Helping Mothers and Babies in Need
Dear Editor: It was so uplifting to hear the sentiments of our Bishop in his column “We Must Do All That We Can to Protect Our Most Vulnerable,” (Put Out Into the Deep, Oct. 31).
Hearing the Bishop speak about the preciousness of life warmed my heart. It brought to light the importance of caring for the weak and vulnerable in our communities. Not only did his column acknowledge our efforts in caring for pregnant women, mothers and babies, but it addressed a need that we provide at The Bridge to Life. He lifted our spirit and mentioned some important issues with such positivity and optimism.
Bishop DiMarzio spoke about the importance of “Walking With Moms in Need.” He asked our churches to give “A Year of Service,” calling parishes and other entities to support moms in need who are pregnant and are in difficult situations. His support and acknowledgement meant the world to us. “I am so happy,” he said, “that the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens has been able to help our own The Bridge to Life organization by requesting a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation so they can continue the important work they do to assist mothers in need.”
I cannot begin to tell you what a tremendous help that grant has been for us. It not only gave great encouragement towards the work we do, but boosted our morale and reinforced our abilities to do more. Through the generosity of the Cabrini Foundation we have been able to continue assisting the most vulnerable.
As the coronavirus shut down our city, The Bridge to Life continued helping our moms, babies and families, as they faced many unprecedented difficulties. As an essential service, we kept operations functioning throughout the pandemic and believe it has made a positive impact in the lives of those we serve. We helped alleviate some of the stress, fears, and financial hardships brought on by this outbreak, and several babies are alive today because we were open during this time! We are forever indebted to Bishop DiMarzio and the Diocese for their unconditional support and favor.
With anticipation and excitement The Bridge to Life looks forward to moving to a new facility within the next few months. We are grateful to our Bishop for his facilitation in giving us the means and stability to continue our outreach to mothers in distress during and after their pregnancies. We are humbled and encouraged by his belief in us, and forever grateful for his support. Thank you, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio! And thank you to The Tablet for sharing these faith-filled, beautiful stories with us!
Editor’s note: Yellico is the executive director of The Bridge to Life.
It Is Important That we Never Forget Them
Dear Editor: Thank you to The Tablet for the article about Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto and Msgr. John Vesey’s Memorial Mass remembering the women slain 40 years ago as they worked as missionaries in El Salvador (“Murdered Missionaries: No Justice 40 Years Later,” Dec. 12).
We are all guilty of forgetting those religious who leave their families and homes to spread the Gospel in foreign lands. I remember being a young girl waving at the pier as my father’s cousin, Sister Mary Noel Boylan, a Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, and her dear friends and co-missionaries, set sail from New York to establish a clinic in Nassau, Bahamas in the 1960s.
It was difficult, trailblazing and often back breaking work, but thankfully they did not meet the brutal situation that existed in El Salvador.
If you would like to read an excellent book to get a more in depth account of one of the slain Sisters, Sister Maura Clarke, I suggest you read “A Radical Faith — The Assassination of Sister Maura” by Eileen Markey. She is no relation to me that I know of, but her name caught my eye and I am so thankful it did.
This well-written book will give you a deeper appreciation of what these women and so many other martyrs endured. As Bishop Chappetto said, “It is important that we never forget them.”
Carol Ann Markey-Gorman
Reflecting on Christmas Past and Present
Dear Editor: Christmas is slowly approaching, and there is much for many of us to think about, such as gifts to buy, cards to send and the many decorations that need to be strung around our homes. But for myself it is a time to reflect on the troubles in the world and our nation — our nation at war, terrorists seeking to harm innocent people, not to mention the great loss of lives due to the COVID-19 virus that has taken over 300,000 lives in our country alone and almost two million worldwide.
There are also many families forced to do without and who are going hungry. Millions are out of work due to this pandemic. I also think of the racial unrest.The message of the season is, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.” Yet where is it?
This is when many of us reflect on the gentler times in our past. My memories take me back to 1957. It was during the Cold War, but at eight years old I didn’t care nor much understand those things. I was living in a corner house in Queens Village with my mother and father and two elderly boarders my mother would care for. We didn’t have much money but always had a good Christmas, full of love and sharing and plenty of Christmas music, which my mother said was “tonic for the soul.”
A few evenings before Christmas, my father and I set out to buy our Christmas tree, but my father’s car would not start. It was a cold, crisp night and snow was on the ground. My father had an idea so my mother wouldn’t be disappointed: We took my sled to a place where they sold Christmas trees on Francis Lewis Boulevard, about half-a-mile away. My father picked out a beautiful six-footer, we tied it onto my sled and took it home to our house on 213th Street. We sang Christmas carols all the way home.
My mother had a special place in front of the fireplace for the tree. Once it was settled in the stand, she decorated it with love and devotion to every detail. Kindness and love seemed to bounce from house to house in those days, and neighbors greeted one another with a ”Merry Christmas” as carolers sang. Churches were beaming with worshipers.
I sang in the choir in church. Christmas meant a lot back then, and I can’t help but wonder if that kind of Christmas will ever return.
The picture-perfect Christmases of our memories may have been laced with imperfections, but I still think they were better than the frenzied days we have now. I can’t help but hope and pray that America returns to family values, and lives out the true meaning of Christmas: Peace, kindness and goodwill to all. May God bless you all and God bless America.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
The Census is Not a Catholic Tool
Dear Editor: Counting illegal aliens may be acceptable from a Catholic social viewpoint (“With Census Case, Catholic Teaching Says ‘Every Person Counts,’ ” The Tablet website, Dec. 4), but the census is not a Catholic tool to manipulate the government. It is a way to help in directing billions of dollars in federal funds to communities for schools, roads, and other public services, as well as help to determine the number of seats that each state has in Congress. It is first and foremost for Americans.
In the last two presidential elections there was much talk about foreign interference. Well, allowing illegal aliens as well as any other foreigners to have representation in our government is inviting disaster. Our constitution speaks about “We the people of the United States.” It doesn’t say, “We the citizens of the world.”
Edward J. Pisano
Moving Closer to a Dictatorship
Dear Editor: I have read with interest the focus on abortion during this time of an election. I, too, think abortion is wrong. I vote for democrats because I believe that democrats will create a world that will make abortion unthinkable because the economy will be more equitable, the environment will be more hospitable, and different races will feel more respected. Yes, the wolf will lie down with the lamb!
My conservative friends tell me that one cannot allow an evil to be allowed in order to address another evil. I agree! But they voted for Trump because he is dedicated to “keeping those godless liberals” at bay. They will tolerate many evils because Trump is against secularism and liberal ideas.
First of all, no one really knows the mind of God. He is beyond our thoughts, and words. He is beyond our sense of time, space, and gender. But conservatives have a hard time understanding this concept. So they have built a “golden calf” — something knowable, solid, predicable, and consistent.
Jesus himself told us that the Spirit moves freely. We cannot predict where it is coming from and where it is leading us. It may seem to us as inconsistent, and unpredictable, but we don’t know the mind of God. “His ways are not our ways.”
Second of all, they have allowed Trump to move us closer to a dictatorship and a dystopia. He has encouraged chaos wherein we don’t trust media, all the branches of government, people of different races, and political beliefs. Is this not the same approach as “using evil to address evil”?