Compassion needed for those contemplating suicide

Re: “13 reasons why not” (Eye on Culture, June 4-10).

I commend Oxford High School for their efforts to provide a message of hope to teenagers who have experienced difficulties that have made them contemplate suicide. When I was in my late teens, I attempted suicide because of severe depression due to feeling tremendous shame since I was bullied because I was gay.

It’s ironic that I was strongly pro-life and active both in educational and political efforts on behalf of the unborn. After I attempted suicide, my friend told me that his girlfriend was pregnant, and this difficult situation (they were young and unmarried) renewed my commitment to life, as I decided to do all I could to assist them with their baby. I believe this demonstrates that God can bring good out of difficult situations. My two friends showed me the caring acceptance I needed to again see the value of life — both my own and that of their baby. The faithful must do much more to show love to teens who are tempted to end their lives by helping them see the good in themselves.

Tim Donovan, Prospect Park, Pennsylvania


Re: “The power of conversion stories” (In Focus, June 4-10).

Mark Shea’s book “By What Authority” was profoundly influential in my rediscovery of the Faith.

My trajectory was similar to Jeff Cavins, but all the time I was out of the Church I was never completely convinced I was doing the right thing. I was in the odd place of being sure Catholicism was wrong, but Protestantism also seemed to be lacking.

A friend sent me “Surprised by Truth,” which opened a few doors. The Fathers of the Church all seemed to be Catholic in their understanding and their insistence on apostolic succession as the sure guide for truth. Then I read Mark’s book, and Tradition started making a lot of sense. His work has been very helpful and entertaining over the years. I know some think he’s a little too “St. Jerome” in outlook and tone, but I get a kick out of his delivery and sharp wit.

Jeffrey Job, via online comment

Change in pastors

Re: “How to survive — and thrive — after a change in pastors” (In Focus, May 28-June 3).

Great selection of points helping to take some of the mystery out of a common organizational practice. The thing that may often still be an unanswerable mystery is what the vision is that the local ordinary has for the diocese and how each parish contributes its strengths to an outcome that both supports the vision and offers parish growth in faith and unity.

It is my feeling that some priests might not be able to look at two parishes as having different but important strengths and senselessly toil to make a current assignment become something they are not culturally cut out for. I liken this to your point on the growth of Hispanic-speaking parishioners needing communication changes to ease growth where they would otherwise suffer as English-only.

Eric Ulfsparre, via online comment

Girl Scouts

Re: “Kansas City archdiocese bars Girl Scouts” (News Analysis, June 4-10).

There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, and the Gospels are best learned at home through actions. If we don’t allow our Catholic children to shine in the secular world, how will we evangelize? As for openly gay boys, didn’t God create them as well? I lean sharply to the left and live a morally and ethically upright life; it would behoove us to put these divisions aside.

Rita Mauget Ban, via online comment

It’s only a matter of time before this happens to the Boy Scouts since they are caving into a “do-your-own-thing” philosophy.

When I was a Scout, we were supposed to be morally straight. Too many lawsuits against the Boy Scouts have caused them to cave in to the immorality of the current generation.

Daniel Brock III, via online comment
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