This Election Is Crucial to The Future of our Country
Dear Editor: In the Sept. 19 issue of the Readers’ Forum, two separate letters were published by writers who tried to defend their refusal to vote Republican in this presidential election (“Catholics Are Not Obliged to Vote for Anyone”, and “From Conception to Natural Death.”)
It is the right of an informed citizen to vote his or her choice. But, I am sure you will agree that this election is crucial to the future of our country. If one votes for the Democratic ticket, be ready to experience the beginning of America’s transformation. Our educational system will move away from truth into indoctrination. Morals will come from our government, especially among the young. Health insurance coverage may be provided for all, but health services will be dispensed and allocated according to the formula that best serves the economy. Absurd environmental restrictions and overwhelming changes to our energy output will change everyone’s way of life. And the abortion industry will flourish.
There was mention in one letter that just wages are a reason for voting Democratic. The Republican Party does not refuse to raise hourly wages, but it is also keen on vocational training, and skill-based training for workers so that workers can earn great salaries because of their expertise, not just because it is demanded from government.
The Republican Party welcomes immigrants who enter our country legally and have a desire to live here because of what American has to offer. It is the job of government to decide how many immigrants come into our country, and it is the job of American citizens to welcome them, include them, and embrace their contributions.
Msgr. John P. Harrington, Truly a Man of Faith
Dear Editor: My wife and I were so thrilled to read of Father John P. Harrington’s being named “Chaplain of His Holiness” by Pope Francis (“Monsignors Officially Celebrate Papal Honor,” Sep 19).
Father Harrington officiated our wedding 34 years ago in St. Sylvester’s Church in Ozone Park. As we prepared to be wed, he counseled us and encouraged us to live our lives in the Catholic faith and to always put our own needs aside for each other. We had a beautiful wedding.
Although we live in Brooklyn now, we never forgot the kindness, wisdom, and compassion Father Harrington gave us. He truly is a humble servant of God and we wish him the best always.
We want him to know he truly touched our lives. Thank you and God bless you always, Father Harrington.
Joe and Damaris Dugan
A Gleaming Example of an Inspirational Priest
Dear Editor: During such a time of crisis, on one recent weekday, I visited St. Mel’s Church in Whitestone to seek solace from quarantine. St. Mel’s is not my neighborhood church, but I appreciated that they opened their doors to the public for extended hours.
As I was reflecting, I observed the pastor, Father Fonti, emerge from the sacristy and bow in front of the altar. He then quietly walked to the tabernacle, took out the Eucharist, and reverently placed it on the altar. He then bowed at the side of the altar, instead of in front as is the tradition, before returning to the sacristy.
Shortly thereafter, Father Fonti reemerged from the sacristy, moved to the other side of the altar, knelt down, and then started praying. This simple series of actions brought tears to my eyes because it was apparent that his level of devotion to God is incredibly deep.
For parishioners, witnessing how dedicated a priest is to his religion helps to inspire greater faith in our beliefs within each of us. It is about leading by example, as we look to the leaders of our church to set forth a precedent, especially during such a turbulent time.
Perhaps our clergy members are not aware of how powerful their mere physical presence in the church is, beyond Mass. When priests are available in church during the day, it makes it easier for parishioners to casually converse with them, one on one. Parishioners can talk about their problems and receive guidance from the priest. This simple visibility will inspire hope, increase the people’s desire to focus on their faith, and to consider attending church more often.
I feel blessed to have discovered Father Fonti. He is a gleaming example of an inspirational priest. We need more beacons of faith and support in our religious community like Father Fonti who will continue to inspire Catholics simply by being there for us.
Pray for all Affected by The Coronavirus
Dear Editor: President Trump and the first lady have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. As such I ask all Americans to pray for our President no matter if we agree with him or not.
This is a disease that has killed many people world-wide and does not care if we are rich, poor, old, or young. President Trump deserves our respect and prayers. So, please pray for President Trump and the First Lady Melania. And please pray for all of America and its fight against this most insidious disease.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.