World Youth Day captures the joy that attracts young people to Jesus

Re: “Leaving the Faith” (Letter to the Editor, Sept. 18)

A long time ago, I stood in eager anticipation for the approaching of Pope St. John Paul II. A few months have passed since many Americans waited anxiously for Pope Francis to appear on our streets to greet the faithful.

It would seem that there was an electricity in the air, and then, there he was. Hearts pounded as many were overwhelmed with joy and sang out because it was just too much to be contained. Imagine when our Lord stood before Peter, looked into his eyes and said, “Follow me!”

At World Youth Day, a million young people experienced our Holy Father “coming into view.” Fatigue, the weather and a little hunger were all but forgotten. He was here! They could see him, and the joy could not be contained.

If we want to stop young people or old from leaving the Faith, then let it be Christ that comes into view, in the person of Jesus, and the joy will not be contained!

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Stories of sisters

Re: “Sharing the good news: a little goes a long way” (Openers, Sept. 18).

Of all the people I have known in my life, one of the ones I have loved the most was Sister Celestia Joyce. That was the beautiful name by which the world knew her, but I called her Aunt May.

Sister Celestia, who was a Sister of St. Joseph, was my Irish grandmother’s sister. Because my grandmother died before I was born, and since my mother was an only child, Sister Celestia was my connection to my Irish roots.

The interesting thing about Sister Celestia was that she evangelized through actions rather than words. She loved to laugh and was always ready with a joke. There was a childlike quality to her that appealed to my 6-year-old sensibility.

She volunteered to be my pen pal, and I would write to her enthusiastically about my first-grade life.

During the summers, she would visit my family and teach me math. She was retired as a teacher and principal, but math had been her specialty, and I was an eager student. She was the gentlest, most patient educator, and she instilled in me a lifelong love of learning.

Our family vacations consisted of traveling to Baden, Pennsylvania, to see Sister Celestia at the motherhouse. We would visit with Sister Celestia in the parlor, then head to the dining hall, where we would dine and converse with her friends.

Maria Gallagher, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Dominican Sisters of Nashville, particularly Sister Camille, who was the principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Newport News, Virginia, bring to mind a very memorable event. Being an Air Force family in 1987, we moved from England back to the Newport News area in the middle of the school year.

Our two young children, who had been attending British schools, were making a transition back to the United States, which was very different for them. Being new to the area, we called and talked to Sister Camille about the prospects of our children attending school. Without any hesitation, she said to bring the children to the school that day and they could enter a class immediately.

The transition for our children was flawless thanks to Sister Camille and the Dominican Sisters who understood military families face many challenges in a move from overseas. That made the move back to the United States much easier for us.

Sister Camille has since passed away, but we remember the Dominican Sisters who still teach at the school in our daily prayers and annual tithing efforts. 

Mark and Reunett Clark, Roanoke, Virginia

Abortion and politicians

Re: “Knights leader speaks out” (Briefs, Aug. 28).

I would like to say “thank you” to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson for his fortitude to doing the right thing by printing a letter about abortion. Abortion is not just another political issue. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.

J. Clouse, Golva, North Dakota
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