More Planning Required
Re “The Largest Parish in America,” by Leah Libresco (5/1): Thank you for this inspiring article. I read with great interest how “a small group at a Catholic Church requires more planning.” Here in Eastern Africa we have a parish-practical, pastoral solution that works for us: small Christian communities, which are small-neighborhood, parish-based groups following a pastoral model of church that transforms the parish into a communion of communities and an instrument of evangelization. An S.C.C. is a small group of 10 to 15 people who meet weekly—usually in their homes but sometimes in a parish facility, a school or another institution—to reflect on the Bible, especially the Gospel of the following Sunday, and connect it to their daily lives in Eastern Africa. We now have 180,000 S.C.C.s in Eastern Africa.
Poet, Patriot, Hero
Re “A Tree Grows on the Marne,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 5/1): This article about Joyce Kilmer was most welcome, and Mr. Kilmer’s story is not widely known. My father, John McCormack, served our country as a private in the trenches of France next to Kilmer. When I was a small child growing up in the Bronx, my father recited “Trees” and taught it to us long before it was a class assignment. He always marveled at the deep and adopted faith that Kilmer was so grateful for. My father and Kilmer spent long hours talking about our faith, as I am sure many young men in battle do. Thank you for writing this and exposing the very little known facts about the man, poet, patriot and hero. One small addition: It is and will always be the “Fighting 69th” infantry (not 59th).
Re “What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?” by David Dark (5/1): An astounding article, filled with poetic wisdom. I kept thinking he had made his point and yet the article kept going, kept elaborating and filling in our essential needs for honesty and relationship. Conversation. Care. Courage. Presence. This kind of writing feeds my soul. Thank you.
A Sense of Humor
Re “A Sorta-Catholic’s Very Catholic Wedding,” by Tracey Wigfield (5/1): In our years of marriage prep it became difficult, with a steady increase in those preparing for a wedding rather than a sacrament. However, there were always breakthroughs like what Ms. Wigfield described—her line “for real and forever” says it all. A sense of humor is a huge advantage in life and marriage. Congratulations to the newlyweds. This was hilarious!
In the Face of Prejudice
Re “How Do I Respond When ICE Comes for My Flock?” by the Rev. Raymond Roden (5/1): I find myself needing to write the editors and writers of America to cheer them on in championing the poor and weak in the face of prejudice and greed. In particular, I want to commend Father Roden’s article on immigration, the role of ICE, and for referencing Pius IX’s “Mit Brennender Sorge,” which was written and distributed in defiance of the Nazi government. America magazine is fighting the good fight by bringing up truths often ignored and calling Catholics to act for the sake of God and country. Thank you! You will be in my prayers.
Re “Welcomed Home,” by Shannon Evans (4/17): I’m almost 70 now and have been peripherally associated with the Catholic Worker Movement since my childhood. Dorothy Day once held my hand as she and I picked lilacs on the farm on Staten Island. I thought I knew the Catholic Workers, but when I read Shannon Evans’s story, I cried tears of new appreciation and joy. May God and Mary be with us all.
Thomas P. Donlon