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Thanks to choir
As I approach the final month of preparation before my ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, I reflect upon the happy moments of my life that have led me to this significant occasion.
One of my greatest loves in life is the Sacred Liturgy in its grandeur, beauty and tradition. That love for the liturgy was introduced to me during my youth back in the mid-1990s when I was a member of the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers.
In addition to being introduced to music, different cultures and travel, the choir also offered me a great introduction to the rich liturgical and musical patrimony of the Catholic tradition.
In God's mysterious design, he used my experience of being part of the GGBC as a way to introduce me to the liturgy, but then toward discerning the call to become a Catholic priest. I firmly believe that my experiences with choir so many years ago helped to nourish the vocation, which is now being confirmed as I am ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ on May 18 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.
It is for this reason that I invited the director, Steven Meyer, and the members of the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers to provide the sacred music for my First Mass of Thanksgiving on Pentecost Sunday, at 12:15 p.m. May 19 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Danville.
I am very grateful they accepted my invitation. It will be a great honor to offer the Holy Mass for the first time and knowing that my prayers of thanksgiving will be edified by the choir's wonderful musical talents. It will truly be a beautiful celebration in which our chants and hymns can truly join the angels and saints whose heavenly music constantly fills the halls of heaven before our Almighty God.
Rev. Mr. Brandon E. Macadaeg
Politicians, the Pill
Jesus said "Let the children come to me." I wonder if our President would let his daughters use the "morning after" pill, or what other supposed Christian politicians are thinking when they support the termination of children?
John R. Schaffner
Clifford Wiesner (Forum, April 22) bemoans the persecution of Christians by Moslems, and suggests that we insist the US government do various things about it. His letter lacks certain contexts.
Moslems can certainly be quite dreadful, but: Communists persecute Christians in China and elsewhere; rabbinical Jews do so in the Holy Land (Galilee was majority-Christian for 19 centuries before the Zionists came to power); Christians persecute other Christians, God forgive us all, in Russia (come to that, Moslems often persecute each other (in one direction in Iraq and in the other in Syria); and secular inhumanists look fair to imposing their will in the US itself (who was it said "God bless Planned Parenthood" at PP's annual dinner lately?).
This last point is part of the general matter of the suitability of the US to bring matters before international fora. The US has at least twice disobeyed ICJ orders; OSCE monitors were threatened with arrest by the Attorney General of Texas during the last federal elections; the US itself heavily funds the Zionists; that stupid Second Amendment makes the US a lot more dangerous than it need be; a country with abortion almost on demand is hardly in a position to complain about religious persecution; calling same-sex unions "marriage" prevents the US from shaming anyone into better behavior about anything; the U.S. refuses to incorporate the main international human-rights decisions into its own law, and does not submit to the Inter-American Human Rights Court. The US can't preach.
The world is in a mess, and I do not know how to heal it. As e. e. cummings wrote:
King Christ, this world is all aleak;
and life preservers there are none:
and waves which only He may walk
Who dares to call Himself a man.
There is a Dutch Proverb: Reformeer de kerk, begin met jezelf (Reform the church, begin with yourself). In English we have Bloom where you're planted and Charity begins at home — as does justice. Wiesner has perhaps chosen the wrong subject for jihad/crusade.
Oh, by the way, Kenya is not a Moslem country, and Nigeria is only about half-Moslem.
John A. Wills
Meanness in Forum
It appears that Forum Letters has a particular bias. There is much anger, violent name calling and divisive language placed before common sense, sensitivity, compassion and even basic respect for others that one disagrees with.
It is very disheartening when a publication supporting the good news, mercy and compassion of Jesus does not publish letters reflecting such a point of view.
'Guardians of orthodoxy'
The letters in the April 22 issue of The Catholic Voice written by Clifford Wiesner, David Zarri, Peter C. Burkard and Giorgio Navarini, beg the questions: Who are these "guardians of orthodoxy" who maintain with dogmatic certitude and self-righteous indignation what they perceive to be the teachings of the Church and what we "should" and "shouldn't" do to maintain law and order in our Church and government? Who selects these letters to be published? How many letters published by any writer are too many?
Some catechesis in response to these letters is necessary to clarify misguided and erroneous judgments put forth by the letter writers but none is offered. At best, they represent the need for more adult formation to better understand our Catholic faith.
(Editor's note: Writers are generally limited to four letters in any 12-month period.)
I felt the April 21 Gospel reading was particularly appropriate considering the carnage and innocent blood lost as a result of the Boston bombing, both that of the victims and the perpetrators. The victims in Boston bombing, like Jesus, shed their blood in this tragedy.
Please read the following passages from the book of Revelation:
I (John) had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
Then one of the elders said to me,
These are the ones who have survived the times of great distress; They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in the temple.
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Rev 7, 9-17).
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