The Letters

A Spiritual Work of Mercy

Re “The Catholic High School That Holds Funerals for Homeless Veterans,” by Michael Kotsopoulos (5/26): Great article, very well written and a great message both in the article and in what those young men are doing!

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I think this is also a great idea for a volunteer program and experience for the young men at Catholic Memorial High School to be involved in. To give without looking for anything else in return and with no ulterior motives is contrary to the way our society seems to be heading, and this serves as a bright light. We need more examples like this in our world, and I hope this selfless act of properly burying the forgotten and marginalized will generate more good will from others.

When I was a (typical) teenager, doing something like this never crossed my mind; and I think if I had thought about it or had been encouraged to do something like this, it would have been a great learning experience for me—to think of others first and help to set a tone for the rest of my life.

Patrick Oser

 

How Chicago Catholics Responded to AIDS

Re “Quiet Courage,” by Michael J. O’Loughlin (6/10): I lived through the “plague years” in Chicago. During those years I witnessed the Catholic Church in Chicago respond with love. The Alexian Brothers built “Bonaventure House” for people with AIDS who had no place to live. The Daughters of Charity converted an entire floor of St. Joseph’s Hospital, probably the nicest floor, into private rooms designed for people with AIDS. Beautiful rooms, with lake views, furnished so that family could stay with their loved one. Some parishes and priests welcomed funerals without asking, “Did they belong to this parish?” I volunteered to mentor “buddies.” Some of these caregivers were religious brothers, some lay folks from Dignity and the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, and other Catholics. There was so much love amidst the pain. I am proud of the Catholic response in Chicago back in those dark days.

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C. Gregory Jones

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