Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of April 22, 2023

Diocesan Lenten Pilgrimage 

Dear Editor: I am the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Bayside, and our parish had the honor and privilege of being one of the “station churches” during the diocesan Lenten Pilgrimage. 

The people of Sacred Heart and I are so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet people from various parishes in the Brooklyn Diocese and to spend a few moments in conversation and/or in prayer with them. 

I was humbled by the dedication and faith of the people who went to great lengths to visit the station churches throughout Lent (especially Bayside — it is not the easiest place to travel to since we really have very little public transportation in this area!). 

In my conversations with our visitors, I counted that they came from at least 25 different parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens. I was particularly humbled by one lady who told me she was 80 years old and that she took an Uber from Flatbush to Bayside to visit our church and get her passport stamped. 

I was also surprised by the large number of people who came to visit our church since the day we were assigned was Friday, March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — and I thought this might, in some way, lessen the numbers who would come out. 

But I was proven wrong. There were, at any given time, between 40-60 people in church in prayer. Despite being in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the morning for Mass with Cardinal Dolan and then at the parade, Bishop Brennan did stop by and lead the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and then spend some time in quiet prayer among us, for which we are grateful. 

Interestingly, the next day one of my parishioners commented to me that she was particularly moved to see so many young men in the church throughout the day spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. 

I hope and pray that at least one of them may have heard the Lord call them to serve Him and His church as a priest during those moments of prayer on that day. 

May the Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time. Amen. 

Msgr. Thomas C. Machalski Jr. 

Pastor, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bayside 

Editor’s note: The Tablet would like to hear from others about their experiences during the diocese’s inaugural Lenten Pilgrimage. 

Boy Scout Eagle Project 

Dear Editor: I enjoyed reading about Liam Richardson’s Eagle Scout project to restore the Four Chaplains and Marconi Monument in Hoboken, New Jersey (“Boy Scout’s ‘Eagle’ Project Restores Monument to Four Chaplains, Marconi,” April 8). 

One point of clarification: Scouts are no longer limited to just young men, and to date, there have been quite a few female Eagle Scouts. The girls learn to do all those things that were previously just for the boys. 

The Order of the Arrow is considered to be Scouting’s Honor Society. New York City’s Kintecoying Lodge is proud to have our first female Lodge Chief. 

Anthony Bracciante 

Marine Park 

Meatless Minims 

Dear Editor: I was pleased to see Saint Francis of Paola as the “Saint for Today” in the April 1 issue of the Tablet. 

I was disappointed, though, that one piece of information wasn’t included out: “Besides the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Francis enjoined upon his followers the fourth obligation of a perpetual Lenten fast.” To clarify, this translates in today’s language to a vow of being vegan. 

Quoting from the Minims’ own site: “This vow, lived according to the tradition of the Church, in the sign and the asceticism of abstinence from meat and its derivatives (by-products), represents a whole style of life that facilitates the daily practice of Lenten values; that is, a total conversion of mind, of heart and life to God, with a particular attention to the needs of the brethren.” How could a saint from centuries past be more relevant to our era? 

And, during the time of the Easter season, what could be more pertinent than to contemplate practicing Lenten values throughout the year? 

Thea Pignataro 

Downtown Brooklyn

The Rites are Equal? 

Dear Editor: I agree with Maria Franzetti’s letter (“The Rite of the Mass,” April 15) that there’s no contradiction between the Latin Mass & the Novus Ordo Mass in terms of their sacrificial intent. 

I grew up in a country where the Novus Ordo Mass was usually in English but sometimes in various other dialects/ local languages. Some of the prayers in dialects seemed erroneously translated, probably by clergy not completely familiar with the intricacies of the local tongues, yet no one moved to suppress these prayers. 

After Vatican II, Latin Masses were usually still available in churches or chapels in monasteries of religious orders or during very special occasions. 

However, isn’t it a contradiction, in fact, to say that they are equal and yet find no fault in the strange phenomenon that the Latin Mass is being suppressed? 

It sort of sounds like the “separate but equal” law that we Americans fought hard to get rid of. If they are equal, then they should be equally available. 

Cynthia Gonzalez 

Fresh Meadows