Better than a Sox game
I was somewhat surprised and very pleased to see an article in The Pilot reporting what many of us already knew: that a “motu propio” broadening permission to use the 1962 liturgy is in the works (“Tridentine Mass: Pope looks for bridge to tradition,” 4/6). While I would not consider myself one of those individuals pejoratively called “traditionalist” -- after all every Catholic should be a traditionalist since the deposit of faith is interpreted through the light of tradition -- I do enjoy the high Mass more than any Red Sox game I’ve ever been to and seek it out on the major feast days like Corpus Christi and Easter. This Easter I found myself at Holy Name of Jesus in East Providence where Father Santos, the pastor there, chanted a beautiful liturgy that filled me with emotion and left me with the joy that should accompany the celebration of the resurrection. I can’t help but to believe that a greater availability of the Mass according to the 1962 liturgical books would not only help those attached to it feel more at home in the Church, it could by osmosis return the sense of the sacred to the modern liturgy.
Andrew P. McLaughlin
Questions about the Tridentine Mass
Although not a religion teacher, but rather merely a product of basic training during implementation of Vatican II changes, I wonder if the layperson should assertively ask certain questions about plans to return to the Tridentine Mass (“Tridentine Mass: Pope looks for bridge to tradition,” 4/6). Is such a trend following as closely as it might be to the traditional Mass configuration of the early Christian Church based on the sacrifice performed at the Last Supper by the Lord as a priest of the order of Melchisedech, or is it representative of a later, still valid, traditional configuration? If so, should this later form be petitioned by interested worshipers rather than encouraged as a predominant form? When the priest faces the altar and away from the congregation, could this really be only a part of an original configuration in which the congregation actually encircled the altar? Thus, should the real spirit of Vatican II be to approximate this as far as is practicable, rather than to emphasize an orientation of the priest facing the altar versus one of the priest facing the congregation? In the past, did pre-Vatican II conditions incubate systems of inadvertent, symbolic authoritarianism and unfortunate instances of abusive victimization? Should we be guarded and watchful here?
Robert J. McGuane, Jr.
Immigration reform needed
A few weeks ago there was raid at a factory in New Bedford (“Cardinal calls for immigration reform after federal raids on plant,” 3/16). There were shameful detentions of a large group of decent, hardworking men and women, which the only crime they committed was taking the job that not one American-born person would take. If we review our history, we see how this country was built by workers like this: Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Mexican, Cubans; they all came looking to work to maintain his family because they were all hungry. Can we say we are a nation that complies with the Christian principles? Do we have compassion? We do talk about world globalization, but do we in practice? Yes, these workers were illegal, but they were working, and they were paying taxes. Some of them have been here for more than 10 years, and none of them have ever been in a police station. Why do we not treat them as we treat the asylum seekers? They have been persecuted in their countries by hunger, and hunger kills more people in the world than political beliefs. We need to reform the immigration laws.
Homeschooling works for us
We would like to thank Professor Pakaluk for his excellent description of the benefits of homeschooling (‘‘Should I homeschool?’’ 4/6). We would only add that, for our family, the homeschooling environment has helped to foster a remarkable enhancement of sibling relationships. While our (five) kids have always gotten along well, thanks to homeschooling they interact across age and personality differences with less than the average amount of bickering and negativity. They work and play together as a team. Improved sibling relationships are perhaps the most significant of the many pleasant surprises that we encountered when we (unexpectedly) took the homeschool plunge several years ago.
In an age where legislatures from London to Boston and beyond are sharpening their pencils to decree what will -- and will not -- be permissible to teach as “truth” in schools, homeschooling may become necessary to transmit the faith to the future. Certainly homeschoolers will not hear that their parents are misleading them by teaching them Catholic Christianity, as one of our children recently heard from a high school teacher.
Karin and Peter Morin