Un-Learning Classroom Lies

When I read “He Who Home Schools Teaches Twice” (May 28-June 3), I knew I had to write.

I’m a cradle Catholic; I graduated from a public high school in 1977. In my junior-high health class, my teacher taught the class that abortion is healthier for a woman’s body than carrying a pregnancy to term. By the time I graduated, the high school had convinced me that my Catholic faith was criminally old-fashioned and prevented me from attaining fulfillment or realizing my true potential. I was told the Church had unrealistic expectations of people.

Nothing in my CCD classes or my home life prepared me to deal with the assault on my faith that took place during my high-school classes in health, social studies and literature. It took me 20 years to unlearn those lies and learn to love my Catholic faith from my own heart.

Want to know what’s being taught in your kid’s high school? Consider this. When Notre Dame was debating showing “The Vagina Monologues,” the young women in the college — that is to say, recent high-school graduates — told the dean they couldn’t find ways to express themselves if “The Vagina Monologues” was not presented. Young women have said the same thing on every college campus on which this controversy has reared its head.

“The Vagina Monologues” holds up female-on-female rape as a thing of beauty.

Whose mouths are spouting this nonsense? These are your daughters, Catholic America. Your recent high-school graduates have embraced female-on-female rape as an expression of their femininity.

My home schooler has just finished second grade with the Seton Home School program and, when I review his reading material, I want to stand up and cheer. He’s learning about real-life situations from an orthodox Catholic perspective.

The Catholic values he’s learning at home are a far cry from the secular school’s touting of abortion as preferable to pregnancy or its holding up of female-on-female rape as an expression of courageous femininity.

Mary Shacklock Ryan

Hastings, Florida

Sanctity in the Service

It was with great satisfaction and joy that I read the article regarding the commencement of the sainthood cause for Father Vincent Capodanno, who died trying to preserve the life of his fellow Marines (“He Died with His Men,” May 28-June 3). As a former Navy officer with strong ties to the Catholic chaplaincy and to the Corps, I will make sure his beatification and canonization are a constant intention in my daily prayers and offering. He truly laid down his life for his friends and comrades.

For the past several years, I have also been interceding for the canonization of another chaplain who gave up his life while trying to protect and preserve the lives of fellow POWs from starvation and the brutality of communist Chinese guards in the Korean War. I refer to the cause of Army Chaplain Father Emil Kapuan.

After six months of constant attention to the physical and spiritual needs of his fellow POWs in a North Korean POW camp, he died of a combination of starvation and pneumonia on May 23, 1951. According to accounts in Catholic periodicals, documentation furthering his cause for sainthood has been forwarded to the Vatican from the Diocese of Wichita, Kan.

I recommend that any update of information toward his beatification and eventual canonization be included in future editions of the Register. Those of us who are former-or active-duty military would be very much interested.

Again, thank you for providing the Catholic laity with a constant candid and factual account of the Church’s ongoing battle with secular humanism and the pro-death mentality of our culture.

 Paul S. Brady, Sr.

Dumfries, Virginia


Here Come the Cursillistas

I have been waiting to see the article on the Cursillo Movement ever since you have been covering the various movements in the Church “‘Little Course,’ Big Impact: The Cursillo Movement” (May 28-June 3). I have been involved with Cursillo since 1988, when I made a Cursillo here in the Seattle area. I have been the lay director for the Seattle Archdiocese and the Region XII coordinator/national secretariat member (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska).

The article has some inaccuracies. It is not correct to typify the movement as training leaders for parishes. While the movement does focus on leaders, they have a much broader area of service — everywhere they live, work and play. The weekend has one purpose: to let participants know that God loves them and to experience that during the Cursillo weekend. From that foundation, it is hoped that Cursillistas will choose for themselves to live in friendship with Jesus and, as is usually the case with a positive experience, they’ll want to share the Good News with their friends that Jesus loves them, too.

That’s the essence of an evangelization based on friendship, the hallmark of the Cursillo movement.

To make a further correction, the Cursillo way is to meet weekly in small friendship groups of three to six people to go over each one’s piety, study and apostolic actions. This is the method founder Eduardo Bonnin chose to help people grow in their relationship with God, in their knowledge of God and their work with God.

The small groups meet weekly or monthly in Ultreya, which is the gathering of the groups into community. Ultreya gives encouragement to all and prevents the small groups from becoming self-absorbed or isolated.

For anyone interested, I would recommend that they go to cursillo.org on the Internet and take a look at “What Is Cursillo?” This gives a very full explanation of the working of the movement.

Thanks for a great Catholic newspaper. I know I am well informed after I read it.

Barbara Levich
Seattle, Washington


Maronites and Marriage

Reference is made to a letter by one of your readers, “Words to the Wise” (May 14-20). The letter-writer makes an erroneous statement — one that, I might add, is commonly made — and one that, I thought, should have been picked up during editorial review.

The statement is: “Maronite Rite priests can marry.” Maronite priests, like other Eastern Rite priests, cannot marry. Married men can become priests, but once a single man is ordained deacon or priest, he cannot marry. And if a married priest becomes a widower, he cannot remarry.

Robert Shalhoub

Vienna, Virginia

Regnum Christi Revitalizes 

I would like to express how pleased I am to read about Regnum Christi in the Register. Your article “Regnum Christi: Helping Families Help the Parish” (April 30-May 6) reiterated for me the importance of family involvement in the Church.

I have been a member of the apostolate for several years now and I have personally seen how it has been responsible for the lives of all whom it encounters. Hearing how families join together in order to live out what Christ asked of us is inspiring and uplifting.

In today’s society, event the basic concept of a family has become thwarted and has lost its true meaning of unity, support and love for God in the Church.

Regnum Christi is a phenomenal instrument for Catholics to use to help them minister to the world while preserving the faith that has become a symbol and an act of strength and love.

I encourage more people to become more involved in their faith and explore the many different apostolates that are at our disposal to use in order to bring the world closer to Christ.

Erika Metzler

Denton, Texas

Prayers for Priests

Thank you for you terrific Catholic newspaper. Tim Drake’s Spirit & Life column “A Priest Forever” (June 11-17) was especially moving for me. I read it after just having witnessed the ordination of my friend, Father Bruce DeRammalaere, that morning. 

From the ordination of a new priest to the burial of one who has served God with a long life of service, all priests need and deserve our prayers.

Let us pray for priests forever.


Connie Ley

Normal, Illinois


Register Correspondent Joan Lewis, who also works as Rome bureau chief for EWTN News, maintains her blog — Joan’s Rome — at ewtn.com (not ewtn.org, as we had it in Lewis’ May 28 - June 3 front-page story “Nun Says John Paul Cured Her Parkinson’s”).