Greeting parishioners is OK

Re: “A welcome reform” (Guest column, July 27).

I think you have to consider the design of the church. I attend St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Madison, Alabama. When I enter the church, I am in a large vestibule. I walk to the right, I am in the main church; walk straight ahead, I enter the day chapel, and walk to the left, I am in the parish hall.

As a member of our welcoming ministry, I am a greeter before and after Mass. Most of the parishioners go straight into the main church. They do not stop to talk. However, after Mass, some parishioners do stop and talk to each other.

I really enjoy saying “good morning” as our parishioners come to Mass. Our Protestant brothers and sisters greet their members at the door. I can see them as I drive by on my way to church on Sundays.

Rosemary Carter, Harvest, Alabama

Teen voices

After Our Sunday Visitor focused on the Church from the perspective of five Catholic teens — “Teen voices,” (In Focus, Aug. 31) — we opened up the question to social media. Via Facebook, we asked the following questions: 1) What do you love most about the Catholic Faith? 2) What is the most challenging thing about being Catholic? 3) What brings you closer to Christ? Here are a handful of responses:

1) That I can rejoice in the love of a God and Father who loves me more than worldly terms can describe; 2) Following God’s command in a world where the works of the devil are seen in everyday life; 3) Sharing my faith, praying every day and reminding myself that everything beautiful is the work of the Lord.

Emily McIntosh

1) I love the fact that it is universal, calling everybody to the real deal in having Christ, the Eucharist, at its core. 2) The most challenging thing about being Catholic is explaining what the Eucharist is to people who aren’t familiar with Jesus. 3) Keeping in mind that I am his child; spending time in church and in his word; growing with other people.

Ryan Assini

1) Knowing that God is always with me and having the friends I do because of the Church; 2) Having to deal with temptation and naysayers in everyday life; 3) Prayer, youth retreats and talking with youth leaders.

Justine Mona

School cost prohibitive

Re: “School shopping: Finding the right fit” (In Focus, Aug. 24).

A consideration mentioned but not emphasized enough is cost. Regrettably, I learned from sending my granddaughter to Catholic school that this diocese appears more interested in schools as academies for the elite rather than as a means of propagating the Faith through education of the children. The costs here are so expensive and financial assistance so limited that few families can afford to send their children to Catholic schools. As a consequence, many schools have closed and the numbers of families in the pew have dropped noticeably.

There was a time when concern for the next generation ranked high in Church priorities. Today, that does not seem the case.

Donald Link, Louisville, Kentucky

Hamas is to blame

Re: “Ceasing fire” (Editorial, Aug. 17).

It is disturbing to read an editorial in a Catholic paper that seems to be drawing a moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians. The fault for the killings of 1,800 Palestinians (mostly soldiers) and neighborhoods razed to the ground lies completely with Hamas, which hides their weaponry in Mosques, schools and hospitals and continually fires rockets at Israel. How long would any country allow that before firing back?

Hamas is a terrorist organization that needs to be discredited by every civilized nation and by the Church. They have created war everywhere they have been in the Middle East, and there will be no peace in the region until the Palestinians remove them from power in their government.

Phyllis Ross, Fountain Valley, California
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