May 13, 2005

Letters to the Editor

For our letter writing policy, click here

Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is needed

I am writing in regard to the article in the April 22 issue of The Criterion entitled “Seminarians told good preaching must be their top priority as a priest.”

I am blessed to be a parishioner at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, where we believe our pastor, Father Jeff Godecker, is one of the best homilists in the diocese. I always leave Mass feeling that I have been enriched, enlightened and challenged in my spiritual growth. Good preaching is important and I agree with Father Forrest when he said, “The job of preaching stands miles ahead of administration, organizing sports teams or anything else.”

Later in the article, Father Forrest added, “Fellas, you have to pray! And the prayer is: ‘Holy Spirit, use me!’” I agree—but I feel that the relationship between prayer and preaching should have been emphasized more strongly. A phrase commonly used in the Cursillo Movement is “we must talk to God about men before we talk to men about God.”

Bishop Fulton Sheen was asked on many occasions how he had such power in his preaching. His reply, “Every day I make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.” If more priests and seminarians were committed to a regular Holy Hour, good homilies would follow. I would have preferred to have seen the title of the article to be: “Seminarians told making a daily Holy Hour and having a deep prayer life is top priority to formation as a good preacher.”

St. Francis taught that we should “preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”

The example of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, of a priest actively pursuing a life of holiness, is the best homily any priest could deliver.

-Judy Hoyt, Indianapolis


Failing to dress up for Mass is disrespectful

I fail to understand why our local Catholic parishes do not have and enforce a dress code for attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or any other service.

It is simply unacceptable to attend Holy Mass dressed as if you were attending a picnic, a sporting event or a concert. This indicates a terrible lack of respect for what is the greatest gift Our Lord gave us … his Real Presence.

The argument that it is better to come no matter how one is dressed than not to come at all is not acceptable. We must restore a profound respect for the Holy Eucharist. Young children should be taught from an early age that Holy Mass is so special that one must dress properly. Even servers arrive improperly dressed. No one, male, female or children over the age of 5, ought to enter the church for Mass or any other service dressed in shorts or with too much skin showing, such as with low-slung pants.

Would you attend a wedding dressed in shorts, a tank top and flip flops? Would you attend a banquet at the White House or the governor’s residence, or a meeting with the pope without proper attire? In all probability, you would be barred from entering. The banquet at the Mass is far greater than these.

The fact that it might be a warm summer day is no excuse. The majority of people leave their air-conditioned homes, arrive in air-conditioned cars and quickly enter an air-conditioned church.

Many places of employment now have dress codes and they are enforced. Public schools have begun to realize the importance of a dress code. Even organizations where one might volunteer have dress codes.

This country has tossed aside its sense of modesty along with morality.

-Virlee Schneider, Indianapolis


Take part in the Global Day of Prayer on May 15

May 5 was the National Day of Prayer. Many people gathered around the State-house throughout the afternoon to join their voices in prayer, invoking the name of the Lord. It was a beautiful day in more ways than one.

Believers of diverse denominations gathered together to proclaim the Word of the Lord and to witness to others their love for our Lord. There was no distinction between color, gender, socio-economics, etc. There was only love, faith, music and unconditional love—the kind that can only come from God.

On Sunday, May 15, Pentecost Sunday for Christians, believers from around the world will join their voices together as one, just as Jesus is one with the Father, for a Global Day of Prayer. Pray expecting miracles, pray believing that something great is going to happen.

With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them, the Apostles were able to go out and spread the Good News to people of all languages. The Jewish feast of Pentecost had celebrated the wheat harvest; the Apostles received the harvest of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost—the courage, confidence and zeal to go out into the world and proclaim God’s salvation in Jesus Christ.

Everyone is invited to join the voices of their brothers and sisters in Christ around the world on May 15 to proclaim the Good News and to pray in thanksgiving that Jesus is still the reason for the season. Whether as a church or parish, an organized group or with your family, you are invited and encouraged to take “15 with 15 on the 15th”—take at least 15 minutes on the 15th with at least 15 other pray-ers, several times throughout the day if possible, to pray for yourself and your family, each other, for local, state, national and world leaders, and for world peace. Do it however it works best in your life, but just do it!

Let us remember that whenever two or more are gathered in Christ’s name, he shall be in our midst, and that the fervent, faithful and effective prayers of a righteous person availeth much. Let us let the rest of the world know that Jesus Christ is risen and that he lives, then let us go out and be Christ-like to others, to be the witness to the Gospel that Jesus commissioned us to be.

-Maria C. Pimentel-Gannon, Indianapolis

Local site Links: