Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
December 14, 2009
WCR Letters to the Editor
Remember shepherds to tend to your sheep
I write this plea to my brother priests, about the young people in our Catholic schools. Many of us priests are already active in our local schools, making our presence known there.
But some, for many and varied reasons, tend to stay away from our schools.
The situation of our Catholic schools is dire: Many in the province oppose their existence, many of their teachers don't practise their faith, kids today have been saturated by the forces of secularism, some schools put teaching religion at the bottom of their priority list, and many schools are simply concerned with numbers, not caring if the students are Catholic or not.
Some of my brothers have been so discouraged by these realities that they have given up, and understandably so. Some feel unwelcome, or are even afraid to go into these at times hostile environments that are our Catholic schools.
But it is my plea to them not to give up hope for the sake of the souls that attend them.
We all remember Jesus' parable of the lost sheep: how the Good Shepherd left his 99 sheep to go and seek out the one that was lost.
Our situation today is more dire. According to many statistics, five out of six Catholics don't practise their faith regularly - that's five out of six sheep that are lost. If we follow the teachings of our master, we must seek them out.
But we know where those five out of six lost sheep are: they're in our Catholic schools. So rather than waiting for them to come to us, we must follow the lead of the Good Shepherd, and go to the schools and give them a reason to want to come, with their parents and families in tow, back to the fold.
Fr. Michael Mireau
Letter to the Editor - 12/28/09
Letter to the Editor - 12/28/09
Breaking Bread hymnal faulted for wastage
Lately, the stories in the WCR on the environment emphasize the Church's stand that we should be more responsible toward the earth.
In light of this, I offer the following contradiction that is happening all over the archdiocese.
The hymnal Breaking Bread is offered in our parish. This hymnal is a tremendous waste of paper, resources, money. It is a book which has to be replaced every year due to copyright laws. This is a travesty of the original purpose of sacred music.
There are two good hymnals - Catholic Book of Worship III and Glory and Praise - that are hardcover books and last for years and are good alternatives.
By making it a policy to not use Breaking Bread, our archdiocese could set an example of prudent spending and environmental responsibility.
If your parish is using this hymnal, ask your parish council how much it is costing per year. I'm sure you will be shocked.
Questions posed on cost of new seminary
We applaud the letter of Aloys Hendricks (WCR, Nov. 16) as it pertains to the accountability of the archdiocese for the inflated seminary construction costs and the massive fundraising endeavour by the archdiocese to make up a $15-million shortfall, which it states was created by rising construction costs.
Our concerns are threefold:
First, we agree with Mr. Hendricks' comments and concerns regarding the extravagance afforded to the facility, especially during a recession.
Our second concern was learning that the archdiocese has arbitrarily assessed its parishes $2 million of that shortfall. Each parish will have to raise a percentage of that $2 million based on each parish's receipts for the year.
This is a direct assessment - the parishes must either pay out of their general receipts or fundraise above and beyond the current level that they now do.
In a recession, parishioners are stretched. The dollars will have to come from somewhere and, rest assured, that could spell a reduction to other donations, such as Sign of Hope, St. Joseph's College and other special collections as parishioners decide how to best spread their diminishing ability to give.
Our greatest concern, however, is that while we have watched the construction costs of major secular projects decrease by nearly 40 per cent due to lower recession-level construction costs, how is it that the archdiocese has been immune to the same reduction?
The Quesnel Bridge upgrade project has seen a 39 per cent decrease and savings of $70 million on what was originally a $181 million project.
How can it be that our archdiocese is still claiming a 36 per cent increase of $15 million when there are so many other major projects seeing large reductions in construction costs?
Shouldn't we be seeing a similar level of cost reduction on the seminary project?
Bruce & Lita Klanke
Rowan William's stance on women in church lauded
I was thrilled to read "Anglican head issues blunt challenges to Catholic Church" in the Nov. 30 WCR.
As someone who still cannot understand the Catholic Church's refusal to include women in leadership roles, I am hopeful that challenges from people like Archbishop Rowan Williams will keep the discussion going and encourage our pope to welcome all to the Church, just as Jesus did.
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