A Bright Christmas at Hour Children
Dear Editor: Heartfelt thanks from all of us at Hour Children — our Board, staff, and the women and children we are privileged to serve, for the very generous support of the wonderful readers of The Tablet for our 2020 Christmas celebration.
Your kindness helped make it possible for approximately 150 mothers and children in our nine residences to enjoy a memorable and happy Christmas!
In the days leading up to Christmas, our mothers were thrilled and excited to select gifts for their children. This was a particularly meaningful experience for those who have come home from prison in the past year.
It was matched by abundant joy on Christmas day — for our children, the joy of gifts under the tree; for their mothers, the joy of sharing this moment with them and the promise of more Christmases together!
At this time of the year, when we reflect upon the self-emptying love of God made visible in a child, the love shared by your readers with our children and mothers inspires all of us. We are truly grateful!
Please, pray for us and know that we remember you daily in all our prayers and good works.
Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, C.S.J.
Long Island City, Queens
Editor’s note: Sister Tesa is the founder and executive director of Hour Children.
If you Could Pick a Time To Be Born In
Dear Editor: Because of the virus, each Sunday we have a family Zoom. To keep the conversation going, someone poses a question that we can all respond to.
About 3 weeks ago the question was: “If you could pick a time to be born in, would it be 100 years ago, or 100 years in the future?” Everyone picked 100 years in the future except me. We all had to say why we picked that time. My reason was that I know what 100 years ago was like, and being a nostalgic person, I felt safe in my choice.
But later that choice bothered me. Being an RCIA catechist for adults and teens, I realized that my response showed a lack of hope for a better future. What if St. Paul and the other Apostles played it safe and did not heed the call of the Spirit? Where would the Church be today? A terrible thing happens when a catechist does not believe his own message or live it.
So where am I today? A quick review of human history says there will be good times and bad times. Some may be natural occurrences, others because of human weaknesses.
We see this in the Old Testament. When humans heeded God’s voice, there were good times. When they failed to heed God’s voice, they suffered. And when they returned to God, they went from darkness to light.
Today we see the world turning a deaf ear to God. How can we go back? With the anti-religious, anti-God growth in the world, this makes it harder and harder. With hope, however, it is not impossible.
I hope all the people of God in the world will join together in praying and asking God to have mercy on us.
I would love to see Christians, Jews, and Muslims — all the people who have faith in God — to pray and ask for God’s help. With His help and great love, we can make it through all the crises in the world.
All religions are being persecuted somewhere in the world. A universal cry for mercy will go a long way. I feel religious groups are reluctant to call their members to prayer because, if things don’t change fast enough, it would look like God did not listen to us. He never fails us, just He picks the time that His will, will be done.
This all goes back to the virtue of hope. The Apostles not only believed but allowed themselves to live hope to the fullness.
Richard J. Hutter
We Should Protect People With Intellectual Disabilities
Dear Editor: Governor Cuomo is proposing additional budget cuts for services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We should be up in arms over this!
Services have been reduced or remained unchanged since 2008. These services need to be increased, not cut! I’m not certain what he’s thinking, but it’s wrong. For 18 years I ran an agency and was told that we’d have to do more with less. There’s a tipping point, and I believe that we passed it long ago. No more budget cuts!
Deacon John F. DeBiase
Editor’s note: DeBiase serves as a deacon at St. Margaret Parish, Middle Village.
No Confidence in This Presidential Election
Dear Editor: Let’s wake up and realize that there is little to no confidence in this last presidential election.
The problem is how do we put honesty, integrity, and confidence back into our elections? If I were a Supreme Court justice, I would recommend that we do not accept results that cannot be verified.
I would suggest the Supreme Court suspend the results of this election until both Democrats and Republicans can agree on and accept/reject criteria. This will please the Democrats who want a speedy remedy so they may continue with their plans.
When either political party puts their interest above the best interest of 50 percent of Americans, they should be penalized.
Our Lady of Grace Parishioner Will Be Missed
Dear Editor: Some parishioners just attend Mass and go home. Sue Fortunato was not that kind of parishioner at Our Lady of Grace in Gravesend, Brooklyn.
She attended Mass every Sunday sitting in the first pew and was involved in many activities at the church.
Sue was in charge of the Homeless Ministry. Every Wednesday, the group makes hot and cold meals for the homeless in Brighton Beach, Coney Island. She was on the Executive Board of the Widowed Support Group. She was the leader of one of the Faith Sharing Groups, and the head of the Prayer Group. She was also in the Bereavement Group leadership along with Esther Soscia. Sue also served on the Parish Council and was a former Trustee of the parish.
Sue passed away on October 22, 2019, and is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, and is missed at the Masses and other events at the parish.
Mary Ann De Luca
New Year’s Resolutions Suggestions
Dear Editor: The year 2020 was a most-sad time for all of America.
Last year was laced with much sadness and was one year most of us would rather forget. We had this pandemic caused by COVID-19, which has caused the deaths of over 300,000 people, and rising — men and women, young and old.
We have a number of vaccines that may end this virus in 2021. In 2020 we had political unrest and racial disharmony, not to mention attacks on our finest. In the past year, due to the pandemic, millions of Americans are out of work. Added to all this, many of my fellow Americans are hungry and that means their children are as well.
My New Year’s resolution suggestions, for those who can, are as follows: to extend acts of kindness and love by giving to food pantries, food kitchens, and donating blood. You can also check on your elderly neighbors and see if they need anything.
Now, how about saving lives by wearing masks, social distancing, and testing for COVID-19? I know these resolutions are doable. I know this for a fact because my wife and I have done it. As grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, my council has donated funds to Common Point in Little Neck that has a food pantry. We have truly walked the talk.
Please, do all you can to make 2021 a better year for all. I extend best wishes to President-elect Joseph Biden in the hope he will do right for all Americans in 2021.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
John McAlinden, a Great Artist and a Good Christian
Dear Editor: Thank you so much for highlighting this great and talented man (“Drawing Attention To a True Artist,” Dec. 26).
John McAlinden was the CYO basketball coach for my friends and me in our teenage years. He is the most patient and kind person that I have ever met. He gave all of his spare time to us.
McAlinden is a great role model. Forty years later, the team still keeps in touch with Mr. Mac. He donated more of his time to being an usher and a Eucharistic Minister at Little Flower Parish. Everyone I know looked forward to seeing his artwork on the front page of the Tablet.
He is beloved in our parish and beyond. It’s great that people who know and love him may reach out to say hello and check in on him now that they’ve seen your article. God bless.