Readers respond to our print, web and social media posts
NOT SO FEEL GOOD
I am writing to second a reader’s letter in your July/August issue of Maryknoll that practically all your articles are the feel good kind that never address the corruption and oppression in the third world. For example, you have nothing to say about the suppression of the church in China. Don’t you know that many churches in the coastal province of Chekiang are closed by the government? Western media, corporations and even academics are now bought off by the regime, and you rarely find them criticizing the dictatorship.
El Monte, California
NO TO DISSENT
I was very disappointed to see in the July/August edition of Maryknoll magazine that there is an Orbis Books Spotlight on a book by Father James Martin. Father Martin has been very public in dissenting with Church teaching on the sin of homosexual activity, which is now saturating our society. And to think that in that article, James Keane compared him to Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I am sure you are aware of Father Martin’s dissent, so I won’t go on about it. Please discontinue my magazine subscription and have me taken off your mailing list.
Editor’s note: Father Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, a prolific book author, and earlier this year was appointed by Pope Francis as a consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications.
SAVED BY MARYKNOLL
In 2000, my mum and I came to Nanyangacor, in what is now South Sudan, from Loyoro about 100 miles away. I had kala-azar (a potentially fatal disease transmitted by the bite of sandflies infected with leishmania) and there was no health center nearby. We traveled on foot to Nanyangacor despite that I was at the deadliest stage of my sickness.
The first day I was surprised to see a white lady for the first time; that was Dr. Susan Nagele, who treated me for one and a half months and became my friend. She would give me clothes to put on because I had none. I was just 10 years of age.
My treatment was successful and Dr. Susan advised my mum to let me join the nearby Good Shepherd primary school. School was a new environment for me. Later that year, Sister Mary Ellen Manz became our new teacher. I remember when she used to bring her piano in class and teach us how to sing do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do in the music lesson. Dr. Susan was responsible for my school needs.
Sister Joan Sauvigne and Sister Marilyn Norris took care of the sick at the clinic. I had a friend named Marty Roers who liked planting trees. So we used to plant trees with him and some of the other students. Marty used to give us petty cash for our services.
The year 2003 was not a good one for me because Dr. Susan and Marty left Sudan. Sister Joan, who cared for six orphaned and poor children, took responsibility for me until 2007 when I finished my primary level. In December of that year I went home to visit my mum after seven years of absence because during holidays I used to remain and help in the clinic. When I returned in January 2008, I learned that Sisters Joan and Mary Ellen had gone back to the States. I was left in suspense. I had wanted to give them thanks, especially Sister Joan for all the help she had bestowed upon me. I thank all the Maryknoll community for the work, mercy and commitment they showed to our people during their time here in Sudan.
Adimo Elijah Lobukui
Editor’s note: The above letter was received on this website. It was edited for style and space.
Sister Manz responds:
I was thinking of Adimo and a few of the other boys we had in school just the other day and was wondering what has become of them. Adimo was one of our brightest students and was in our first graduating class in December 2007. I also taught math, English and religion, so it tickles me what he remembers is the music classes! Marty Roers was a Maryknoll lay missioner whom the little kids followed around like he was the Pied Piper. Dr. Susan Nagele, also a Maryknoll lay missioner, now works in Kenya. Sisters Joan and Marilyn ran the health center with a staff of lay men and women they had trained. Sister Marilyn died of cancer in February 2006 and Sister Joan and I left Nanyangacor right after the graduation in 2007. Three Kenyan sisters were there to replace us.
Please explain the picture on page 41 of your July/August issue. It looks to me like these people are captives.
Editor’s note: Please excuse the lack of detail on the photo, which was due to space restrictions. Catholic News Service identifies the men in the photo as members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang being guarded by policemen upon their arrival at the Quezaltepeque jail in El Salvador.
GRATEFUL FOR VOCATIONS
Congratulations to you, Father Peter Latouf and Father Daniel Siwoo Kim! Very happy and very grateful to God for sending new and young priests for the world today! May the Holy Spirit brighten your way doing God’s work everywhere you go!
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Featured Image: Afghan women hold placards as they protest demanding better living conditions at a refugee camp at the former international Helliniko airport in Athens, Greece, in February 2017. (CNS/Y. Kolesidis, EPA/Greece)