August 13, 2010

Letters to the Editor

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Story brings back memories for samaritan who helped in life-and-death situation

Yesterday, I received the July 30 issue of The Criterion in my mailbox.

As I read the story that John Shaughnessy wrote about Jake Carpenter, chills went down my spine and tears rolled down my cheeks.

You see, seven years ago I was traveling home from Harrison, Ohio, with my mother west bound on Interstate 74.

As I drove by the Brookville exit, I noticed that a man was laying in the roadway. No one was around the man so I knew that the accident had just happened.

I quickly moved over to the emergency lane, and told my 72-year-old mother to stay in the car as I ran back to the man.

By the time that I reached the man, his friends had just come back and were hysterical—as one would expect. Others had arrived, and a semitrailer driver had already called 911.

Being from this area, I knew that Harrison, Ohio, was closer, but New Trenton would be the responding emergency medical technician department.

Upon assessment of the situation, it was apparent that time was of the essence so I asked him to call again.

From there, most that transpired was a blur, but I clearly remember the visual scene. Here was a young man fighting for his life, laying on the ground with an obvious head injury—blood was coming from his ears—his breathing labored and gurgling, and I was the only one who had training in CPR.

All I had was a training course in 1991, but I was going over the steps in my head and trying to keep the others calm as we all could see things going downhill quickly.

At one point, he had stopped breathing, and I was carefully turning and tilting his head into position then he started breathing on his own again. A couple of times, he tried to raise himself off the pavement, but we were unaware of his injuries and encouraged him to lay still until trained help arrived.

About that time, a first responder was traveling on U.S. Highway 52 and arrived with a medical kit and took over. I gladly allowed her to begin her assessments, knew I wasn’t of much help at this point, and remembered that I had left my mother in the car along the interstate.

I remembered that his name was Jake Carpenter, and that he was a firefighter but nothing more.

I searched unsuccessfully for weeks through newspapers to find out what had happened to this man. Every time I took the exit, I would think of that day and wonder what became of him. Did he live or die? If he lived, was he able to walk?

Most days when I would drive past the exit, I would think of that day, too. While reading this issue of The Criterion, the scene unfolded before me and I knew the answer.

I am so glad he has recovered. I, too, was praying for him.

- Maria Knueven, Sunman


Church must present truth with love and focus on catechesis, reader says

Since the revision of the canonical norms, I have read opinions much like those expressed in the editorial in the Aug. 6 issue of The Criterion—typically Western handwringing about public relations blunders.

We live in an age and part of the world where appearances are foremost, and we certainly do not want to offend the august publishers of The New York Times.

Might I submit that the relativists and those who sip Catholicism-lite will always present Holy Mother Church in a negative light? Did not our Lord himself promise that we would be persecuted?

Might I also submit that it was a concern about public relations that led to many failures in the post-conciliar episcopacy (i.e., the sexual abuse of minors)?

Certainly, we must present the truth with love. Love, however, now apparently means trying to smooth out the edges about issues that offend our nation’s hedonistic sensibilities.

Are we truly concerned about what heretics like Maureen Dowd think? No.

And I do not think the martyrs of old were concerned about public relations when they were being torched in the Circus Maximus.

Our focus should now be on catechesis. If the average Catholic understood why ordaining women is impossible and why it deserves severe codemnation, then this would not be an issue.

- Scott Embry, New Albany

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