I am writing in response to the letter from Mary Rose Charbonnet (Letters to the Editor, April 25). She asks who will step up and reclaim an orthodox Catholic identity and nurture it in our communities. 

I would like to tell her that I am. My friends are. My lovely community is alive and flourishing with “traditional” Catholic families. When asked, “Why did God make you?”, our children answer, “God made me to show his goodness and to make me happy with him in heaven.” Most days we remember to pause at noon and pray the Angelus. Most of us get to daily Mass at least once a week. We have a family “Rosary night” once a month — nothing will fill your heart with hope for the future like the sight of 15 small children sitting in a circle praying the Rosary with their friends and family! A nearby parish offers a “Holy Half Hour” for children. 

We are educating our children in the Faith, and helping them to conform their hearts to Christ. They will be the ones running schools and universities, hospitals and soup kitchens. They will serve in local and federal governments. They will blog and write books and letters in defense of our Church. And if it is God’s will, some of them will serve Jesus as his holy priests and religious. Charbonnet is right — our world is, in a word, frightening. But “my” world is full of witnesses to true faith, hope and charity, and I wanted to share a glimpse of it with her. 

— Debbie Wallace, Fairfax, Va.

Immigration standards

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez’s recent article was interesting, as he presented Catholic teaching for hospitality to strangers and also a country’s right and obligation to control immigration (“Archbishop: Catholics’ role in immigration reform solution,” May 2). 

While I agree with his call for strong national leadership, it seemed to me he was much stronger on the side of compassion, mentioning that immigration enforcement often causes the breaking up of families. I have compassion for the family, but it is the result of a person breaking a law. 

Also, using compassion as the basis for making policy can be dangerous. It was compassion for women with unwanted pregnancies that was the basis for legalizing abortion. 

I believe we need some policy to assimilate law-abiding illegal immigrants, but I am against an outright amnesty program. I believe any new policy should have a temporary status for the current illegal immigrants until they can meet the normal immigration standards. I believe this meets the archbishop’s call that we work so that justice and mercy are the motives behind our response to immigration.

— Roy F. Shaul Binghamton, N.Y.

Confess mistakes 

I just read the article “Decoding accusations against Pope Benedict,” by Sandro Magister (News Analysis, April 18). 

I would like to ask Magister if he ever read the book “Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II,” by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner. They show convincingly the role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in covering up the problems of clerical sexual abuse. The CDF was under the leadership of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. 

Why is it so hard for those in the hierarchy to admit their errors and mistakes? All it would take for Pope Benedict XVI to recover his credibility is to say: “I, the pope, made mistakes when I was prefect of CDF. I am sorry, but we are doing better now!” 

Thank you for your informative newspaper, but I complete it with the National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal and The New York Times. 

— John Van Coppenolle, San Antonio, Texas

Inspiring interview 

I want to applaud Our Sunday Visitor for the excellent interview with Father Reginald Jean-Mary (“Detecting evidence of hope in Haiti,” April 25), and to commend his master plan. 

I was so moved that on my birthday, I am sending Father Jean-Mary an amount equal to the number of years God has blessed me, my home in America and my children in their various occupations.

— Name and city withheld

Where are black priests? 

I was sorely disappointed to read that there was not a single African-American being ordained this year (“Introducing the priests of the U.S. class of 2010,” May 2). I am married to an African-American and my children are African-American, as are my grandchildren. If this reflects evangelization in the black community, it’s sad. If it was an omission, please inform the readers.

— Justine Vaughn-Carter 

Editor’s note: According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate’s report on the ordination class, 5 percent are African-American.

Informative issue 

Thank you for two important and informative articles in the May 2 issue: 

1. “Uncovering a String of Lies,” by Janet Smith (In Focus). 

2. “When Church institutions are backed into a corner” (News Analysis) and the YouTube address to hear Archbishop Donald Wuerl speak on the Catholic Charities’ dilemma in this upside-down culture. 

— Jo Cizek, Amery, Wis.