FEBRUARY 7, 2005





Invitation to Adoration
We invite any who wish to add Eucharistic Adoration to their Lenten preparation for Easter to join us at St. Jarlath Church in Oakland. We are located at Highway 580 and Fruitvale Avenue with easy freeway access. We hold Adoration every Tuesday after the 7:30 a.m. Mass until our closing prayers/rosary at 7 p.m. Adoration is held in Mary’s Chapel, entrance on Pleasant Street.

Father Jan Rudzewicz
St. Jarlath Parish

Don’t silence teens
When people complain about the noise level of youth Masses or the “selfish” nature of teenagers, (Forum, Jan. 10) I find myself wondering, “What do you want from these kids?”

Do you want them in church?
They’re there!
Do you want them to share faith? They’re sharing it!
Do you want them to praise and
worship the Lord? They are!
Do you want them to participate in the life of the parish? They’re participating!

And in return, they only ask for a liturgy that speaks to their culture, their language, their youthful enthusiasm, their experience of God in their lives, just as we adults do.

They want a few drums and guitars. Is that too much to ask? Is it disrespectful?
I think we disrespect and ask too much of the teens when we expect them to pray and praise in a way they don’t understand.

As for being selfish, teens are as generous as their adult role models. They give their time, talent and treasure in proportion to their age, ability and income. Can we adults say the same?

As an example, the teens at Logan High School in Union City collected in their classrooms over $15,000 for tsunami relief in one week.

Teens love the Lord, the Mass, and the community as much as adult parishioners. And they should be welcomed and included and listened to as much as adult parishioners.

As for the volume of noise, check out Psalms 33, 47, 68, 81, 98, 149, and finally Psalm 150 which proclaims:
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in the temple!
Praise God’s strength in heaven!
Praise God for the mighty things he has done!
Praise God’s supreme greatness!
Praise God with trumpets!
Praise God with harps and lyres!
Praise God with drums and dancing!
Praise God with harps and flutes!
Praise God with cymbals!
Praise God with loud cymbals!
Praise the Lord, all living creatures!
Praise the Lord!

Instead of asking why the teens are so loud, I would ask why the rest of us are so silent.

Lucy Soltau
DRE/youth minister
Corpus Christi Parish

Defending the Church
I would like to thank Father Vincent Scott, former pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek, for stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run in the defense of our Church, our faith and our belief in Jesus Christ (Forum, Jan. 24).
It was really needed at this time. As always he is a true follower of Jesus and a man of the cloth. I’m sure his letter is what Jesus would have done.

Lillian Silver
Walnut Creek

A procession of hope
January 22, the 32nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, was a beautiful day for a stroll along San Francisco’s Embarcadero for the first ever West Coast Walk for Life.
We were old and young, Black, white and Asian. Yuppies and DINKS,
Republicans and even a pro-life Democratic speaker! A true rainbow coalition. Initial police estimates peg the crowd at 7,000 pro-lifers and only 900 pro-abortion counter demonstrators.

I haven’t felt this encouraged in decades. Maybe there is hope. Maybe our prayers are heard. Thousands of peaceful marchers endured the taunts and curses of snarling, egg tossing, spitting (really!) pro-aborts. It felt like the civil rights marches in the deep south of the 60s.

Let’s hope this turns into an annual event. By the grace of God, we shall overcome!

R. McKoon

Abuse of logic
I am disturbed by the letter from Sharon Atata (Forum, Jan. 24). She apparently doesn’t realize that she uses exactly the same fallacious argument that she complains about.

She twists the language by trying to claim that physicians are not physicians if they do something she disapproves of. Then she implies that anyone who disagrees with her is not a “genuine Catholic”.
I can’t understand why this abuse of logic is necessary because she is certainly on the right side of the argument about parental notification. She hurts the cause she is trying to help. I recommend that she speak the truth simply and without guile.

