June 19, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here are the letters from three weeks ago:

Remembering a very special mother

I was born on March 19 (the feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in a small southwestern Minnesota farm community. Unlike the more common nearby Scandinavian Lutheran communities, our little town happened to be settled by German Catholic immigrants with a strong devotion to St. Joseph—including a parish St. Joseph Society!

My father (Irish Catholic) and mother (Swedish Lutheran) were joined in a mixed marriage from which I was the first born. My first and second names were chosen from family connections that didn’t happen to include the name Joseph.

Not surprisingly, my wonderful, shy Swedish mother was eventually questioned by the Catholic locals, who could not understand how a first-born on March 19 would not have at least one name of that saint!

She kindly had to admit that Lutherans were not imbedded in “lives of the saints,” and deferred to my Catholic father. I later took Joseph as my confirmation name so all ended well.

As I grew up, my Lutheran mother quietly joined the family at Sunday Mass in the town’s magnificent Catholic church. My mother eventually grew to so love the sung Tridentine Latin High Mass in its reverence and liturgical beauty, that she actually joined the choir—as a Lutheran!

She eventually converted to Catholicism about the time I entered high school, and clearly became the best Catholic in our family.

She remains a very special blessing to me!

- David A. Nealy | Greenwood
 

As Christians, we know eternal life awaits us after death

The last episode of the television show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” dealt with the death of Zoey’s father.

The nurse assisting her father said this when asked by Zoey: “Is this when we talk about death?”

The nurse said, “Death is hideous and ugly and grotesque and wildly, wildly unfair, … or death is beautiful and spiritual and transcendent, and sometimes a very necessary and very freeing escape from our physical bodies when they are no longer habitable.”

We Christians have the solace of knowing that Jesus has gone before us to prepare a place for us.

We are on a journey, going from a twinkle in our father’s eye to our mother’s womb, to our first day of school, to meeting our spouses for the first time, to a new job, to getting old, to losing our loved ones, and finally to our own deaths.

Each step along the way is fraught with fear—what will the next step bring?

But we who have faith know that because we believe and have tried to live a life in accordance with that belief, we have been saved by the blood of Jesus, and death is not the end but merely a transition.

So we know our answer to the nurse’s alternative—we have nothing to fear from death; we are going to a better life with God.

- Mike Walro | Hanover

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