Prayers, not protests, among pro-life supporters 

Re “America’s first official Marian Apparition” (News Analysis, Jan. 9). 

In 2007, then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke stated that devotion to Our Lady of America was canonically approved. This had also previously been canonically approved by Archbishop Paul Leibold of Cincinnati. 

Our Lady first appeared to Sister Mildred Neuzil in 1956, in Indiana, offering warning and graces to the United States of America and requesting that a statue according to her likeness in these apparitions be placed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The apparitions of Our Lady to Sister Mildred have received scant recognition of publicity. 

— Nicola Tranchitella, Clarksville, Md.

Editor’s note: As you point out, what received Church approval with regard to Our Lady of America was public devotion, not — as was the case with Champion, Wis. — confirmation of the apparition’s authenticity. 

Fruits of illegal acts 

I was saddened, but not surprised, to see there are still people who support legislation like the so-called DREAM Act (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 16). Aside from the obvious reality that the primary purpose of such an act is to increase the number of voters who are beholden to the big-government philosophy, it is not clear why children of criminals (illegal immigrants) should be entitled to the fruits of the illegal acts. Is the child of a bank robber entitled to the ill-gotten gain of the robbery? It is easy enough to judge people as illegal when they fail to comply with the laws of the land to come to this country. Their circumstances are irrelevant. 

The immigration system of any nation should be for the benefit of that country, not the world. The cost of compliance with the system should not be used as a strawman, providing for thousands of people to come to a country and increase crime rates, clog up the health and education systems and destroy the lands through careless use of them.  

— John F. Murphy, Alexandria, Va.

Catholic principles 

We should remember John F. Kennedy as a Catholic sinner, like the rest of us, rather than as a Catholic president. Please God, may he rest in peace. 

Robert P. Lockwood, in “Catholics and culture” (Catholic Journal, Jan. 16), describes the close unity between the faith and the core American principles of the mid-20th century. I felt this same closeness of values, naturally, coming from a long line of Catholic Democrats (central and western Pennsylvania). I remember vividly my parents’ disappointment when I registered to vote in 1936 (I was 21) as a Republican. I had concluded the other party had long left many of its principles. To be fair, as a Catholic, I see the Republicans going the same way today. 

I cite this history since I’d lived through the times Lockwood reports, including Kennedy’s election. The times were changing, and the presidential candidates were caught up in those changes, perhaps not realizing the incipient thrust of secularism. But when I heard Kennedy’s address before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, I was sorely disappointed. His talk indicated to me that he was more dedicated to becoming president than to upholding the faith. 

— L.C. Bearer, Bartlesville, Okla.

Offering it up 

I was saddened to read K.A. Murphy’s response (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 23) to Msgr. Owen F. Campion’s “Catholic conundrum” (God Lives, Dec. 26). 

Murphy says, “While they (Protestant churches) lack the Real Presence, it is the presence of a clergy person who is prepared, understood ... that attracts people.” How sad! Isn’t the Real Presence what it’s all about? We should be willing to endure anything to attend the [Catholic] Church Jesus started and continues to bless with his Real Presence. If we’re not personally satisfied with the priest because we have a hard time understanding him or feel we have to “endure” the Mass or other reasons of our comfort, we should, as the generation before us was taught, offer it up. To loosely paraphrase Simon Peter, if we don’t have the Real Presence, “to whom shall we go?” 

— Karen Pline, Pewamo, Mich.