Where’s the Mass marketing department?

I’m a 78-year-old cradle Catholic; I once again am disappointed with the lack of imagination and strategy in the implementation plan for the new Roman Missal (“Roman Missal readiness plan,” Aug. 28). My spouse and I have been privileged to travel and attend Mass in many places across and outside the country. We have attended Mass where the real participation by the congregation ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent. 

We have also observed that the restlessness level in the congregation is directly related to the participation level; if the pastor sits for a minute after the homily the shuffling is deafening within the silence. We’re wasting time! Logic tells us the perceived length of the Mass is directly related to the level of participation. 

These changes present a real opportunity for a universal (read simple) plan to improve participation. Why introduce new words to large numbers of Massgoers who do not use the current words? The really sad part of this scenario is children observing non-participation adults and the adults wondering why their children are restless. To turn this around would have to begin with a plan — it appears we have again missed an opportunity. Where is our marketing department? 

— Russ Paumen, Maple Lake, Minn. 

Least of these?

Re: “Catholics can lead the way in immigration debate,” Aug. 28. 

In his speech to the Knights of Columbus, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez states that most men and women who are here illegally have traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles and have risked their lives to feed their loved ones. I would like to add, as perhaps many people might not know, that many “illegals” who try to come in from Mexico through the desert die there of dehydration. There are, however, kind American citizens who know of this and have made it their mission to leave jugs of water throughout the desert so that the poor people won’t die. 

However, there are also inhumane people who, when they found out about the Good Samaritans leaving jugs of water in the desert, have made it their mission to go about the desert puncturing the jugs of water so that the water can leak out, and therefore, the illegals can die of dehydration. This makes me wonder: In the evening of our lives, when Jesus is going to ask us if we gave water to the least of our brothers, what’s going to happen to those that puncture the jugs of water and caused many people to die? 

­— Anita Alvarez, Montebello, Calif.

OSV’s free pass

Once again OSV gives a free pass to Obama administration officials who are responsible for implementing programs that opposed to Catholic beliefs. In this case, your article titled “ Contraception mandate could put Catholics in pinch” (Sept. 4) never even mentions that the sponsor of this mandate is a supposed Catholic — Kathleen Sebelius — let alone take her to task for vigorously supporting this and other programs that are basically immoral. 

“Expressing concern,” as Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., is quoted in the above article, is so typical. I suggest “condemn” would have been a good term to start with in expressing her “concern.” Where are our Catholic leaders who will start speaking out? 

To my mind your newspaper has a mandate to strongly react against such programs and the people who support them, especially if they purport to being Catholic. Also it’s not enough to make a comment that “we should pray for Obama, etc. etc.” (one of the comments in your last issue); you also need to take strong stands for Catholic positions and speak out against those who endorse evil programs. Take them to task: You have the moral obligation to do so! 

— John L. Downs, Fairfax Station, Va.

Foreign feeling

Thank you for “Faith at ground zero” (Editorial, Sept. 11). As a “Trinbagonian” (that is, from Trinidad and Tobago), each year on the anniversary of 9/11 I feel anew your collective pain as a nation under God.

Pax et bonum! 

— Father Peter, Trinidad

What if

If you think the health care industry is in trouble now, what would happen if ALL the Catholic hospitals and health care agencies ceased to exist? Would the government (that means all of us taxpayers) be able to provide all the free health care that the Catholic hospitals and agencies now provide? 

Juliann Stephen, Parma, Ohio

Planting seeds

Re: “Phoenix Altar Servers” (In Brief, Sept. 11). 

“In an effort to promote more vocations to the priesthood, Father John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, has announced that girls will no longer be allowed to be altar servers.” 

I think Father Lankeit needs to realize that “addition by subtraction” isn’t going to work. The solution lies in encouraging the boys, not discouraging the girls, many of whom continue on to become lectors, cantors, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, CCD teachers and lay ministers, all of which the Church also needs. Remember what Jesus’ parable teaches us about seeds planted in fertile soil. 

Joseph J. Smagala Jr., Russellton, Pa.