April 23, 2010

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here are the letters from three weeks ago:

Letter writer is wrong to speak about how others are observing Lenten season

I am amazed when some individuals feel they can speak for everyone on any given subject.

Such was the case when I read Al Scheller’s letter to the editor in the March 26 issue of The Criterion with the headline “Let us give Lent back to God.”

Scheller seems to think that he can speak for all of us on how we are observing this season of Lent.

He states that none of us really have the true spirit of Lent and, by extension, infers he does. With unfailing insight, he observes that we aren’t praying, fasting or giving alms. He does this with unfailing conviction. Well, I must respectfully disagree.

We at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Albany are having a very holy and spiritual Lent thanks to a number of events which have occurred.

Our liturgies are fulfilling and well attended. Our pastor, Father Eric Augenstein, presides in a most reverent way, and his homilies are thought- provoking and inspirational.

We have just finished a Lenten retreat which was well attended, and gave new insight into our baptismal responsibilities. We just concluded a “12 hours of Grace” in which priests were available for 12 straight hours to hear individual confessions.

Every Wednesday, we had a “soup and soul” supper where a modest soup supper was served followed by a Lenten message given by a priest.

All of these events were well attended, and provided the parish with a well-rounded approach to having a holy and fulfilling Lent.

And what’s wrong with gathering at our local Knights of Columbus Hall and enjoying a fish dinner?

- Joe Proctor, New Albany


God is very much a part of parish’s Lenten observance, reader says

I believe that God has and is the focus in parish Lenten observances.

At St. Bartholomew Parish in Columbus, we have had prayer and Communion services Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. Attendees have included parishioners of all ages down to 2 years old.

Scripture study classes continue studying God’s Word, and will include study of the Passion and death of Jesus this week.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class is one of our largest, and we look forward to the Easter Vigil where these people will be welcomed to our parish and the Church.

Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings have had the largest attendance in years. School and religious education classes have focused on the sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us, and included a re-enactment of the Last Supper for the first-grade class in religious education.

The first Sunday of Lent, small empty milk cartons were passed out for sacrificial giving to our sister parish, St. Anne Parish in Haiti. School children and religious education students also received these cartons.

And, yes, this year we have had fish fries on Fridays during Lent. Proceeds from this fundraiser go to continuing rebuilding efforts in Haiti and for our parish school. The last fish fry, on Good Friday, will be held at our Knights of Columbus Hall with our pro-life initiatives receiving the proceeds.

The best part of these meals has been that the organizers, workers and cooks, etc., consist mainly of the young families in our parish. Their participation in our parish is an integral necessity for our future.

I think God is definitely in our Lent.

- Sandy Neidigh, Columbus


When it comes to health care reform, can we rejoice for the lives that will be saved?

The March 26 editorial by Daniel Conway in The Criterion stated, “Sadness and disappointment are the prevailing emotions of many Americans this week,” referring to the passage of health care reform legislation.

Sure, you didn’t get everything you wanted, but 32 million Americans will get health insurance and, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the deaths of 14,000 to 18,000 Americans each year can be linked to not having health insurance.

The 32 million Americans who will be insured and the thousands of Americans who would have died because they were uninsured won’t be sad and disappointed because of this legislation. Can we rejoice for the lives that will be saved?

Can we also applaud the courage of the Catholic members of Congress like Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan? He led the fight in the U.S. House of Representatives for a pro-life bill, and then courageously supported the Senate version and believed in the promise of President Barack Obama and his executive order that this legislation will not expand the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.

This legislation is not perfect, but it is pro-life.

- Alan Mytty, Indianapolis


Better medical system does not have to come at the expense of our principles

It is with great pain that I write my first letter to this Catholic newspaper.

My Church has chosen to give a very weak response to the health care reform bill that makes all Christians pay for abortions.

We send thousands of people to Washington yearly to protest abortions, and now we offer lip service when the government says they will pay for some abortions with our tax dollars.

I know, we want a fairer and better medical system in this country, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of our beliefs and principles.

May God have mercy on us and inspire our leaders to represent us with the fervor that this situation demands. I am scandalized at the lack of leadership in our state and throughout our country.

Catholics speak up! Let our leaders know where you stand!

St. Francis Hospital, I am proud to be an employee and volunteer for you.

- Leonard Murray, Indianapolis

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