Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 30, 2002
WCR Letters to the Editor
Today's secularized society threatens school system
Thank you for your timely and conciliatory editorial. I had meant to respond to the central story in the WCR that followed our system's school opening mass.
Your editorial has greatly obviated that response identifying, what I feel is the greatest risk to our catholic jurisdiction: the secularization of society.
I was greatly disturbed at Dr. Ripley's speech at the mass and the WCR's reporting thereof. Rather than welcoming teachers and staff in a spirit of collegiality, rather than modeling the invitation, which is a cornerstone of the way Catholics interact and celebrate their coming together, he chose to propagate guilt and fear.
Constantly ringing alarm bells does more to focus the attention of those opposed to catholic schools than it does to alert an already vigilant and committed staff.
I had feared, upon reading the front page article in the WCR, that the editorial staff (and, by extrapolation, a major segment of catholic decision makers) had abandoned its usual strong support for our catholic teachers and shared the superintendent's low opinion of them.
We are all in the front line as defenders of catholic education and there is no room for assault by friendly fire. Thank you for restoring my faith and perpetuating my high regard for your contribution to the sustainability and growth of catholic schooling.
Fritz Kropfreiter, teacher
Archbishop MacDonald High School
Catholic teachers keep a clear vision
Re: Threat to Catholic Education (WCR, Sept.9).
Today is an appropriate day to consider threats, from without as well as within. Nine-eleven has made us threat conscious.
So your Sept. 9 front page tells us that our Chief Superintendent Dale Ripley is looking for monsters under the bed of Edmonton's Catholic education.
The perceived threat is that "Catholic educators are unable to articulate a relevant . . . vision of Catholic education . . . " That is a surprising charge.
Most classroom teachers I know, and I know many, are eminently capable of articulating their vision of Catholic education, even if that is not exactly the same as the chief's vision, necessarily.
I hope the chief is not naively legalistic or dogmatic. For decades some of the best, wisest, most dedicated people in the Edmonton Catholic community have contemplated, analyzed and debated the essence of Catholic identity and the mission of Catholic education.
We invariably concluded that there is no "one size-fits-all" Catholicism. Our Catholic Church accommodates all kinds of Catholics from hard-core fundamentalists to soft-core social activists. We have hawks and we have doves. We have materialists and we have mystics.
A Webster definition of "Catholic" is "universal, all inclusive, having broad sympathies." That definition links Catholicism and Christianity. The two are not necessarily the same.
Please allow me to suggest to ecclesiastical, corporate and institutional leaders of God's people to support and encourage the folks who work for you. Without them, you are nothing.
Use your political power to affirm faith, spiritual values
Congratulations to the Superintendent Dale Ripley, whose faith in God is strong enough to stand and say the truth to the teachers and staff of the Edmonton Catholic Schools. I pray that each one of us will take his message seriously because too many of us Catholics have grown weak in our faith and are not aware how the demons are scourging the earth.
We have to wake up before our spiritual values and lives are snuffed out. Could we not return to the morals that our country was founded on?
We must regain and deepen our faith in God because we have fallen into a spiritual apathy.
Father Bernie Gilliece from St. Dominic Savio Parish made a powerful homily at mass on September 15 about this issue. He was straightforward and clear by telling the parents to use their "political power" to affirm their faith and spiritual values.
His message was very enlightening for whoever wants to follow Jesus and not the earthly and perishable gains.
Sister Elisabeth Coulombe
Gays encouraged to practice celibacy and find inner peace
In his letter to the WCR, Jay Smith argues that homosexual and lesbian couples should have the right to parent children. He also states that lesbians and gays can form stable, loving couples comparable to heterosexual unions.
I would like to echo the sentiments of an editorial published in the National Post on March 8, 1999. Research shows children are raised best in households providing models for both genders. Two daddies or two mommies will never replace a husband and a wife.
My personal experience of dealing with homosexuals confirms this fact.
It also confirms what studies point to - that an active homosexual or lesbian lifestyle is destructive to the men and women involved.
It leaves behind empty words, broken promises, as well as hearts and souls that mistake passing pleasure for true love.
Gay men and lesbian women are looking for love and affection: but that love is not to be found in multiple anonymous partners in rapidly-changing relationships. Gays and lesbians will not find love by equating their "unions" with marriages, nor by adopting children.
All this is a cycle that will never end, because you cannot satisfy true love with demands - or claims to rights - that other people, the government, or culture have to satisfy.
Inner peace is a gift that follows from the acceptance of truth. This truth then leads to freedom. Only within a celibate life will a homosexual or lesbian find joy. Only by living chastity will you find serenity of soul.
The drive for "rights" is smoke and mirrors. You will only find love and acceptance by allowing Jesus' healing truth inside your heart.
St. Albert, AB
Recognize WYD was a wise investment
I was a trustee in the Catholic School System in Saskatchewan for 15 years and served at the local, regional,provincial and national levels.
When I retired, my message to the convention was Home, School and Parish.
I was so pleased to read Dale Ripley's comment in the Sept Issue "Catholic Education faces threat from within."
Our children need to know they have support from every level and schools need to use the resources of their parishoners.
There are so many talents there to make use of, as mentors, role models.
Keep it up Dale.
Don't let it die.
Re. Art Babych "WYD"investment" turns sour"
I must disagree with him.
Was the aim of the Days a financial venture or was it designed to be an "investment" in the future of the next generation?
My grandson attended and can't speak too highly of what he gained from attending and seeing the enthusiasm and the efforts of all these young people.
He was in a team of 10 who were designated numerous jobs and of that group, two have entered the seminary and two are in a religious congregation of women.
Is that an investment or a sour note?
Let's be positive and give our people all the help they need to live their faith and pass it on to those around them.
Marriage refusal lauded
Good for Father John Maes in Medicine Hat to refuse the sacrament of marriage to a woman who contravenes the essence of the Catholic faith with her involvement with the abortion industry!
The executive director of Planned Parenthood, Melanie Anderson, is quoted as saying, " I think the Church should be concerned about what kind of precedent they're setting. They could find themselves with some very empty pews."
Jesus never watered down the commandments or made them optional for the sake of popularity. Is it more important to fill the pews with those who oppose the Lord's commandments, or to preserve the faith as we have received it from the Lord Himself?
The Church is setting the same precedent that Jesus set Himself. They can only be commended.
We must protect the unborn
I profoundly appreciate Bishop Henry's support of Medicine Hat's Father Maes. By stating that Planned Parenthood employees are acting against God's will and excommunicating themselves, Father Maes was simply doing his job. When the denial of the sacrament of Marriage to Celina Ling reached the media, Bishop Henry stood firmly behind Father Maes and succinctly enunciated the Church's position.
The Catholic Church obviously must withhold the sacrament of Holy Matrimony from an employee of Planned Parenthood.
We must start now to petition the government to defund abortion and to support adoption and life.
We must, as Bishop Henry states, "Stand up for lives of the unborn." Our great bishops must take the initiative! We must set a date. One e-mail would do it and organize a month of petition signing.
Dedicate December to defund abortion.