Members’ Memos, May / June 2016

ON FATHER CAPODANNO
Regarding your coverage of Father Vincent Capodanno in the January/February issue of Maryknoll magazine, my brother Jim died in Vietnam on June 2, 1967. Father Vincent, who gave my brother the last rites, was killed three months later. My entire family was so grateful for Father Vincent. So, each Veterans Day I think of Jim and Father Vincent, and my father, Marcellus, who was overseas in World War II for two-plus years.
Jerry Theisen
Bowlus, Minnesota

 

MICROCREDIT VIRTUES
That was a great article about Father Joseph La Mar in January/February 2016. He is a dedicated builder of the Kingdom. Yes, I am afraid to do what he does. He speaks Gospel values to some multinational corporations, such as some of the oil companies. What an important ministry. When profit is the only concern, one can call it extreme capitalism. When our country is the biggest exporter of arms, you’ve got to call it extreme capitalism.

I am hoping Maryknoll will do an article on microcredit. Microcredit is investing, not charity, in poor people. I invest in microcredit. I get 3 percent interest and can take my money back anytime. I have the joy of knowing that I am helping and employing poor families in Central America find their own enterprises, make a little money, send their kids to school and pay back what they borrowed. They keep their dignity. And they do not have to leave their families, homes and communities to come to our country looking for work. Microcredit is countercultural. Pope Francis promoted it in The Aparecida Document, and Pope Benedict promoted it in his encyclical Charity in Truth. I think we should catch up with them. It would make for a better world.
Father Tony Kroll
Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

Editor’s Note: Thank you, Father Kroll, for sharing your experience with microcredit. In our September/October 2015 issue, the story “At home in Haiti” mentions that Maryknoll Sister Susan Nchubiri began a microcredit farming project for a cooperative of 16 single mothers in that Caribbean nation. The article didn’t go into detail so your letter helps complement that topic. We agree with your suggestion that it is worthy of further coverage.

 

A BETTER MISSIONER
I wish you all the blessings and grace as we begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Allow me to use this general way to thank and appreciate you for the work you have been doing in helping me be a better missionary. The information I have been receiving and sharing with my parishioners really has transformed lives. Again thank you very much for Maryknoll magazine. I look forward to each issue.
Father Maurice Kidda
Uganda, East Africa

 

ADULT TRANSFORMATION
I love Maryknoll, and your Nepal letters reactivated me as a regular donor. My adult transformation started in La Ciudad de Dios in Peru in 1968 and in 1974, when I lived for a while with Father Pete Byrne, who became a friend and an inspiration. One of my most memorable and grace-filled times was with Father Henri Nouwen, the writer and theologian, at the Lima Maryknoll house in 1983. I also found great friendship and hospitality at the Maryknoll houses in Guatemala, Manhattan, Ossining and Philadelphia. No wonder I love and admire Maryknoll!
Louis Fischer
The Villages, Florida

 

SCIENCE IS CLEAR
I know that people of conscience wish to steward the earth’s resources as responsibly as possible. A problem arises when the issues are not clear. This was evident in a letter in the January/February 2016 issue of Maryknoll. A writer argued that it would cost too much to change from a fossil fuel-based economy, and implies that for the benefit of the poor we should continue on our current path.

I am a former Maryknoll lay missioner who served in Peru, and am now a climate researcher at Santa Clara University in California. The science has become clear over the past decades that the planet is warming faster than at any point in recorded history, and that our use of coal and oil for transportation and energy are the cause of most of the recent warming. That is why there is such a broad consensus among climate scientists on this issue. Studies have consistently found that the benefits of acting now to curb our global warming pollution greatly exceed the cost of implementing these technologies.

The poor at home and around the world are already suffering the impacts of climate change. Pope Francis recognizes the moral challenge this poses for us, as we in the more developed world are responsible for the majority of the pollution that is causing the suffering. Pope Francis maintains a hopeful message, emphasizing that we can address global warming by embracing an integral ecology in which we examine how our personal behavior, infrastructure, institutions and economies support a respect for life and a love of neighbor.
Ed Maurer
Santa Clara, California


CORRECTION:
In the January/February 2016 issue of Maryknoll magazine we misidentified a photo on page 22 in an article about the late Maryknoll Father Vincent Capodanno. The chaplain pictured is not Father Capodanno but an unidentified chaplain. We regret the error.

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