Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of Feb. 19, 2022

Black History Month

Dear Editor: Illuminating (Pioneer Black Nuns Conquered Racism, Opened Schools And Hospitals, Feb. 12). All of this history was unfamiliar to me.

Excellent kickoff for Black History Month.

Mary Pradt

Downtown Brooklyn

More Unsung Heroes

Dear Editor: Echoing Garrett Dempsey’s letter to the editor (“St. Vincent’s and AIDS,” Jan. 29), I also read the riveting book, “Hidden Mercy” by Michael O’Loughlin, and urge Tablet readers to pick up a copy. The book beautifully depicts many unsung Catholics at the forefront of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and ’90s.

In March of 1986, I went for training to NYC’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) to help put a Catholic face on the caring and compassionate ministry of the Church for PWAs (people with AIDS).

With the excellent encouragement of the late Rev. Joe Dolan and Sr. Julie Houser, of the Catholic Charities Pastoral Care of the Sick Office, we put together diocesan educational workshops about HIV and AIDS. Along with Sr. Bernadette Walsh, Mrs. Alice Comperiati, and Mrs. AnnaMarie Verbil, we established the “Queens AIDS Pastoral Care.” Dozens of hour-long workshops on HIV education were presented to numerous Catholic high school students and 6-foot by 3-foot quilted panels were sewn by hand for the national “Names Project” Quilt.

Besides these few named above, many in our diocese contributed to the ministry.

Though their names are not in O’Loughlin’s fine book, the good Lord knows the work that was done at a hurtful time when the Church and the gay community were frequently at odds.

HIV and AIDS are still very much with us. I continue to pray for guidance and comfort from above.

Msgr. Steven A. Ferrari

The Church of St. Teresa


Why Hurt Fellow Catholics?

Dear Editor: After reading George Weigel’s column “Undercutting Vatican II to Defend Vatican II,” (Feb. 12) many questions came to mind. The article states that the Vatican is sending out detailed instructions to the bishops of the world regarding Pope Francis’ instructions on the “old Latin Mass” and how the instructions strictly limit its usage.

The instructions use the teaching of Vatican II as its reasons, but as Weigel points out, “instructions drastically undercut one of Vatican II’s principal achievements and revitalization and authority of the local bishop.”

Why not let the local bishop decide when and how often the old Mass is celebrated? Isn’t the church currently on a listening tour for the “synod on synodality?”

I know a growing number of Catholics who attend both the Novus Ordo and the old Mass.

Why hurt them by “limiting” the old Mass?

Joseph J. Puntino


Editor’s Note: According to the pope’s July 16 announcement, priests currently celebrating Mass according to the old missal must request authorization from their bishop to continue doing so, and for any priest ordained after the announcement, their bishop must consult with the Vatican before granting authorization.

Bright Christmas in Kentucky

Dear Editor: We are thankful for your kindness and generosity in our tornado relief efforts in the Diocese of Owensboro.

Please continue to pray for God’s will in all our actions and decisions. Again, thank you for your support [from the Bright Christmas Fund].

May you be blessed in your generosity.

Tom Lilly

Chancellor, Chief Administrative Officer, Diocese of Owensboro

Owensboro, Kentucky