Family’ man’s unforgettable Advent cartoon 

I was so happy to see the “In Memoriam” for Bil Keane (“Catholic cartoonist Keane kept the family front and center in his comic,” Nov. 27) and it came at a perfect time. I was just getting out the Advent wreath and other items that get my home ready for Advent. One of those is a laminated copy of a cartoon of many years ago, but one that could be repeated every year at this time. It shows Billy reading various signs he encounters while shopping: Don’t forget Christmas candy; Don’t forget fruitcake; Don’t forget wrapping paper; Don’t forget visit Santa; Don’t forget tree lights, tinsel; and Don’t forget last-minute gifts. The last frame of the cartoon shows Billy at his desk, completing his picture of Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus in the manger, and he simply writes at the top “Don’t Forget.” My children grew up with that attached to our refrigerator each Advent, and my grandkids find it there even now. Actually they all expect it. And I love it. Always one of the first signs of the season at my house. Thank you, Bil. 

Mary Walz, Defiance, Ohio

Silence on sexuality 

Re: “After the desert” (Faith, Nov. 13) by Steve Gershom. Many things could contribute to a person’s awareness of the beginning of the development of same-sex attraction within himself: overbearing mother or father; abuse or neglect — mental or physical; bad experiences and bad example among peers. Perhaps one thing has been too long overlooked and under-emphasized, and that is the horrendous sex education present in our schools, often even in elementary grades. 

I have seen this firsthand several years ago when my first child entered middle school. Health and family living classes presented information on different forms of birth control and homosexuality was presented as a perfectly normal and acceptable sexual alternative —one a person might not even be responsible for. This directly contradicts Romans 1:21-28. 

Sadly — no, tragically — although papal encyclicals and bishops’ statements have addressed the issues, this pastoral guidance and these teachings were not carried on in many parishes and now are hardly ever mentioned because it is not “politically correct.” 

This deliberate silence and inertia on the part of priests and bishops and liberal Catholic media has caused much of the heartache and confusion experienced by people like Gershom. 

Lu Anne Simmens, Grand Rapids, Minn.

Not-so-peaceful practice

Re: “Curtain time for the revised Mass” (In Focus, Nov. 20). 

I was hoping that included in the changes of the new liturgy we would do away with the Sign of Peace, which is a three-ring circus. I think it takes away from the holiness of the Mass. 

We have greeters at each weekend Mass as people enter the church building. 

Agnes G. White, Hoffman, Ill.

Cheap reporting

Re: “St. Steve of Apple?” (Faith, Dec. 4). 

I found the article to be outrageous and unbelievably out of place. I cannot understand how a Catholic newspaper editor allows this type of trash to be published. How can the writer make a comparison of an electronically gifted engineer with a saint of the Catholic Church?  

What does the accomplishment of a secular individual have to do with holiness and sainthood? Not only that, but the front page asks whether Jobs is “worthy of adoration”? The paper does not even say “veneration” — which would be proper for a saint. What a deception to see this in a Catholic publication! 

In the same issue, you publish President Obama kissing the president of China! We don’t need that type of cheap report that has been widely published by the secular press.  

It is so discouraging to see this happen to a paper that is supposed to be a guide to Catholics. 

J. Ernesto Molina, M.D. via email

Needed: Male leadership

After reading the Nov. 27 issue of OSV, I can’t help but think about the relationship between what happened at the 2004 Super Bowl (Teresa Tomeo’s “A Step Backward”) the Spectator article by Greg Erlandson (“Beyond Penn State”) and the report on Father Larry Richards and others who lead the way for men today (“Conferences call on men to be leaders of love, service”). They all scream loudly about the lack of male leadership in families and in society at large. If men were really in favor of women and protecting their dignity, the “wardrobe malfunction” incident would never have occurred. If men were living out the role God has entrusted to them by virtue of their gender, they would be actively engaged in protecting children from abusers in sports and schools. The Penn State incident is a tragedy. 

Men such as Father Richard and Steve Wood are antidotes to this malady in our culture. There are just not nearly enough of them. 

Our society needs help. Thanks for doing your part. 

Mary Floeck, Katy, Texas

Don’t believe media

I noted the letter printed to refute your comparison of the Occupy Wall Street movement with the tea party. 

The differences are day and night: Regarding the “tea party, spitting on lawmakers or chanting racist slogans,” you have been severely duped! 

Just because the secular mainstream media repeats over and over what it purports to be facts doesn’t make it so! 

Pat Wira, Chandler, Ariz.