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placeholder  May 19, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Thanks to diocese

Please accept my deepest appreciation to Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and the people in the Diocese of Oakland for your generous contribution and heartfelt concern for the people of the Philippines. The people of the Philippines are overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity, prayers and messages from U.S. Catholics.

Your willingness to support them at the onset of this disaster and during the rebuilding process has touched the hearts of many families throughout the country. Your support continues to allow Catholic Relief Services to bring help and hope to those devastated by natural disasters.

This letter serves as a formal acknowledgement of your recent donation to Catholic Relief Services for the following gift from the diocese: $359,000 for Typhoon Haiyan.

On behalf of the CRS staff and those who will be touched by your gifts, I thank you for leading the faithful in the Diocese of Oakland to live their faith in solidarity with the poor and marginalized people overseas.

May God bless you for your prayers and continued generosity.

Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO,
Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, Maryland

Bad Voice

Whatever has happened to religious education? Your April 21 edition declared, multiple times, that John Paul II and John XXIII will "become" saints on April 27. This is a basic error.

The Church does not, cannot, make anyone a saint. They are saints because of the lives they lived and their relationship to God. The Church merely recognizes their sainthood through the Rite of Canonization. The purpose of the rite is to assure Catholics that they may, without uncertainty, appeal to these two saints for intercession. Prior to canonization, they were merely "presumed saints," as I hope is true for you and your proofreaders as well.

David C. McGaffey

Improved quality

I have been delighted by the quality of the letters recently published in The Voice. Perhaps it is because of my agreement with the authors, but I prefer to think that the quality has improved.

I have one word for Tom Hockel's (Forum, May 5) view of abortion (I assume he means abortion on demand) and have only one word: BRAVO!

Pam Brady's (Forum, May 5) view of same sex unions is admirable but she should consider that we are all individuals created by God. Those who have a true and honest inborn preference for an individual's sex are, nonetheless, a creation of God; not including those who chose their preference. I do not believe they should be included in the ancient definition of a marriage but leave it to God to judge if they sin. If the state decides to recognize their union so may it; the Church does not, and so be it; politicians should not interfere, but if there are votes to be had, they will.

Meg Conrad's (Forum, May 5) comments on the health care team are right on. We just experienced a critical seven-week hospital stay and depended upon RN and CNA nurses tempering comments to treating physicians who only see the patients for a few minutes a day, to help moderate on the spot decisions by the physicians which may have been short sighted and premature.

Finally, John Kearney's (Forum, May 5) comments on the Prayers of the Faithful may be unintentionally harsh. We have been told to pray when three or more are present. He is present; what better place than at Mass. I wish more would shout out their petition loudly so all could join in. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is there. Let Him hear you-we all need as much support as we can get.

Clifford R. Wiesner

Used books too

Lisa Fisher of Catholic California Press (Forum, May 5) denies, incorrectly, that the book "Seven Summers from the Shore" is available through Amazon. She is apparently overlooking the fact that both used and new books can be purchased at Amazon.

Mary K. LeBlanc

Thanks for coverage

Thank you for your coverage of the "Celebration of 2 Saints" (Voice, May 5). I attended the April 26 Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral, knowing I would be in the minority as one of those who were there especially to celebrate the elevation of John XXIII.

I appreciate the sincere inclusion of John XXIII in the bishop's opening remarks and in the fine homily given by Father Ray Gawronski, SJ. It was naturally more difficult, because of John XXIII's comparatively short reign and the years that have passed since then, for many there to find the same enthusiasm for Angelo Roncalli as for Karol Wojtyla.

For me, one of what a friend calls "Vatican II orphans," this moment was too long in coming and I am thrilled that Pope Francis declared both these men saints at the same time. What occurred to me as I observed the cathedral celebration was how different the event would have been if not for Pope John XXIII's initiating the Second Vatican Council and the ensuing wonderful changes we now take for granted.

In the past, the cathedral celebration would not have included, for example: readings in Vietnamese, Spanish and Polish; there would not have been readers other than priests; there would have been no women, or for that matter no lay men at the ambo; there would have been no Permanent Deacons; the Mass would not have been in English; there would not have been a dozen adorable Polish children in costume bringing up the gifts.

"Full, conscious and active participation" in the liturgy by the faithful community, now known as the Church, was not a normal experience until after the Council of Bishops did their work.

Pope John's canonization has been a long time coming. I celebrate how far we have come and I dare to remind my brothers and sisters of the huge impact Good Pope John XXIII had on our lives as Catholics through the miracle that was the Council.

Nora Petersen

End trafficking

My prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the alleged missing victims of human trafficking. This is an opportunity to remember that God will never abandon His children.

We have our Guardian Angels surrounding us, but sometimes things happen that we do not understand, other than the greed, avarice and man's inhumanity to others. One thing that I do know is that God has the answer to all that ails mankind.

Just as God has given us the intercession of St. Anthony when we have lost items; St. Francis for our pets; He also gave us St. Peter Claver. St. Peter Claver is the Jesuit priest, canonized in 1889 by Pope Leo XIII who ministered to victims of slavery as they arrived on ships at the port in Cartegena, Colombia, in South America en route to the great world diaspora.

Were it not for the ministry of St. Peter Claver to many of our ancestors, many of us would not be here today. St. Peter Claver is the patron saint for social justice, human rights and for victims of human trafficking.

Let us thank God for all the good people that God has given us to help one another. We especially thank and acknowledge the Sisters of The Holy Family for their ministry. St. Peter Claver, pray for us.

Regina Wilkerson

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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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