Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of July 23, 2022

The Environment of Catholic Schools

Dear Editor: In response to the May 19 article, “Multi-Cultural Diocesan Schools Attract Students of All Faiths,” I am pleased to see the prominent feature of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park. I graduated from there in 2013 and found myself in a supportive environment surrounded by peers of Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, and Muslim backgrounds, a number of whom I remain in contact with to this day. This experience was certainly of great value as I moved on in life and continued to encounter religious differences.

Another aspect that must be emphasized about Our Lady of Perpetual Help and many other Catholic schools is the great evangelistic environment that they provide.

Over the years, seeing who has become involved in the parish, it becomes apparent that there are many people, including my own family, who become Catholic during or after their time at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Most of this can be attributed to the example of the Catholic faith provided by the school’s teachers and administration, as well as its strong ties with the parish.

Never underestimate the evangelistic qualities of our Catholic schools. Even schools in predominantly non-Catholic areas, such as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, can provide the first example of the Catholic faith to students.

Aidan Birth

South Ozone Park

The Place of Eulogies During a Funeral Mass

Dear Editor: Patricia Giangrande’s letter (“Eulogies Have No Place at a Funeral Mass,” July 2 & 9) seems to miss the point of eulogies at a funeral.

There is nothing wrong with a few words spoken in honor of the deceased and to thank people for coming.

I gave the eulogy at both my parents’ funerals. It gave me a chance to say a few words about my mom and dad outside the ritual rites of the Mass. As lifelong Catholics and regular churchgoers, they more than deserved a few moments of “personal time.”

When I’ve had the unfortunate occasion to attend a funeral, I like hearing a few words about the deceased from a family member or loved one. These words show the human side of the person who has just passed on and I’ve never considered them “canonized before they were buried.”

While I agree that only one person should speak for a few minutes, it would be a shame to eliminate this practice and take “the person out of the equation.”

Perhaps Ms. Giangrande and those with similar views should pay their respects at the funeral home and skip the funeral.

Margaret Frank


Eulogies in the Funeral Mass

Dear Editor: It is my feeling that eulogies do have a place in the funeral Mass. When we meet a person, we only see a “snapshot” of their lives.

When we hear a eulogy, we hear of their virtues, struggles, and joys. We get to see the “whole picture.”

For example, I knew Marion Mulligan as a happy-go-lucky, kindhearted woman. When her son gave her eulogy, I learned that she was a widow at an early age who struggled to raise her family. I was in awe of her courage and trust in God.

When I met Eddie Gallagher, he was already retired from the NYPD. I knew him as a faithful hospitality minister at the 5 o’clock Mass on Saturdays. When he was eulogized, I learned about how good he was to his mother and other family members. I heard of his trips to Ireland and how much joy they brought him and other family members. I also learned that he actually could sing very well, which I never knew. These are only two examples, but I could name many more.

So, yes, I believe that eulogies have a place at the Funeral Mass. It is good to gather and reflect on the lives of our loved ones so that their memory remains with us always.

Lois Seelandt

Bay Ridge

Where Were the Flags on The Fourth?

Dear Editor: What a sad commentary on today’s society with how complacent so many of our citizens have become.

We seem to take for granted that we were blessed to be born in the U.S.A. and the freedom we have that was purchased at a great cost.

As we listened to all the fireworks going off on the Fourth of July, we wondered, once again this year, as in years past, where were all the American flags that should have been flying on every home and on every block in honor of the day?

Whether it’s Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, or Veteran’s Day, where are the flags?

Freedom is not free, but we who have it must guard it and honor all who paid the ultimate price.

Thomas and Constance Dowd

Oakland Gardens

Thank You, Msgr. Cassato

Dear Editor: My family and I, as parishioners of St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, want to thank Msgr. David Cassato for his 21 years as our pastor.

He has helped us to flourish as Catholics, and his love of our Lord is evident and contagious. We wish him success in life’s journey. God Bless Him!

Sonia Valentin

Bath Beach