A Son’s Memorial
I would like to add to your Memorial Day editorial (“Memorial Day Verse,” May 29 issue).
My son, Joe, was killed in Iraq in November 2004. He was a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, class of 1999. He was near-fluent in the Arabic language, as well as Japanese and Spanish.
At the end of his funeral Mass, I was allowed to speak briefly.
I quoted a Joyce Kilmer poem, called The Rouge Bouquet, which Kilmer wrote after the death of some fellow soldiers. He himself was killed shortly after, in World War I in France:
“... when up to heaven’s doorway floats from the wood called Rouge Bouquet, a delicate cloud of bugle notes that softly say, farewell.
“Farewell anew, peace to you. Your souls shall be where the heroes are, and your memories shine like the morning star Farewell!”
Joseph P. Nolan
Answering the Challenge
I have stuttered for all of my life and was inspired to read the article “Blessed Notker ‘the Stammerer,’ Pray for Us” (NCRegister.com, April 6). I had never heard of him before.
A couple of years ago, I read an article entitled “Catholic Religious Who Stutter Serve With Compassion,” about priests, nuns and even an archbishop who struggles with stuttering. The gist of the article was that these priests and nuns did not let stuttering hold them back from pursuing a vocation in the Church, and they urged people with any type of challenge who are considering a vocation to not let the challenge hold them back.
Speech therapy has helped so many people, and it is imperative that children who show signs of stuttering be brought to a speech therapist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, so many people do not know that every child with a speech problem is entitled to free speech therapy. This applies to all kids enrolled in public, religious or private schools, so it is important that parents of kids in Catholic schools know that this benefit is available.
Once again, I express gratitude to Angelo Stagnaro for writing about Blessed Notker “The Stammerer.”
Please know that his article has been shared on bulletin boards and e-lists for people who stutter all over the world. Someone in New Zealand, a non-Catholic, shared it on the list I belong to. Catholics and non-Catholics alike on these boards and lists enjoyed the article.
J. Jose Fernandez
New York, New York
In reference to the article “Common Core’s Conundrum Continues” (page one, Jan. 24 issue), your story didn’t mention the National Catholic Educational Association’s (NCEA) role in supporting the use of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Catholic schools.
According to a 2013 article in Catholic Education Daily by Joe Giganti, the NCEA was paid more than $100,000 in September of 2013 by the Gates Foundation to support teacher training and materials on implementing the CCSS. Make no mistake, the NCEA and the Catholic Church have promoted and endorsed the CCSS by implementing these practices in Catholic schools across the U.S.
When and why did the Catholic Church start needing to follow the latest Department of Education teaching fad to find success in the classroom?
I pray that our bishops will ensure that our Catholic schools maintain (or, in many cases, return) to a classical, Catholic education that promotes the formation and development of the whole child as the unique individual that God has created him or her to become.
Rights and Responsibility
Pertinent to “Religious Liberty Bills Face Economic ‘Bullying’” (page one, April 17 issue):
I am a Mississippi resident and undergraduate junior at the University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast. On the day after Gov. Phil Bryant signed into Mississippi law the Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act, a local news reporter came to my campus and interviewed students to get their opinions on the new law and the governor’s decision. I was asked to participate because I had an opposing view to that of several other students, who were unhappy with the law’s passing. Fear was expressed that this act would negatively affect our state’s economy. I contended that I was excited for this new act because it is about protecting religious liberty.
In our increasingly hostile culture, it seems that religion is being relegated to something done behind closed doors away from the public square. But for a person to have true religious freedom, he or she must be allowed to practice faith and morals in all areas of daily life, which can take quite a visible form at times. This freedom is important so a person does not have to choose between maintaining a means of living here on earth or possibly “forfeiting the loss of his soul.”
It seems our society needs to examine the proper place of rights and responsibilities and how freedom can be effectively exercised within the practice of both.
Thank You, Mother
I am deeply saddened by Mother Angelica’s death. To me, she represents the greatest influence in my life since 1994, when I came to America.
Mother Angelica reminded me so much of my grandmother, very strong, tough, but very holy. My grandmother was bedridden for the last eight years of her life. Seeing Mother Angelica suffer because of stroke and enter her Calvary, she brought together a tremendous bunch of people who are driven to educate the world and help spread the message of the Gospel.
I am certain that my journey home to the Church and the rise of my faith was because of EWTN. I am very honored that I was allowed to be open to the faith and that EWTN has allowed me to travel the world and travel back in time [through EWTN programs]. Thank you, Mother, thank you EWTN, and, most of all, thank you God for giving us great leadership, especially a holy woman in Mother Angelica.
We are far better off for knowing her and knowing how she founded one of the most influential TV and radio organizations in our time.
Praise God forever; praise the Trinity; praise Mary, Mother of God; praise all our saints.
Des Moines, Iowa
Politics Instead of Faith
Many thanks for Father Raymond J. de Souza’s report on Notre Dame’s “false civility” (“Notre Dame’s False Civility at the Expense of Truth,” page one, May 15 issue).
What has been going on at Notre Dame for a long time is disgraceful; does it really deserve to be called a Catholic university?
Father Jenkins and the school’s presidents before him, at least back to Father Hesburgh, all have been anxious to cultivate the good feelings and friendships of politicians like President Obama and others like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, et al.
There are lots of distinguished non-Catholics who are strongly pro-life. Perhaps Notre Dame should bring a few of them to South Bend and hang medals on them.
John G. Hubbell
Reject God at Your Peril
Relative to “Cardinal Schönborn’s Five-Point Guide” (page one, May 15 issue):
If I recall correctly, the “Pandora’s box” concerning American Catholics’ widespread use of artificial contraception began with a pope deciding to review the Church’s teaching on the subject. Although the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception did not change, many people took this “review” as anticipated approval. Although a grave sin, today’s statistics show most Catholics use artificial birth control, with few to no clergy preaching on its evils.
Let us pray the recent “reviews” of divorced-and-remarried Catholics who are without an annulment being given holy Communion and women becoming permanent deacons do not also follow past precedent, where the Church’s teaching remains unchanged but the practice of the teaching is tragically ignored.
We are correctly taught that God will always love us, regardless of what we do. But God will also always love Satan. Let us not forget that Satan is in hell and always will be. We, too, will join Satan if we reject what God has taught us.
Flower Mound, Texas