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placeholder October 7, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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St. Michael's prayer

In response to the letter (Forum, Sept. 9) about the Prayer of Saint Michael, perhaps Mr. King would have better served his understanding of not only the history of this prayer, but also the long-standing tradition which stands behind it, if he had studied the teachings of the Catholic Church. The fact that he is disturbed by war and battle imagery used in this prayer and in many other places in our tradition reveals he does not understand the prayer.

The Bible utilizes military motif and imagery in many places, but especially in Ephesians 6:12, which reminds us that "our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens."

After prayer and consultation with two bishops I reintroduced this prayer at the end of Mass because of the very reasons Mr. King cites. If he doubts that the whole world is under attack by the evil one, he might turn from the study of history to the study of current events. I, for one, am thankful that St. Michael is both the defender of the Church and the special protector of Israel.

Rev. Robert Mendonça
St. Michael's Church

'Thank you'

It is with a heartfelt, "Thank you," we thank Rev. Robert Rien, the pastoral staff, the Knights of Columbus, the 200-plus volunteers and all who gave so generously of their time, talent and treasure to host a family dinner in honor of our grandson, Matthew, and his family.

Matthew recently returned home to Antioch after a 73-day stay at UCSF Children's Hospital, where he received a kidney and liver transplant.

St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish is a modern day example of living the Beatitudes. Our son and his family are blessed to be a part of such a vibrant, welcoming and loving parish under the leadership of their pastor, Father Rien, and the St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish Council.

Don and Bea Ouimet

Pray for the world

Dear Mary, Queen of Peace, please pray for our pope, our bishop, the world, Syria, Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Catherine Clark

Blue Mass

I am writing in response to the article (Voice, Sept. 9) about the Blue Mass. The article stated that previous masses for first responders were celebrated at St. Ignatius of Antioch. The story did not include that there have been several Blue Masses at Saint Mary's College of California. These Masses came about through careful planning by Brother Dominic Berardelli, FSC.

Public safety workers were honored and remembered at a celebration of the Eucharist that included bagpipes, honor guards, ministers of other faiths and chaplains. A complimentary barbecue lunch was enjoyed by all on the chapel lawn.

While it was a joy for the college to host this event, and a privilege for me to preach and preside at the Mass, we all agree this celebration belongs in the cathedral. May this be the first of many Blue Masses to honor those who have given their lives and those who continue to serve and protect.

Rev. Salvatore J. Ragusa, SDS

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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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