Readers Speak Out: May 17, 2020

  • May 14, 2020

Domestic church

I believe the present focus on streaming Masses is the wrong way to go.

Our leaders should be taking a page from our Jewish forebears and encouraging the domestic churches that are our families in our homes to carry out liturgical eucharistic/thanksgiving celebrations. We need to be encouraged to actively participate in gathering with the angels and saints (alive and gone before), telling the family stories (the Scriptures), breaking the bread of the Word by reflecting on it together and restating our faith in God.

Church leaders need to begin to take the domestic church seriously as a concrete, lived reality (not just as a theological term), by encouraging it, listening to it and learning from it. Then when the pandemic is over, those domestic churches, having been nurtured, fed and valued in their own right, will gather again as Church to worship and give thanks together with their priest. Yet another streamed Mass simply won’t do it.

Ray Temmerman, 

Winnipeg, Man.

Social Catholics

Because I spent my professional life enculturating young adolescents into the practices of the Church, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on why so many leave as they mature. I do not think it is the sacraments they are rejecting or even their faith but the leadership in parishes.  

Many became active idealists, especially in labour unions, politics, social work, etc., but found no adult community for their passions in the parish. No priest I ever heard preach ever mentioned “social Catholicism” — its history, its theology, etc.  

In other aspects of life — politics, business, education, etc. — educated Catholic adults carry enormous responsibility but not on the parish council. Educated adult Catholics are looking for substance, not pablum.

Linda Arbour,

Toronto, Ont.

Ouellet’s wish

Re: Women vital to seminaries: Ouellet (May 3):

From 1962-1966 I was a young Basilian scholastic studying classical languages at the University of Toronto and living at St. Basil’s Seminary. Most of the scholastics there were studying theology in preparation for ordination. Vatican II was in the full springtime of its impact and it was in this time that Janet Somerville became the first full-time female student of theology. This was deemed a major event.

Some 15-plus years later I returned to St. Michael’s College to pursue a Master’s of Religious Education. Along the way I was taught by such luminaries as Sr. E. Leonard, Sr. Maureena Fritz and Margaret O’Gara. It seems that St. Mike’s and the Toronto School of Theology were even then well on their way to satisfying one aspect of Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s wish.

It is one of the deepest hopes in my old age that what he strives for will end with women becoming priests in the Roman Catholic  Church. We may all be surprised at the impact that will have on the people of God and those who serve them as priests.

Richard C. Luft,

Mississauga, Ont.

Unlock the churches

The governments and Catholic leaders decided to lock churches during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are allowed to go to stores, banks, pharmacies and hospitals, yet Catholics are not allowed to go to church. With churches locked, Masses are celebrated with no congregation and people watch them from their homes.

Staying isolated, the congregation becomes more like sand and less like rock, less Catholic. Priests become less like shepherds, more like leaders; less like apostles, more like theologians. We need to unlock the churches, restart Masses and allow us the sacraments. Almighty God, have mercy on us.

Mile Pletikosa,

Scarborough, Ont.

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