Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of April 20, 2024

Bishop Brennan’s Chrism Mass Homily 

Dear Editor: Reading Bishop Brennan’s homily given at the chrism Mass (“Bishop Brennan to Priests: What Is More Important, the Synod Process or Its Results?” from April 13) was indeed uplifting. 

His opening comments about solidarity with the NYPD and his mourning the recent loss of Detective Jonathan Diller touched me deeply. 

Our police, fire, and first responders work tirelessly each day and the bishop’s debt of gratitude to them is greatly appreciated. 

Helen Peterman 


Imposing Our Beliefs 

Dear Editor: Catholic teaching prohibiting abortion is based on the belief that ensoulment happens at conception, but this is not a belief of other faiths. 

As Catholics, we can preach against abortion, teach against abortion, pray that women will not have abortions, and not have abortions ourselves. 

But we do not have the right to try to impose our beliefs on others by enacting anti-abortion laws. 

Patricia Allaire 


 Loss of Father John Garkowski 

Dear Editor: Thank you for the lovely obituary of Fr. John J. Garkowski (“A Hero to the Immigrant Community,” April 6) highlighting his work for the immigrant community. 

However, his biography omitted so many important aspects of his character. 

He was a first class academic. As a seminarian, he was sent to study in Rome. When illness forced his return to the U.S., he studied at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore where he became secretary for noted 20th-century theologian Raymond Brown. 

After ordination, he was tireless in pursuing further studies. He earned advanced degrees in education, literature, and a Ph.D. in theology before obtaining a law degree at St. John’s University. 

He taught at Queensboro Community College and was an instructor for many years for the Pastoral Institute where he frequently spoke on great mystics of Catholic spirituality. 

He inspired me to pursue theological studies. 

Father John, as he was known to everyone, had multiple interests. He traveled extensively to over 150 countries, including all 7 continents. 

He attended theater almost weekly and also loved music, movies, and art. He had a remarkable ability to synthesize his knowledge in multiple fields and was truly a Renaissance man. 

Moreover, Father John had an easy-going personality and always had a quick smile for everyone. I was lucky and privileged to call him my friend. 

Despite his remarkable education and interests, he always said that he just wanted to be a parish priest to serve the people of God. Job well done! 

Susan A. Templin 


 No Parole for Cop Killer 

Dear Editor: I join all our fellow New Yorkers in extending our heartfelt condolences to Detective Jonathan Diller’s family and friends on his tragic loss. 

His widow, Stephanie, God bless her, kept her composure and spoke for her husband and all police officers who put their lives on the line every day and do their job only to have those they arrest out on the street the next day. 

Now is the time to heed her call and finally amend the No Bail Reform Bill that allows violent predators, arrested multiple times, to prey on citizens and police. 

This should give notice to Gov. Kathy Hochul, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Speaker Andrea Stewart- Cousins, the state assembly members, and state senators to finally do their job. 

And most importantly, when Guy Rivera is sentenced to the usual 25 years to life for killing Detective Diller, the specification of “without parole” should be strictly adhered to and not subject to change by the parole board 25 years later. 

No cop killer is eligible for parole, period. Speak up New Yorkers! 

Thomas and Constance Dowd 

Oakland Gardens

A Vote for SUNY Downstate Medical Center 

Dear Editor: I read with great interest Bishop Brennan’s column on Downstate Medical Center (“SUNY Downstate Medical Center Must Stay Open,” April 13). 

I’m sure I stated it before that I’m a Brooklyn native. I went to Downstate after I had exhausted many doctors in my area of Marine Park, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and found no relief until I encountered Dr. William McCormack, head of infectious diseases at Downstate. 

I never met a more caring, kinder, and most of all knowledgeable doctor in my long travels. 

He cared about every part of me, and he was teaching future doctors. 

How can this fine institution close? It turns out there are talented doctors who care. 

I now look for doctors who trained at Downstate and am never disappointed. 

This hospital is so important to the people in that area. They need the quality health care that the hospital provides. 

I agree with Bishop Brennan. Do not close this very valuable facility. 

Maria F. Mastromarino 

Manalapan, NJ