Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 29, 2002
WCR Letters to the Editor
WYD visa denial hurt family
It is really a shame that Canadian immigration officials are denying so many visas to valid and worthy WYD pilgrims (WCR, July 1, 15).
Reading about the extraordinary proportion of Ugandan pilgrims who were denied visas is truly heartbreaking.
A week ago, my whole family personally felt the effect of this when my sister-in-law in the Philippines was surprisingly denied a visa to attend WYD.
The reasons given were that she is single and has her sister and parents here (Oh the shame!).
She was the only one in her youth group denied because she was the only one with relatives here in Canada.
The visa officer automatically suspects these circumstances in her life classify her as a national threat, while the furthest thing from her mind was to sneak into the country.
The impact on my family has been very hard because she will not even be able to visit her parents when she wants to, especially now that they are growing older.
I take for granted that I am able to freely visit my parents, but I personally see somebody who has no chance at all to visit hers.
Many pilgrims, with intentions of only coming to celebrate their faith with the pope and fellow young Catholics from around the globe, have been denied visas because of the circumstantial situations in their lives.
Being single, having family here and being from a poor country are not valid reasons to be discriminated against.
As I depart for Toronto next week, I can't help but think of the thousands of dejected pilgrims who should be with us celebrating their Catholic faith. I will be praying for them during this pilgrimage.
Pastoral service program lauded
As a recent graduate of the Formation for Pastoral Service program at Newman Theological College, I would like to recommend the course.
This is a two-year, live-in program of one weekend a month covering courses of Scripture, spirituality, theology, liturgy and pastoral practice.
One classmate moved to Chicago and commuted for the last three months of the program. Our instructional team was tops. We are fortunate to have a program like this in our diocese.
Glimpses of heaven examples debated
I was somewhat puzzled by Ralph Himsl's glimpses of heaven. (WCR, July 15) I can understand that we ought to thank God for wonderful things like sunrises, birdsongs, sonnets, and simplicity.
What I find rather perplexing and even contradictory, is his thankfulness for the modern esoteric "chaos" theories, if that is what he really meant by being thankful for those scientists who can show him the glimpses of heaven, especially when these theories are misapplied in the form of popular props.
Perhaps Mr. Himsl would like to explain how such a theory can give us a glimpse of heaven, since natural science and computing, no matter how complex or esoteric, can only give us the glimpses of the structure of our physical world.
Heaven knows, in the last century we have had more than a fair share of quasi-scientific nonsense, starting with the various theories of evolution, misapplied relativity, all the way to time travel and modern naturalistic "order out of chaos" theories.
We ought to be aware our theology has been under attack by the misapplied theories of people like Teilhard de Chardin.
Ironically, I found it quite fitting that the associated Sunday reading in Jeremiah 23 is particularly concerned about the deception of people by false prophets: "With adulterers the land is filled; on their account the land mourns, the pasture ranges are seared. Theirs is an evil course, theirs is unjust power."
Hardly a glimpse of heaven for the poor misled sheep of today, only slippery ground, says the Lord.
Open hearts to St. Joseph
I only wish your wonderful paper appeared twice a week, rather than once a week.
I am continually amazed when I read the letters to the editor, how the people have become knowledgeable in their faith.
I only have one reproach. Finally, you did print a full length article on Mary.
How I enjoyed "Cultivate Mary in your life" (WCR, July 15). Why is it that the two most important people in Jesus' early life have become so forgotten, even ignored, in many of today's sermons?
There is a wonderful article on the Internet entitled "The man Mary loved" (http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0416.html), one that is well worth reading. I am nurturing the hope that the "forgotten man" of the Church will be truly recognized for who he truly is: patron of Canada and our archdiocese.
May God bless you in the wonderful ministry you are giving us.
Fr. Guy Carriere