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 October 9, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 17Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

Another 9/11 hero

I read the heart wrenching and beyond heroic account (Voice, Sept. 18) given by Deena Burnett, widow of Tom Burnett, one of the greatest heroes on that awful day, Sept. 11, 2001.

On that same day, I lost my youngest brother, Vincent Danz. He was one of the police officers who went into the World Trade Center and, sadly, in his effort to rescue as many as he could, did not make it out on time.
As a member of the Emergency Service Unit, he and his fellow officers were the
first to enter the doomed Trade Center. He called home to his wife and told her it was real bad up in the towers. His last words were, “Please pray for these people and pray for me.”

Our family did not only lose a son and terrific brother, but like Tom, Vincent left behind a beautiful wife and three little girls. When I think back to that day when the world changed forever, it is almost too much to bear and even to this day, hard to believe.

It gives me all the more resolve to pray for peace and safety for our country and most of all, prayers for our president, even if you don’t like or agree with what he is trying to do to secure our freedoms.

I remember something Vincent said once about being in the Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve: “I don’t know how good I would be at being the one in charge, but as for taking orders, I’m very good at that.” Vincent showed how good he was at taking orders without question and it cost him his life.

My prayers will be with Deena Burnett and her girls and I wish her all of God’s greatest blessings on her new marriage. Deena, you surely deserve that.

Pam Brady
Pleasant Hill

Vote to save lives

Remember the poor when you vote. Yes. And who are the poor? In the Scriptures, the poor are those in need of special care and protection. In our day, this would apply foremost to the unwanted, innocent, yet-to-be born child.

And given that 20 percent of all abortions are for girls under age 18, these young mothers are in need of special care in the face of the culture of death and protection from people who don’t want her with a baby (e.g., her boyfriend).

Most people vote out of habit for candidates and initiatives supported by their party. Few times in our lives can we make a choice that actually saves a life or do something that actually helps someone in need. Now is the time for us to provide the care and protection by changing the politicians who made these liberal abortion laws and confirmed these pro-abortion judges.

It is our duty to help these poor by electing politicians, confirming judges and supporting initiatives – like Prop. 85, that uphold the parents right to know. Informing the child’s parents is the right thing to do.

Michael McCarthy
San Lorenzo

Pray for peace

Jesus is the King of Mercy and Prince of Peace. Let us unite in prayers and trust God and beg for peace. Although we are miles apart, we can unite our prayers if we do them at the same time.

According to St. Faustina, 3 p.m. is the best time to beg our petition from God. We can pray the 3 o’clock prayer and the chaplet of the Divine Mercy given by Jesus to St. Faustina. With our prayers let us back up those who are working for peace.

At some other time we can pray to the Mother of Mercy to intercede for peace to God the Father in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We can pray three Hail Marys or, better still, the rosary in her honor.

As we pray for peace, let us include petitions for the conversion of sinners, the sick and dying, salvation of souls in purgatory, and our personal needs and concerns.
I hope many will join this crusade. This work is urgent. We have to act now.

Zenaida Labre

Orthodoxy is the answer

Reading recent letters in Reader’s Forum, there seems to be a common misunderstanding as to why Bay Area churches find Mass attendance falling and few vocations forthcoming.

People wring their hands and assume the solution is getting rid of Latin or ordaining women priests. They applaud the defiant disobedience of people on a riverboat in Pittsburgh, not understanding that such behavior is exactly why there are problems in American Catholicism.

The answer is orthodoxy. There are churches in California with standing room only and young people opting for the priesthood or sisterhood. I have been in them. The difference is fidelity, not dissidence. Throughout our Church’s long and amazing history, a return to obedience, fidelity and the sacraments always brings a rebirth in vitality.

Want our churches filled with vibrant parishioners who are proud and excited to be Catholics? Start apologetic programs that explain what the Church really teaches and why, not some watered down, confused synopsis by someone who may not even believe or understand the beauty of our faith.

Get EWTN in this area. It is a tremendous tool for educating all of us, with no bias, just truth.

