ones.’”
If we truly believe in this message from Christ, why don’t we hear about it on a more frequent basis? A clear, direct and consistent message from the clergy about engaging with the poor and their plights would have a tremendous influence on the laity of the local Church and, in turn, would have a profound impact on “the least among us.”
Paul McDonnell, Spokane
I have been ready to write this letter for a long time, and today when the new president signed into law the use of stem cells for medical uses, it’s too much.
Last November, we got to exercise our right to vote, the greatest right in our Constitution, and to see how everyone voted makes me sick.
We all know we have two major parties to follow. One is called “the party of death,” the other, “the party of life.” The party of death now controls the presidency and both houses of Congress.
When I am told that 67 percent of the Catholics voted for the party of death, I found it terrifying, because their platform specifies that a “woman has the right” to abort or murder their baby. This has occurred over 50 million times in our country since Roe vs. Wade. All our senators claim to be Catholics, as does our governor, and many of our legislators. What does our Catholic Church say about this? Very little. I am very sorry to say, I know many of our Catholic priests also voted for this person.
This new president has stated to Planned Parenthood hat he will sign in the Freedom of Choice Act that will destroy any and all laws previously passed by previous presidents that dealt with saving the lives of innocent babies.
If you really want to find out what the party of death states, the book is available called The Party of Death, written by Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor, National Review. This book is a must read for all Catholics, as it gives a full picture on the “right to life problem.” They are available at Barnes and Noble Books.
Edward J. Mertens, Spokane Valley, Wash.
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