Right on Target
Thank you for the editorial, “President Trump’s dangerous nationalism” (Our Take, 2/6) immediately following the inauguration. It was right on target. I hope the Jesuit Conference helps mobilize Jesuit institutions to take stands in dealing with President Trump. I was also pleased that the bishops finally found it in their conscience to address the health care issue.
(Rev.) George E. Griener
Re “Alternative facts and the coming constitutional crisis” (Of Many Things, 2/6): These crises cannot be about one man, convenient though that might be. Current global instability runs far deeper than that. There are constant calls to emotional outcry…. There is a predilection for one-word adjudications, e.g., “unjust,” “immoral,” as reported here. All this seems to be little more than distraction. Everyone seems to know who the bad guy is; and, no surprise, it isn't himself or herself.
Richer and Stronger
Re “What Catholics owe their Muslim brothers and sisters,” by Jordan Denari Duffner (2/6): The best way I know to break down stereotypes and prejudices is to get people to meet each other in person. I am so pleased to see these efforts to address this very sad phenomenon of Islamophobia. Diversity makes us richer and stronger together. When we know people personally, we cannot keep pretending there is an “us” and a “them”—it seems ridiculous. There are some very poor examples of leadership in government in this matter, so I am really pleased to see church leaders like Archbishop Cupich and others speaking up. I really like the practical suggestions in this article.
Circle With Love
“Man of the House” (2/6), America’s interview with Patrick Conroy, S.J., the chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, by Jeremy Zipple, S.J., gave an interesting description of a Congressperson’s life: “They work in a very toxic environment.”
As a result, it was suggested by one of our members that each Sister of St. Joseph who wishes should choose a member of Congress and contact him or her to say that she is praying for them. There was an amazing response. Our purpose is to circle Congress with love! We invite your readership to join us in this endeavor if they wish.
Marie B. Olwell
Way With Words
Re “Vows of Friendship,” by Eve Tushnet (2/6): “I think that idea of friendship being non-discardable is what the blessing says to me.” The Irish in me loves the way with words that authors like Dana Spiotta, quoted in the article, have. It brings to mind someone I've been friends with for over 40 years. We have very little in common, as I married and had lots of children, and she did not. We have different political views, different ways of spending our free time, different everything it seems. But somewhere deep down is the sense God put her in my life for a reason, and while I don't know that reason, I should honor it.
Monica Quigley Doyle
Re “It’s Time to Fix the ‘Sunday School’ Culture” (Our Take, 1/23): This editorial almost made me cry. My wife and I made the faith central in raising our four children. We went beyond obligations and joyfully observed feast days and received the sacraments. We also did what we were told to do regarding religious education. We dragged our children to Sunday school for almost three decades, clawing our way to Confirmation. I wrote to three different bishops begging for a change. I spoke once with a nun who was the director of religious education for our diocese. She admitted to me that “we do lose a few along the way,” as if we were speaking of something expendable, like tomatoes.
I'm convinced that religious education is the major factor in why my adult children have rejected the faith. My frustration is boundless. I hope that things can change for young parents and children today.
Many thanks for the recent report by Ashley McKinless, “Beyond the Wall” (1/23). I recently attended a birthday party for a native of the Diocese of Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala. He reminded us that he came to the United States at 14 and hadn’t seen his parents in 23 years. We use bureaucratic terms like “mixed-status families” to gloss over heartache and the forced separation of families. I have to remember my various cognitive dodges to avoid the reality that my friend’s children have never met their grandparents.
(Rev.) Marc Fallon, C.S.C.
New Bedford, Mass.