Welcome to the Diocese, Bishop Brennan
Dear Editor: As Grand Knight, my officers and members of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus council # 5911 in Douglaston, would like to congratulate Bishop Robert Brennan on his new assignment as Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
May the Lord guide your hand in your future endeavors.
We also would like to thank Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio for his spiritual guidance and leadership over these past 18 years. We hope he will be blessed with a long and peaceful retirement.
I met Bishop DiMarzio on a number of occasions as Chairman of the St. Anastasia blood drive by St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus. I found the bishop very helpful, kind, and he possessed a strong need to help those in need.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Grieving the Loss of a Sense of Community
Dear Editor: The article, “Embrace Your Parish, Come to Mass,” (Oct. 2) by Deacon Manuel Quintana resonated with my family. It has been easy for us to opt for online services while we grieve the loss of community worship because many who used to worship with us, although alive and well, are no longer connected to the parish.
They are not embracing the parish and attending Mass because their “small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love” was no longer valued. I know that pain, loss, and love are intermingled during our lifetime, and especially during this pandemic, but to “come back to Mass” will take time and healing.
Wherever we worship, we need to feel that although we are different in so many ways, togetherness within the Church is an important ingredient for us to be a community.
Children Are Suffering
Dear Editor: Parents of children participating in sports are now facing the likelihood of no indoor sports this coming year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Our children are being forced to either practice in an outside gym or simply will not have the option to play at all.
Here are some things that we know about the spread of COVID-19: the vaccine saves lives; N95 masks and social distancing seemingly help prevent the spread; children are mostly spared the most severe effects of this disease; and maintaining, to the best of one’s ability, a healthy baseline directly correlates with survival in severe cases.
The mental health of our children has been negatively affected during this tough year and a half, and participation in team sports/exercise and positive relationships with coaches and teammates increase self-esteem and maintain good physiologic health.
COVID is an Existential Threat to Public Health
Dear Editor: A recent forum writer voiced concern about “side effects” that may emerge months, perhaps years, later from receiving the COVID vaccines.
Let it be known that we have just passed a gruesome statistic: More than 4.5 million people have died worldwide.
This is no garden variety virus.
As such it presents a heretofore unique existential threat to public health and the common good.
Science has always responded to threats such as these.
Two notable examples would be polio and measles vaccines.
I would recommend to the skeptical to read a short and very accessible work such as “The Microbe Hunters” by Paul De Kruif.
I worked almost 50 years in the field of Immunohematology at Columbia Presbyterian, Holy Name, and Valley Hospital.
I know firsthand the remarkable power of immunity. The mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.
And we recently learned that the Merck Company is applying for emergency approval of its anti-COVID pill.
Science marches forward. Know the science and follow it.
Raymond F. Roberts, Jr.