Our Readers Respond-September 19, 2012

St. Ignatius Retreat House still open
Editor: Many thanks for the letters from Mary Manzano (8/22) and Chris Capone (9/12) regarding their connection to St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House.


Over 30 spiritual directors were trained here in recent years and are practicing their skills throughout the area.

Ignatian Spirituality will continue to be offered in parishes, schools and institutions after our closing date, June, 2013.

We invite all to come and tour the house during the coming months.

Stay tuned to our website www.inisfada.net

Deacon Tom Evrard
Administrator, St. Ignatius Retreat House

Welcoming the stranger
While I am grateful for Pete Sheehan’s story on the work that Catholic Charities is doing to help the children of illegal immigrants who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as well as the accompanying editorial, I was also a bit disappointed. I am no expert on Scripture or Catholic social teaching but I do not believe that the biblical admonition to welcome the stranger meant that we should welcome them only if they meet certain criteria and would not be a drain on our country’s economy. Through some volunteer work I have done with Catholic Charities and other organizations, I have had the opportunity to meet with immigrants and I have found the stories of why they came to this country and how they got here heartbreaking and humbling. I have found them to be people of extreme courage, hope, faith and love. We need to put faces on the debate on immigration. We need to hear the immigrants’ stories. We are talking about people, men, women and children. We need to get to know them. We are called to welcome the stranger because it is the right and just thing to do. We are called to welcome the stranger because he or she is my brother and my sister.
Thomas McCoy

Editor: Thank you for a balanced and informed editorial in last week’s TLIC on immigration and Catholic social teaching. Your treatment of this timely subject elevates the case of the plight of immigrants away from the bickering of the political parties and raises the discussion to what is the right thing to do as followers of Jesus.

In Pete Sheehan’s companion article on what Catholic Charities is offering in this regard, the issue of the high cost of fees is mentioned. I believe it totals $680 per applicant, a very large amount to pay for many who are below the income poverty line. May I suggest that TLIC set up an immigrant fund to raise money for these qualified immigrants? There are many Long Island Catholics, I think, who would gladly contribute to this effort. I will be your first donor if such a fund is started.
Edward J. Thompson, Sr.

The big picture
With the availability of so much accurate information about the Ryan budget  proposals (for those willing to look for it), I’m amazed that the mindset of letter writer Richard Koubek (TLIC 9/5) still has a following among so many misguided Catholics.

True, Bishop Hubbard, in the name of the USCCB, took predictable cheap shots at Ryan. But let’s examine the response of a few more bishops such as Boyea (Lansing), and Vigneron (Detroit), and Naumann ( Kansas City).

Bishop Boyea summed it up the best. Referring to the USCCB letter, he said “I’m not sure that we have the humility yet not to stray into areas where we lack competence and where we need to let the laity take the lead. We need to learn far more than we need to teach in this area. We need to listen more than we need to speak.”

The simple truth is that liberals, despite what they claim, have not cornered the market on morality when it comes to the poor. Where is the morality of letting the federal government go bankrupt, thus destroying our ability to take care of any of our financial commitments to seniors, veterans, the disabled, etc.? The Ryan “cuts” have been deliberately mislabeled. They are not cuts at all, but a slowing down of the rate of growth of benefits. This is the tiresome straw man argument used all the time by those who are comfortably vested in their smug “moral superiority” over the rest of us heartless, mean-spirited American Catholics, who can still manage to recognize the big picture through all the smoke and mirrors.
John F. Picciano

Abortion a national tragedy
The author of the letter “Catholics and the President” (TLIC 9/15) made observations that Catholic Americans of all political persuasions are attempting to process in preparation for this year’s presidential election between incumbent Democrat President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. As a registered Republican-American who is Catholic, is it possible to object to the Democrats’ contrived “War on Women” that supports free contraception including abortifacients?

Abortion remains a national tragedy. It is estimated that there are any where from 500,000 to 1 million U.S. couples currently seeking to adopt a baby, yet more than 1 million annual abortions are performed in the U.S. As a concerned married father of three terrific children, I know a child cannot obtain a tattoo without his or her parent’s permission, but now with President Obama and the Democrats’ free contraception, a young vulnerable pregnant girl can receive a taxpayer-funded abortifacient which will result in aborting her fetus without her parents or boyfriend possibly ever knowing.

As Americans we reference the Declaration of Independence, which states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Thus, support for abortion implies the child in the womb is not created equal but only receives his or her rights after birth, and that there is no “unalienable right to life” and no “self-evident truth.”

Despite His divinity, Jesus Christ humbled himself to be born into this world as a baby — totally dependent upon his human parents, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. In doing so, Jesus experienced every aspect of human life that you and I experienced as a baby.

While abortion remains controversial, let us work to make adoption more viable.

Michael P. Mulhall
Rockville Centre