Re: “This Week in Photos” (Briefings, March 3). 

What is the picture of Father Humberto Alvarez doing in your March 3 issue? Here you are giving approval to a priest who is desecrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by turning it into a clown show — the “source and summit” of our faith reduced to cartoon-festooned vestments and sacrilegiously “blessing” the children with a water gun. Here at the very beginning of these children’s catechetical instruction they are being taught that Jesus’ sacrifice being represented on the altar is just part of a comedy show. A blessing with Holy Water is no different than a bit of super-soaker gun play. 

Name unknown, Hagerstown, Md.

Conformed to world

With appalling statistics for Mass attendance and the lack of belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, I could see why some Catholics would not think twice as Father Alvarez wears his “cartoon liturgical robe” blasting the kids with a water gun at Mass. 

I was mortified. What was the intent of OSV in publishing this photo? It seems that we have forgotten the Mass is to glorify the creator not worship the creature. 

It befuddles me as to why Catholic children and teens are entitled to Masses conformed to the world (cartoon characters, water guns, juggling priests, guitars and drums). OSV missed the chance to caption this photo, “Indoctrinating the faithful to mega-church worship services.” 

Cindy Mack-Kish, Wellington, Ohio

Four-legged friends

I take umbrage to your take on “Spending big on Fido and Fluffy” (Our Take, March 10). The Bible story in Genesis that mentions the creation of animals is to me a testimony that God wanted us to have them. Then God said: “Let us make men in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” 

As senior citizens, my husband and I own a dog, which does not replace our children or grandchildren. The care of this animal does not prohibit us from helping the poor. She provides companionship.  

After the loss of two babies in the fourth month of pregnancy, our son got a puppy for his family, not to replace a baby, but to help them heal. They are now the proud parents of a newborn baby girl who is welcomed by her older brother. Their dog is a special friend to the older child and also teaches him about caring and love. 

Julia Inskeep, Cincinnati, Ohio

Pooling resources

Re: “Plenty of minuses” (Letters to the Editor, March 3) 

Charles Marrelli’s letter responding to “Pro-life pluses” (Editorial, Feb. 10) resonated with me. Forty years of activism has brought me to the same conclusion he articulates.  

With dozens of pro-life groups all competing for the same volunteers and money, we have not managed to defeat the scourge of abortion. Yes, the pro-life movement could use the marketing skills with a central command (as Marrelli suggests). Our country and the world would be safe for the preborn child and parents. Who will come forward to answer that challenge?  

Jean B. Healey, Braintree, Mass.

Timely issue

The Holy Spirit must be working in your subscription department, but he has the voice of a sweet woman. Several weeks ago, she called and asked if we would like to subscribe to OSV. Looking at the pile of magazines that I hadn’t gotten around to reading, I replied, “Yes” without further thought. The Holy Spirit leapt from her into me. 

Then we received our first issue, March 3. The articles on Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement and the conclave were so perfect for what my husband Nick and I were discussing. First, the secular media puts a slant of scandal on anything that happens in the Catholic Church. You have to realize that we live outside of Chicago where every public figure seems to have scandal as part of their lives. And, the article on “How the Church Chooses a Pope” (Faith) by the OSV staff helped answer so many questions we had about the procedure. These are things that the media just doesn’t provide. 

I also enjoyed Mark Shea’s “Works of Mercy” (In Focus), which was written in a serious yet easy to read manner. And, the references to the specific agencies to get involved was quite helpful. Scott Alessi’s sacramental article on confession (News Analysis) and Teresa Tomeo’s column were also strong. 

Pam Keseric, Hinsdale, Ill.