Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
April 9, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Promote priestly vocations
In addition to the letter by Aaron Roth (WCR Letters, March 26) I would like to add the following.
Pope Benedict XVI has stated that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian faith. How much is being done in Catholic schools to promote this?
If we are to encourage young men to join the priesthood then young men, especially from Grade 7 onwards should be "invited" to comment on the homily and Gospel of the preceding Sunday.
When was the last time junior and senior high students were taken on a field trip to the seminary or to the cathedral or to the church? Yes, there are exceptions to the rule and there may be several schools that do participate in programs such as these.
Furthermore, how are teachers in Catholic schools talking about the priesthood? Do they even promote the priesthood within the classroom setting or talk about their personal faith journey? How do parents encourage their sons about the priesthood or talk about priests at home?
Of course, reality says that it is possible that those Catholic parents who need to read this do not attend Sunday Mass nor subscribe to the WCR.
In my opinion Catholic schools are the perfect seedbed to encourage vocations and for this the cooperation of the school board, trustees, teachers, and the parent teacher association is very critical.
Maybe one day the pendulum will swing back and our seminaries will be full.
Fr. Malcolm D'Souza
Christ the King Parish
Time to break out of the Council of Trent box
Encourage men to consider the priesthood (WCR, March 5). I can just imagine seminarians Roger Rouleau and Aaron Roth (WCR, March 26) preaching their reasons why few men are considering the priesthood. Blame parents for not "giving up your sons and brothers to become priests." What a joke!
What are they teaching in the seminary?
Who would even want to become a priest in our disintegrating Church? Praying for vocations to the priesthood of an exclusive caste of clerical men is a waste of time and effort.
It may be more productive to pray to the Holy Spirit to inspire our "leaders" to get out of the "box" and read the signs of the times, as the documents of Vatican II instructed them to.
The "box" of our Church closed at the time of the Council of Trent in an effort to curtail the spread of a renewed Church of that time. No new ideas outside the "box" were accepted by the leaders of the Church at that time and this has largely continued to the present day.
How can there be growth in a Christian community, if the so-called leaders are self-engendered within a select group? It is somewhat like the cloning process in which no new genetic variations are introduced, thus preventing adaptation to a changing environment.
Vatican II attempted to open the "box." This was a major threat to many of the professional theologians in the Vatican. The "box" is again being shut with a regression to the Trentian age.
Latin is being introduced - a language that is understood by virtually zero per cent of the general population.
Women are excluded from decision making activities, as well as, assuming any significant role in the Church. For example, at the funeral pageantry of John Paul II, it was reported that the closest visible women was approximately 600 metres from the altar and this person was a nun.
I recommend Roger Rouleau and Aaron Roth get out of "box" and start reading well-researched documentation about our Catholic Church that is found outside of the seminary library.
Chincha Baja, Peru
Letter to the Editor - 04/23/07
No one can take the place of a priest
This letter is in response to that of Bob Kupka (WCR Letters, March 12) regarding the pain of rural church closure.
In the early 1980s, a letter came down from the Vatican stating that the people would have to take a more active part in the liturgy in their parishes as the shortage of priests was seen to be getting critical.
The fact was in newspaper headlines as early as 1970 - "Tomorrow a Church without priests?" was one of them.
Many jumped on the bandwagon, particularly women. Many who thought they were unjustly sidelined in the daily operations of their Church now saw their opportunity to contribute.
They took courses in becoming extraordinary ministers, in many cases taking over completely the running of the parish, telling the priest what his duty was, swirling about the altar, elbowing one another for position, handing out Communion and wine, writing and saying the homily.
Even the priest was ushered to a chair at the side of the altar, the tabernacle on a post at the side also or banished altogether.
This circus was bound to fail for parishioners would revolt. The sacred host is not to be handled by anyone but the consecrated hands of a priest.
We have heard the lament about small parishes being closed down in many places. Some of the reasons given were that young people don't see the need to go to or support their church; they have good cars and can, if they decide to attend Mass, go to a bigger church.
Upkeep on these small churches is expensive and, as people grow older, it is harder for them to manage. Hired help to paint, do repairs and clean up grounds is hard to find and expensive, if help can be found at all.
Time was when these tasks were a family undertaking, a picnic, but today young people simply have no time. Their life on the treadmill takes all their energy.
There are simply not enough priests to cover the huge territories they must minister to today. Age is taking its toll on them too.
So if things don't make a turn for the better, we will be driving a lot further than 45 minutes to receive the Word and the Body and Blood of our Saviour.
Anita and Ben Domoslai
Netherlands' support of euthanasia, abortion creates a culture of death
Re: "'Give us the humble Christ' - Rolheiser" (WCR, March 19).
Father Rolheiser gives a well-deserved affirmation to Holland for taking care of its poor. But what about the poorest of the poor - those who can't defend themselves?
What semblance of Christianity can there be in a land where state and medical policy fully endorse the shredding and dismembering of tiny infants in their mother's womb? And what about the barbarism exercised on the elderly who are so cavalierly disposed of by lethal injection? Truly Holland is a land steeped in the culture of death. The rest of the Western world is not far behind.
When we neglect to give God the supreme glory and praise that his eternal majesty deserves and is owed in justice, then we soon depart from our humanity in our relationships with one another: We descend to the barbaric.
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