Addressing fellow parishioners’ critical needs

I was very much heartened by the article “Welcoming estranged Catholics back into the fold” (News Analysis, May 6).  

I have often wondered what would happen if we formed “crisis teams” in each parish. When there is a divorce or a death of a spouse, lay ministers, trained for this purpose, would make phone calls and follow up visits to encourage and support.  

What often happens instead is other parishioners, uncomfortable with their situation, shy away. This adds “a last straw” burden to people experiencing horrendous pain and loss.  

They conclude that the Church preaches one thing, but practices another. Often they gravitate to faiths which have better outreach and emotional support.  

We, as fellow Catholics, play a part in their estrangement by overlooking their critical needs.  

Mary Ann Dorsett, Des Moines, Iowa

Prayers for fallen away

Re: “Welcoming estranged Catholics back into the fold” (News Analysis, May 6)  

Our parish — St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs, Fla. — has formed a group to specifically pray for the return of estranged Catholics back into the fold.  

It is titled “Tear Drops.” Cards are available with a picture of St. Monica — with tears dropping from her eyes—on one side and a prayer for the return of family/friends on the reverse side.  

There is a space where one can add the name/names of those to be prayed for.  

This ministry is only about a year old, yet more than 3,500 cards have been returned. A prayer service is held in church three times a year where all cards are carried forward to the altar. 

Joan Floegel, Maitland, Fla.

Making amends

Re: “Unhappy revolution” (Culture, April 29). 

My copy of the “Adam and Eve After the Pill” arrived a week before April 29 edition of OSV. Mary Eberstadt is to be complimented on the research and study she put into this book. As an octogenarian, I lived through this entire revolution. It seems that it will take millions saying “mea culpa” before we can find amendment.  

Delving into partisan politics by our hierarchy during the last 25 years has brought few positive results. Our efforts need to be concentrated upon evangelizing our own flock. I encourage every breathing Catholic in the United States to read “Adam and Eve After the Pill.” 

Raymond J. Schmitz, Seneca, Kan.

The real St. Francis

Re: “A fresh look at a familiar saint: St. Francis of Assisi” (Faith, May 20). 

I think this article makes St. Francis even more real ... and that being a saint is hard work. I like this new information. It makes me even stronger in my belief that despite our human weakness with God anything is possible! 

Anne Billas, via online comment

Great program

Re: “California program gives those with disabilities RESPECT” (In Focus, May 13). 

As a special education teacher and practicing Catholic I am so glad to hear about programs that teach students with disabilities so that they too can receive the sacraments. I live in a very small parish and we just include the students with special needs in our regular religious education classes with the help of their parents, but it would be a blessing to be able to send parents to classes that were made to meet their child’s needs. I hope more parishes will follow this model. 

Mary Scates, via online comment 

Selfless love

Re: “In celebration of the feminine genius” (In Focus, May 20). 

[It’s] amazing how many women believe the lies the secular world has put out here about the Church’s view on women.  

To be a Catholic women today is to be a woman of virtue, dignity and strength. A Catholic woman exudes a selfless love that without there cannot be a stable and fruitful family, which is required for civilizations to prosper. This selfless love shares Christ’s love, both physically and spiritually, hence why our genius as women must be embraced and lived out as God intended. 

Jen Marstan, via online comment