The five individuals all claim not to be “disgruntled” nor “disenfranchised” parishioners, but one only has to read their mean-spirited comments and phrases, which elicit a negative theme. Some examples are: “totally masculine emphasis,” “less inclusive practices,” “disrespect towards women,” “marginalization of the laity,” and “it is the entire Christian community that is Christ’s ministry, not just celibate males appointed in black.”
Previous letters published by the Journal on this subject have reflected judgmental, unwelcoming and close-minded opinions. Additionally, some of those prior letters describe the Newman Center as having been a welcoming community. Where is the welcome that Fathers (Michael) DePalma and (Simon) Carian should be receiving? Where is the welcoming support for them?
The individuals writing these letters of complaint appear to be used to dictating their wants and desires to the clergy, or in the common vernacular “calling the shots.” I am a parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Rio Rancho. During Father DePalma’s assignment at St. Thomas, I found him to be a very thoughtful and devoted priest, and not at all overbearing. Please give Fathers DePalma and Carian a chance.
As far as the Newman Center being a source of increased vocations, I can’t think of a better source of recruitment than a college campus. We need bright, educated men in the Catholic priesthood. Why not support this endeavor? This can and will be an exciting time for the Newman Center and the students it is intended to serve. Change is inevitable and sometimes uncomfortable, but it often precedes positive growth.
Thank you Archbishop (Michael) Sheehan for your wise direction and decision.
MARY J. COON