The Letters

A Graceful Close

Re “Canada Confronts Loss of Thousands of Christian Places of Worship,” by Michael Swan (4/15): Planning for the closure or consolidation of churches is definitely the way to go. Holding on for the sake of holding on is not. I worked with many rural parishes in Kansas that had served their purpose for a century and could no longer maintain aged buildings or gather much of a congregation. Yet trying to keep the doors open no matter what was their agenda. It took much pastoral work and grief to bring churches’ lifespans to a gracious, graceful close.


Jeanne Devine


A Hero to Me

Re “The Iron Nun’s Story,” by Madonna Buder, S.F.C.C. (3/18): I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article by Sister Buder. I am a priest who has run over 50 marathons over the years and appreciate her joys and challenges. Along with Sister Marion Irvine, the oldest qualifier for the women’s Olympic marathon trials in 1984, she is a hero to me.

(Rev.) David R. Bruning

Toledo, Ohio

An Incomplete Gesture

The only thing missing from Eve Tushnet's “The Case for Public Penance” (3/4) is a recognition of the hierarchy’s failure to acknowledge that they have sinned against the people of God as a whole. Yes, recompense for individual victims must be paid; but without atonement to the entire flock, the gesture is incomplete.

Colleen Fay

Mount Rainier, Md.

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