I am 48 years old and like most of us raised in the turbulent years after Vatican II, I was poorly catechized. Learning about what the Church teaches and why is incredibly exciting. This is the real key to packed churches. The Church is not an archaic institution, but the bride of Christ. It’s time to remember that.

Kathleen Puckett
Castro Valley

A point of clarification

The article about the St. Mary’s College Integral Program (Voice, Sept. 18) says that students must start the program in their freshman year because the program begins with the Greeks, and indicates that the authors read include Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, Euclid and Archimedes.

A student in the program is quoted as saying that “We’ve read the original”. Are we to suppose that incoming freshmen are required to demonstrate proficiency in classical Greek sufficient for the reading of those authors in “the original”? Or, perhaps, that the student is under the impression that the ancient Greeks wrote in English?

On a different topic from the same issue, would Catherine Norman be good enough to share her list of 14 New Testament references “showing that Jesus was using hyperbole when he said, ‘Call no man Father’, and that he and his apostles often referred to other men, and sometimes to themselves, as ‘father’”?

Mary K. LeBlanc

(Regarding the Saint Mary’s student, her preceding sentence explained that she was reading the texts themselves rather than interpretations or analyses.)

More children, more priests

Clifford Wiesner (Forum, Sept. 18) speaks in favor of lifting the ban on married priests. I doubt his final point that allowing married priests would alleviate the priest shortage.
As things are at the moment, it seems that the Sunday collection can hardly support our priests; so how would we support the wife and the five kids (assuming it is a good Catholic marriage!)? We would have to take up a second collection every week to pay just for the college tuition.

As an alternative fix to the “priest shortage” I propose that Catholic parents procreate a couple extra sons and encourage them to consider the seminary. Celibate priesthood is not the problem, but rather married couples who for many reasons want few children and never encourage them in the direction of the religious life or the priesthood. Now you know the real cause of the “priest shortage”.

Phillip Faight

Gender is relevant

Calling priests “Father” is clearly appropriate as they are our spiritual fathers sent by God (apostles), to guide (shepherd) and nurture (fathers) our Faith, also a gift from God. And a priceless one it is, indeed!

As far as women “priests” are concerned, the beliefs expounded are such as to be clearly not Catholic and therefore not of Jesus our Lord. These invalid attempts to mimic the priesthood of Jesus by women reveals in these people the love of self rather than the love of Holy Mother Church.

The gender of a priest IS relevant based simply on Jesus’ intent. We creatures are simply not in a position to re-shape, re-make and re-do what is God’s. We belong to the Church, we did not create it. We belong to the Mystical Body of Christ, we are not its head.

Diane Dawes
San Francisco

Translation consistency

I would like to respond to the comments of Mark Roberts (Forum, Sept. 4) regarding the new translation of the Mass.

To begin, it is an error to say that Latin is a dead language. No linguist would agree with that statement. To make such a statement is to say that Latin, at one point, died. From a linguistic point of view, Latin did not die at all. It simply morphed into “dialects”, if you will.

Some will joke (and yet make a legitimate point) that a language is simply a dialect with an army and a navy. As well, if a language were truly dead, it would imply that not one person or organization uses it. The simple fact is that Latin is still used, albeit not in a colloquial manner.

As for my second objection, Mr. Roberts writes that Spanish is increasingly becoming a language used in the American Liturgy. Ironically, he proves my point. Most, if not all, of the languages into which the Mass has been already translated are closer to the original Latin.

For example, the Latin “et cum spiritu tuo” translates to the English “and with thy/your spirit” and to the Spanish “y con tu espíritu.” “And also with you” is not used in any other translation, not even in that of our cousin, German.

Overall, standardization in patterns of translation will benefit the entire community of Catholics around the world by leaving nothing lacking or needlessly added to the living prayer of the Church.

John-Paul Deol

Recommended reading

Last month the book “Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace” by Scott Hahn came out. For the conspiracy theorists, this book is a fine definition or introduction to the Biblical theology of Opus Dei.

Mary McMahon

The opinions expressed in letters to Reader's Forum are the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Voice or the Oakland Diocese.

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