Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 3, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
Playschool closing lamented
When was it that the children of the Church became a "minor ministry"? Is it the Catholic Church as a unit that believes this or is it just the leaders of a local Leduc parish?
Recently a shift in focus has become apparent in Leduc. Gone are the days of Sunday school during Mass and now a successful Catholic play school has been asked to leave the Church.
It was just a little more than one year ago that the WCR printed a wonderful story about the success of the St. Michael's Little Angels Catholic Playschool. The article even stated that the playschool was the only Catholic based playschool in the Edmonton area.
The St. Michael's Little Angels Catholic Playschool was founded just over two years ago by several parish members who realized the need for a Catholic based playschool in Leduc. The playschool was founded to satisfy the needs of the parish and the local community.
In less than two short years, this small idea with one class has blossomed into two classes and 30 smiling children. These 30 little sponges for knowledge now get the opportunity to enter the Lord's house twice a week, they get to be taught a Catholic based program by a wonderful teacher, and they get to sing songs in the sanctuary of the Church.
Now this most powerful symbol, the Lord's house, is being taken away from these children. The playschool is being evicted from the church to make way for a trophy case, extra meeting space and storage.
It is not surprising more young people are drifting away from the Church when this sentiment is being circulated. Why would a family want to attend a church where their young children are deemed a "minor ministry," unimportant?
Unfortunately, it's not only the 30 young children who have been pushed out of the Church, but the parents of these young families as well. It is disheartening and disappointing for me to learn that the children of at least one Leduc church are classified as a "minor ministry."
In my opinion, the children of the Catholic Church should form the foundation for growth within the Church. It is a sad day for the Catholic Church when the needs of space and storage are more important than the children who are the future of our church.
Work the crossword and practise the faith
I am not in favour of Father Clem Gauthier's suggestion to replace the WCR crossword with some more theology articles (WCR Feb. 27).
The WCR is not exactly short on theology items: regular contributions from Father Ron Rolheiser, Msgr. Jim Lisante, Word Made Flesh, Bishop Fred Henry, our own Archbishop Thomas Collins, Glen Argan's input, with other occasional contributions make for excellent reading.
The WCR crossword itself is an entertaining and faith-filled source of biblical and traditional exegesis.
The city of Edmonton is fortunate in having such excellent religious educational facilities in its schools and colleges. While we can't have too much of a good thing, and knowledge is no load to carry, theology, to be effective must be practised as well as preached, and therein lies the challenge for all of us.
Alberta Catholics are well served by the WCR: It can't be easy keeping up to date in our rapidly changing technological society.
God bless the WCR board of directors and all the staff. Theirs is a valued service to the Word made flesh.
Missionary's Musings delight author
I was reminded of two old friends, one deceased, and one very much alive, when I read the Feb. 17 issue of WCR.
First, I was happy to learn that Elise Chartrand-Dery has written a biography of Oblate Father Maurice Beauregard entitled: Life is Wonderful. (An Oblate's Life of Adventure, by Renato Gandia).
Second, I have been appreciating the new Missionary's Musings columns by Oblate Father Jacques Johnson.
Fifteen years ago, when I was researching my doctoral dissertation on the future of the Church in the Western Arctic, I met Father Beauregard at Foyer Grandin, the home for retired priests in St. Albert, where he served as house superior.
He introduced me to dozens of retired priests, many of whom may have passed on to their rewards by now, as he has. I had the marvellous opportunity of interviewing men who had invested hundreds of years, cumulatively, in northern mission service.
At the same point in time, I met Father Jacques, who was then an Oblate provincial superior. Jacques and I became friends, and although I see him only periodically, I owe him a debt of gratitude for the pastoral support he offered me back then. I will never forget that.
Thanks for reminding me of challenging but rewarding days with two Oblates who have made, and continue to make, a significant contribution.
Drink ye all of this . . .
I'm writing regarding Sister Louise Zdunich's answer in the Feb. 10 issue. When she speaks of Communion under both species, she says, "We eat and drink in response to Christ's invitation at the Last Supper: 'Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is my blood.'"
In the Douay-Rheims Bible footnote, "Drink ye all of this" is explained.
"This was spoken to the 12 apostles, who were all then present, and they all drank of it, says Mark 14:23.
But it no way follows from these words spoken to the apostles that all the faithful are here commanded to drink of the chalice anymore than that all the faithful are commanded to consecrate, offer and administer this sacrament because Christ upon the same occasion and at the same time bid the apostles to do so in these words, Luke 22:19, 'Do this for a commemoration of me.'"
Same-sex marriage comments sought
The Canadian government has set up a standing committee to study the issue of same sex marriages and is soliciting input from the public.
It is vital that Catholics speak out loudly and stand in solidarity with the bishops to oppose this attack on marriage.
I encourage everyone to submit their comments, either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, toll-free 1-866-599-4999, now: deliberations have begun.