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 January 10, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

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More education needed

Sandy Lione’s letter (Reader’s Forum, Dec. 13) proves that the 2011 Missal changes will require greater education and catechesis.

All translation is treason. However, the translation Lione quotes is accurate when it translates the phrase “et cum spiritu tuo” as “and with your spirit.” The decision to translate the phrase as “and also with you” was a decision made ages ago, and without asking the people in the pews about it.
The Holy Mass is not a process for excluding people from Christ.

Rather, it is the one true process where people are brought closer to Him. Feeling included at Mass is a question of knowing who you are and how much you are loved — not Latin or seeing or not seeing the priest’s face. Knowing you’re included requires seeking and nurturing a relationship with Christ and thorough catechesis. Baptism includes us in Christ.

The Eucharist — however validly and licitly delivered — makes us one with Him. At Mass, not only do we know the presence of God, we are known by Him.

A change in translation (of something that probably should be experienced in the original most of the time) does not change what the Mass is or who we are when we’re there. No, they can’t take that away from us.
Noli timere (Do not be afraid), Sandy.

Rebecca C. Spencer-O’Hare
Latin instructor

Changes will fill the pews

This is a response to the letter of Sandy Lione (Reader’s Forum, Dec. 13) entitled “Liturgical changes regressive.” I would say they are progressive and very beneficial to the Church in these troubled times. She states “is et cum spiritu tuo far behind?” It would be so sweet to hear those words again in church. She states the Church is deflecting the real issue of priestly pedophilia. Enough has been said and done on that score. Let us be wise enough to distinguish between those who have been truly victimized and those whose lives are a complete failure and are looking for someone to blame and for someone to collect money from.

She says she fears a Latin Mass will turn the priest’s back to the congregation. I think instead of empty pews there would be a full congregation with everyone turned in the same direction toward God.

We are the less vocal group and we would like to take our Church back from the immorality of those who want to dictate their own morals to the Church instead of vice-versa.

Marie-Louise Fiatarone

Catholic politicians stray

According to the Dec. 13 Catholic Voice, there will be fewer members in Congress who identify themselves as Roman Catholic, but hopefully the numbers of Catholics (and non-Catholics) who actually follow Church teachings on life issues will be up.

Unfortunately, California did not follow the national trend in electing pro-life politicians — within the boundaries of the Catholic Voice, we have Catholic Reps. George Miller, D-Martinez; John Garamendi; D-Walnut Grove; and Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton — all of whom have voting records pathetically low — or zero — in accord with Catholic teachings on many life issues. This has been documented in the Catholic Advocate voter guide of Congress (www.catholicadvocate.com).

Mother Teresa, at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994 said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

Let’s hope and pray the 112th Congress will convene and protect the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters.

Patti Devlin

Great musical experience

More than 400 people came to St. Ignatius of Antioch Church Dec. 17 to hear the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, under the direction of Steven Mayer, artistic director, in a program of music for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Some of the Boys Choir members and their parents drove more than 21⁄2 hours in order to get to Antioch for the concert. It was the first time that they had ever performed in East County and they were enthusiastically received. From the opening processional music, chanted from the narthex, to the concluding anthem, their voices were nothing short of heavenly, the trebles soaring with their descants to several of the compositions. Mayer has done an outstanding job of training these young men and developing their voices as well as their ability as bellringers.

I am deeply grateful to Father Seamus Genovese, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Oakland, for providing them with rehearsal space, which is centrally located in allowing the boys to come together from all over the Bay Area for their rehearsals.

Our hope is that they will return to our parish and Antioch every Advent to help us prepare for the Christmas feast. I think all those present would agree there is no better way to prepare for Christmas than with this choir. Thank you, Mr. Mayer and Boys, for a truly memorable and outstanding musical evening.

Father Robert Rien
St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish

Child needs both parents

To say a child needs his arm is rational. The fact that some children have their arm amputated for grave reasons does not negate the child’s need for both arms. A substitute arm would be a help, but it cannot match the benefits of a healthy left and right arm.

Though the analogy is not perfect, a child’s need for both of his biological parents is rational, and possibly more important than his need for both his left and right arm. I dare say there are children who would give their right arm to be able to live with their loving, married mother and father.

Artificial contraception, easy divorce, artificial conception, domestic partnerships with children and single parents lack the ability to provide the basic need of every child to be conceived and nurtured in a loving, self-giving, life-long marriage between her mother and father. As with the loss of an arm, a substitute may be necessary at times (and those struggling to raise children must be loved and supported), but these alternatives should not be lifted up as a standard.

As Dr. Jennifer Morse puts the question, should marriage be the kind of thing that unites children with their mother and father, or the kind of thing that separates children from their mother and father? Which kind of marriage benefits children and society? I think the rational answer is obvious to any honest person.

Catherine Norman

Community Links aids artist

With regard to the article, “Inspired Andean artist resurrects Baroque-era form” (The Catholic Voice, Dec. 13), I want to thank you for spreading the word about Alfredo Murillo’s wonderful artistry and great community project.

I have known Murillo since 1994 and he’s the real deal. I would like to point out, however, that the presence in Cochabamba with Murillo of universities such as Georgetown and Fordham is due to the work of Community Links International, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2000 based on many years of living and working in Latin America (www.commlinks.org).

Murillo works with us as our local coordinator when such volunteer delegations are present.

Jim Petkiewicz
Community Links International
San Jose

Help Casa Vincentia

While preparing for the Walk for Life Jan. 22, consider putting a few dollars into an envelope and sending it to Casa Vincentia, 3210 - 62nd Ave., Oakland 94605.

This is a warm, caring residence for young ladies with troubled pregnancies who have chosen life. You will talk the Walk.

Mary McMahon

Sunday missalette incomplete

In the “Knowing Religion” and “Pew Survey” items (Voice, Oct.18) lack of religious literacy and loss of Catholic members “should raise flag of concern for the Church” not to mention sex abuse issues.

The Christian faith values taught in Catholic schools and learned early among children in catechism classes need to be nurtured spiritually through lifetime till death. The adults who enter Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults need continuous spiritual nourishment as well. The Church must be strong in tending the planted seeds of Faith as found in the bible.

Not all church goers can attend Bible studies that would help them enhance understanding of the Bible. And not everyone who has a Bible reads it consistently and comprehends it. Here in the Oakland Diocese the Sunday missalette has lost for years the sections for the readings and the Gospel that are important links to the words of Christ. I miss those Masses when I could read and hear at the same time the readings and the Gospel. We need to have those critical sections printed back in the Sunday missalette (as much as we need Lectors capable of delivering them efficiently).

I believe that “to hear the Mass” is also to assimilate the words of Jesus Christ so as to be able to practice more consciously our Catholic Faith.

L. Tams

Wrong thinking on Eucharist

Jack Hockel (Reader’s Forum, Nov. 22) heartily endorses the position of Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, N.Y., to put an end to weekday Communion services because they “sever the connection between receiving the sacrament and celebrating the sacrifice.” In other words watching the priest perform the consecration is more important than the worshiper receiving the Eucharist.

To my thinking, this is another attempt to demonstrate the primacy of the priest.

This is akin to not allowing someone to partake in a nourishing meal unless they are present when the cook prepares it. Jesus said “unless you eat my body and drink my blood;” he didn’t require the presence of a priest. Does the miracle of the Eucharist cease when a priest is not present? Should we stop distribution of the Eucharist to the homebound and those confined in a hospital?

Why should we deny the Eucharist to those who come daily to worship because a priest is not available?
I don’t think so. This appears to be another attempt to elevate the clergy above the laity.

C. Robert Wiesner

Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

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