Stan Coppock
El Cerrito

No Social Security crisis
I am writing to dispute the notion, put forward by the Bush Administration, that Social Security is in crisis. There is, in fact, no crisis: all standard projections report that Social Security is financially solid.

Even with no changes whatsoever, Social Security’s own projections show that the program can pay ALL scheduled benefits through 2042—-and the CBO’s independent projections report that all benefits can be paid through 2052. There is no crisis.

As for the Bush administration plan to privatize Social Security, no less an economic authority than Robert Rubin, the former secretary of the Treasury, says, “It’s a badly, badly flawed plan.”

In my opinion, one of the worst flaws is the naïve belief that average Americans will do a better, more prudent job investing the money than has historically been the case for Social Security.

In fact, when past data are consulted, Social Security has outperformed both the Dow Jones and the Standard & Poor’s 500 in the long run. How many “average” American investors can claim that success over the long run?

Peter Johansson

Too quick to judge
My mother would tell me that God does not like nail polish and lipstick. Throughout my early life, my mother and the priest were God’s spokespeople for me. Sunday homilies were filled with fire and brimstone. Under pain of death, I would not have eaten meat on Friday or broken my fast before Communion.
Our priest, who had a mistress, would thunder his disapproval of the way young people dressed for church -— the little hankies on their heads instead of a proper hat, women showing up with short sleeve blouses and no stockings. It was obvious that flawed though he was, our priest had a direct pipeline to Jesus, as did my mother.

Today I am skeptical of people who are quick to judge the sins of others and know what Jesus thinks. We all sit in church “steeped in sin” as John Malaspina asserted (Forum, Sept. 6, 04). It is through the grace and mercy of God that we are cleansed, not through the hypocritical judgments of others.
The Church is invaluable in guiding us in this life, but even the Church has made mistakes. Maybe the soul does not enter a body at conception; maybe it enters later, or at birth.

People suffer from horrible diseases that could be cured with stem cell research. It will be too late for my husband who has had diabetes for 40 years, but I know the devastation of this disease and other terrible maladies. Would God send the knowledge and ability to cure heretofore incurable conditions and then forbid the cures?

We stand on a monumental threshold. We should give it due consideration as it will eventually affect us all. The people most adamant in their condemnation may end up being the first on a plane to whatever country did not have roadblocks thrown in its path and was able to progress in medical research.

Often we see things differently when our own loved ones are involved. We come to believe that Jesus wants our own children or mate cured by any available means, even on a Sabbath.

Marie Estes
Walnut Creek

Root of vocation problem
Pope John Paul has recently expressed concern over the lack of candidates for the priesthood. He alluded to the possibility that the recent child abuse scandal may be part of the reason. He asked that the seminaries concentrate more on the spiritual and suggested that there be an annual day of prayer for vocations.

I am afraid that the pope just doesn’t get it; or his advisers are misleading him. This shortage of vocations is not a new phenomenon; it has been obvious for many years. The problem is not only with new vocations but with the number of newly ordained priests who leave the priesthood after a short period of time and the large number who leave despondent and discouraged after years of service.

It is time that the Church stop looking outside itself for the root causes of these problems. The source can be found within the Church itself. The “day of prayer”, and there should be many, should pray that the leaders of the Church awaken to these facts and do something constructive to remedy them.

Clifford R. Wiesner

Speaking the truth
I am so happy to respond to the truth of John K.C. Chen’s letter (Forum, Jan. 10). I agree with all he says. I wish the majority of our nation would agree. No, all of our nation.

Sandra Mortimore
Walnut Creek

Cultivate open mindedness
I am in agreement with the letters written by Glenn Churchill of Oakland (Refrain from partisanship) and John K.C.Chen of Hayward (Truth vs. propaganda).
My only regret is that letters like these can’t be more widely read. But would it do any good? So many people are stuck in their thinking and refuse to see opposing but valid views.

Marilyn Carville

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