Never too many deacons

Re “Diaconate: A ministry of service” (In Focus, July 3). 

“Some dioceses have begun to re-evaluate their diaconate programs to determine if the continuing growth in the ranks of permanent deacons is truly necessary.” Too many deacons?!? Are they kidding? Many critical roles go unfilled or underfilled. There is an extreme shortage of spiritual directors. Well-meaning religious education teachers, parish committee chairs, scout troop chaplains, etc., function without a strong grasp of their faith. How is it that there are so many lay Catholics generating and supporting legislation in direct opposition to our spiritual well-being?  

There is much work to do. We need as many deacons as are willing and able. We also need to expand participation in ministry formation programs for women and men not destined for the diaconate.  

Shame on those who wish to turn off the water to so many thirsting to know their faith better and apply it to the needs of their community. God bless the deacons and their spouses. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are too few. 

— Art Osten Jr., Fox River Grove, Ill.

Mexican first 

Re July 3 letter to the editor, “Anti-illegal immigrant.” 

I am a Mexican-American, born and raised in California. When I was young, I remember that I would often observe white people who did not like Mexicans. They would say to us, “Dirty Mexicans — go back to Mexico,” to which a Mexican would respond back “Our great-grandfather was here to greet your great-grandfather (as at one time many of the states in the United States were once Mexico).”  

When it comes to illegal Mexicans, I feel that deep inside they don’t really feel that they are doing something illegal due to the fact that many years ago this was their country.  

Our city was once beautifully named “The town of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels” (in Spanish), but when the United States took over, the name was shortened to Los Angeles (the angels).  

We are very fortunate that the archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gomez, is trying to educate people that the Gospel of Jesus was being proclaimed in California in the Spanish tongue long before the pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and that the Christian faith was brought to this land by the Spanish missionaries centuries before the American Revolution. 

— Anita Alvarez, Montebello, Calif.

Good dads 

Over the years, I have enjoyed Robert Lockwood’s articles. The latest, “Good dads, good sports” (Catholic Journal, July 3), struck a real chord with me. Sports has been a way of building my relationships with three of my sons in some meaningful ways. Good dads inspire their sons to value true human effort and courage wherever they find it.  

Thank you, Robert Lockwood, for reminding me of that. 

Patrick K. Seltzer, Deming, N.M.

Trashy tabloid? 

The OSV front page frequently looks like the so-called supermarket tabloids. Perhaps you have decided that this is what it takes to grab the interest of potential buyers wherever they are displayed. I, for one, am put off by the format; it tends to make the paper look superficial rather than a provider of scholarly coverage of significant issues. 

For example: the July 10 issue devotes about three-quarters of the page to a sensationalistic reference to Father Corapi’s resignation, complete with a leash, and the word “UNLEASHES’ in large capital letters and red ink. Is his resignation so important that I should be concerned about the impact on Catholicism in the United States or the state of my spirituality? Does the front page coverage and the related article encourage or discourage readers? 

— John M. Froehlich, via email

And more 

Re “Are gay priests to blame for abuse crisis?” (News Analysis, June 26). Are you trying to compete with the sleazy tabloids with such headlines? Are gay priests any more to blame than old priests who’ve harbored mistresses? 

With today’s anti-Catholic attitude and hostile Catholics, we need a paper that uplifts, educates and is more positive about the beauty and strength of our beloved Church and clergy. 

— Charline B. Gajdos, Riverside, Calif.

Cowardly Catholics 

Many thanks to Msgr. Owen F. Campion for his column on “Succumbing to culture” (God Lives, July 3). 

Certainly with all the Civil War re-enactments, this is a timely opportunity to take a more serious look at our culture of life. 

Many Catholics were gathered into the armed forces and Military Industries to fight the Master Race. But white flight showed how many Catholic hospitals and schools had a greater comfort zone in suburbia. 

Now, as wars for oil and climate change slow down our white flight, real estate and charter schools have gobbled up Catholic facilities in the cities. Soup kitchens, food pantries and utility assistance offer short-term relief, but the demographics of too many Catholic presbyterates and administrations look very white. 

Thank you to Msgr. Campion. I don’t see enough articles in the Catholic press on this dimension of our Faith and our culture. 

— Friar Edmund Mundwiller, St. Louis, Mo.