August 2, 2013

Letters to the Editor

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Publication does good job highlighting breadth of issues within universal Church

This is to compliment the staff for an outstanding July 12 issue of The Criterion.

John Shaughnessy’s coverage of the Rome pilgrimage was obviously the keynote piece in the issue, but the complimentary coverage of how Pope Francis’ messages melded with Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin’s personal impact on the pilgrimage participants fit very well.

In addition, Sean Gallagher’s coverage of the evil around us was particularly appropriate and relevant for today. I’d like to see you follow this up not with just the pope’s messages, but also that of everyday followers of Jesus.

Although “buried” somewhat in the back pages, the Catholic News Service article on the new pope’s emphasis consecrating Vatican City to St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel is equally significant and important for those of us trying to find our ways through the “media-mash” bombarding our everyday lives.

Lastly, the special supplement on the Batesville Deanery was critical—to those in that deanery dealing with the tightening changes they are facing, but also to the many other parishioners facing those same possibilities in their parishes throughout the archdiocese.

I recently returned from a family trip to Rochester, N.Y. The parish my family attends has been a big one for years with at least three priests ministering there. Now, they just have one priest and two deacons. A big change for them, but certainly a sign of the times.

There is a substory to this particular situation that I think you could explore—the role of religious sisters from the various orders guiding our parishes more and more. They are often unsung heroes to their friends and supporters—those such as the late Benedictine Sister Mildred Wannemuehler at St. Agnes Parish in Nashville as well as her successor, Holy Cross Sister Eileen Fagan. If it weren’t for these leaders, many of our parishes would be in much more difficult shape.

Then, too, there are the likes of priests carrying increased loads—such as Father John Hall, who is pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville but also ministers to parishioners at Our Lady of Spring Parish in French Lick and Our Lord Jesus Christ the King Parish in Paoli.

But my initial compliment is to The Criterion staff as you try to manage the coverage of these parish changes along with a new archbishop and new pope—both of whom keep you editorially hopping with their refreshing actions and messages.

- Paul Petrotta | Bloomington

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