Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 12, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Pain of rural church closure
Thank you Mary Feddema for your letter"Slamming Church Doors Shut Impacts Everyone" in the Feb. 19 WCR and expressing how we in a rural area feel after being closed.
After seven years, it still pains me every Sunday when I travel to one of our larger neighbouring parishes, knowing that our little church sits empty with the heat on and I think of all former members of that faith community I no longer see or hear from.
I too question why lay-led services every other week or Liturgy of the Word services we held for nearly 10 years are no longer deemed acceptable. The social fabric of our faith community is still present and yearning.
Whenever a service is held whether on our patron saints feast day or special occasion, the church is packed. We are left trying to explain to the newcomers in our community, "Why is it that they must travel the extra 45 minutes to one of three larger parishes considered in the area when our church is filled?"
That's what really hurts, having to justify a decision to the 30 sum families in our faith community, that I will never fully understand or support.
I was on the TOPS committee in our area and a number of recommendations were brought forward. Closing parishes was not an option our team recommended.
At the 11th hour, lay-led services, periodic services and deacon-led services were taken off the table by the bishop. The only recommendations left were amalgamations and closures.
It's time to rethink the value of the rural faith communities and put an end to closures. We want our children to learn and experience their religion in a small faith community as we did.
Yes they will learn of their religion in the larger parishes we now attend but as parents we always want what's best for our children.
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish
Letter to the Editor - 04/09/07
Maybe the interruption is God talking
Your editorial "Give thanks for life's interruptions" (WCR, Feb. 26) reminded me of one interruption frequently encountered while walking in Edmonton - someone standing with the Edmonton Street News or Our Voice.
I buy each copy as it comes out and make an effort to convey to the seller that he/she is doing me a favour rather than the other way around.
This week I had a new insight in what takes place behind the scenes in putting out the Edmonton Street News.
Ash Wednesday, I was invited to speak at a hunger lunch for junior high and high school students at Ecole Maurice Lavallée. I didn't feel right about presenting hunger as purely a phenomenon of the global south.
Inspired by Jim Gurnett's International Week presentation It Kills Me to be Poor, I centred my 10 minutes on four questions: Who is hungry? Why are they hungry? What are we doing? What are the most equitable and sustainable solutions to hunger?
I proceeded to answer those questions both for Nicaragua where I was as an observer for the Nov. 5 elections and for Edmonton.
A couple of skilled young teachers crafted a great Power Point presentation with my text and photos.
When I returned home, I felt a little sad to put this presentation away. I translated it into English and emailed it to Linda Dumont, editor of the Edmonton Street News, to see if she would like it.
Linda will publish the English version of my presentation in the ESN's March issue. Welcome the interruption and buy it from a vendor.
Turn back to God or game over
Re: "Think globally, act locally" (WCR Letters, Feb. 5).
With all the talk about global warming and the oncoming debates which seem to go nowhere, not a word is said about the 732 oil well fires started by Iraqi troops at the end of the Gulf War.
Kuwait reported some 1,000 km of oil slicks that covered much of the Persian Gulf for months in 1991. It was the Canadian team that put out the 732 oil well fires.
How much damage was done to the environment then? Not a word was said. How much did this contribute to greenhouse gas? The concentration was never reported.
Astronomers using the Hubble Telescope have identified the biggest brightest star in the universe. The Pistol Star cannot be seen by the naked eye because of interstellar gas between Earth and the centre of the Milky Way galaxy where it is located.
The UCLA team realized the star's significance. It is a celestial mammoth that is up to 10 million times more powerful than the sun. It releases as much energy in six seconds as our sun does in one year. It will destroy three-quarters of the Earth.
It has been noticed by UCLA - they seek not to bring fear to mankind. When will the truth be told?
Gather your treasures now for heaven as everything here on Earth will be levelled. Turn back to God, or game over.
So much for global warming. God's will be done. Are you ready?
Ernest & Irene Kinzel
Red Deer County
Take the people of God seriously
I think Mary Feddema is a bit off the mark when she states: "The cities got what they wanted and shut up" (WCR Letters, Feb. 19).
Many parishes in my city, Edmonton, did not get what they wanted and were shut down. Good lay-led services could have kept communities of faithful service alive.
As long as the management of the institutional Church is more concerned about administrative expedience than about the people of God, the living body of Christ, communities of faithful will be ignored and eliminated.
The time has come for us to claim ownership of our parishes and our parish properties. As it is, bishops own everything we have contributed to for decades and generations.
They have shown they can get away with ignoring the spiritual well-being of our communities. If the institutional Church is serious about survival, the people of God must be taken seriously.
Tips on taming the incense
I enjoyed reading Sister Louise Zdunich's column on perfume and incense use in a church setting (WCR, Feb. 12).
I am one who has trouble with perfume and incense. I found St. Joseph's Basilica was a good place to avoid the perfume and incense smell. It has a very high ceiling compared with other churches.
The basilica is also a large seating parish. The quantity of windows helps with air circulation.
Talking to the priest and sacristan will aid in controlling the amount of incense put in the lantern.
Changing parishes can also have an effect on incense use. Lower donations in the collection basket indicates something is wrong in the parish.
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