Won't you be my neighbor?
--John Ghlormley via Facebook
Fred Rogers' show was immensely popular with children, and the way of life he portrayed on his program is still valued by many adults today. We miss him and honor him in our attempts to adopt his good example.
--Karen Genest via Facebook
I was a huge fan of Mister Rogers Neighborhood growing up. I remember watching at my grandmother's house, my sister and I sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, completely immersed in his world. It's rare to find a children's program, or any program for that matter, that fully relies on kindness and friendship to drive a plot rather than the cheap slapstick humor that is so pervasive in our society. Fred Rogers was a godsend to parents and children alike.
--Michelle Smith via uscatholic.org
TEN YEARS LATER
Thank you for sharing this compelling story and challenging each of us to consider the same summons that Sister Mary McCauley heard ("Little has changed for immigrants 10 years after the Postville raid," uscatholic. org). Though the Postville raid was 10 years ago, this story is still relevant today as families continue to be separated by outdated and inhumane immigration policies. We need to remember our past in order to better our future.
--Rhonda Miska via Facebook
My friend is an undocumented immigrant and lives in constant fear of encountering immigration agents and being sent back to his home country. He is a kind man with children and holds several jobs to support them. It is unjust that he must continue to live in fear in order to support not only his children but his family back home. It's time Americans learned from the Post-ville raid and realize we need to help immigrants of all kinds live the good life they deserve. It's what Jesus would do.
--Mark Meyers via Facebook
Jessie Bazan points to the core of Jesus' message: "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me" ("What sustains you?" The Examined Life, May). Visiting nursing homes is a ministry that I find very sustaining despite my initial fears and discomfort. After several months of visiting residents, listening to their life stories, and praying with them individually and in a large group, I can say I have experienced the presence of Jesus. For me this is the "breaking of bread" Jesus encourages us to do with one another, and it is spiritually nourishing.
--Ernie via uscatholic.org
What feeds my soul and sustains me is working with special needs children. For over 10 years I have worked with children who have Down syndrome, autism, and other challenges, as well as kids suffering from behavioral problems in public elementary school. It is challenging work, but when I see these kids smile, begin to understand a concept, or succeed in reading an entire book, I am filled with joy and am able to continue my work. When the job gets tough I need to step back and remember what sustains me, just like Maria in this story.
--Rachel Marie via Facebook
A WOMAN'S ROLE
Deacons and priests are intended to be separate orders even though many of their functions overlap ("A woman's place," Sounding Board, June). With fewer priests, the church needs deacons to fill in. It's long past time to allow women to resume their historical role as deacons.
--Nancy Ott via Facebook
The problem with making women permanent deacons is there's a problem with the diaconate in general. I do not believe ordaining women as deacons will give them any more power. It will just give them a new cage. Women need actual justice rather than a new cage to be imprisoned in, and that means same sacraments and same treatment as men.
--Nora Bolcon via Facebook
Even as a practicing Catholic I am forced to go outside my church to interact with women in church leadership. Our church keeps all women from meaningful positions of power but will happily give them the low-wage and unpaid positions. There is not enough opportunity for women to be spiritual leaders, and this is something that needs to change. It sends the message that women are not capable or competent enough to be in those positions, which thus supports sexism.
--Laurie McPhillips Brown via Facebook
There is nothing wrong with women being deacons. The only question I have is, why not also ordain women as priests? Consider this: If Christ were on earth today selecting his 12 apostles, would he select only men? I highly doubt it. It's about time the church got with the times. Our culture today would not and should not accept that.
--Dale Thier via Facebook
The first thing that needs to be done in order to include women in leadership positions is to separate the diaconate from the priesthood. There should be no "transitional" deacons because the diaconate is a separate and different ministry. The permanent diaconate should be opened to women and men equally based on their call to serve the church "in the ministries of the liturgy, the word, and charity."
It should also be expanded to allow deacons to offer sacraments to the sick (including the forgiveness of sins in reconciliation) and other means of serving God's people that do not require priests. It was only 50 or so years ago that priests did everything, assisted in menial tasks by vowed religious women, so we are making progress even if it feels slow.
--Su2 via uscatholic.org
How do you lock out 50 percent of the members from church leadership and call it Catholic? Women held the role of deacon historically before simple prejudice and chauvinism took it away from them over time. We can fix this, and it will only help grow, reinvigorate, and improve the church. The permanent diaconate is not in competition with the priesthood; it's a supplement and complement. And women deserve to serve in this important way. It's simply the right thing to do, and I will pray for this issue going forward. Father Augustus Tolton, the first black priest in the United States, is under consideration for sainthood now, and he faced similar unfounded prejudice in his day. One day we will look back and be embarrassed by how long it took for us to stand up for equality in the church.
what do you think?
Mail: You May Be Right, 205 W. Monroe St. Chicago, IL 60606
*Letters may be condensed due to space limitation.