Readers’ Responses Summer 2021

Readers respond to our print, web and social media posts

COUNTERPOINT
I am a Trumpist and my views on immigration and border protection run counter to much of what I read in Maryknoll magazine. Maryknoll’s ideological bent is not in sync with my conservative outlook on life.
That being said, I read Maryknoll with interest each time it arrives. Your articles are thought-provoking and usually challenge my worldview. I thank you for that. Otherwise, I might forget how fortunate I am to live where I do and how lucky I am to have been born in the United States.
It is not that I am unfamiliar with the developing world. As someone who served in the military in Vietnam, I will always appreciate what we have versus those who have not. Nevertheless, life gets so busy sometimes, I forget to take the time to thank God for his blessings and Maryknoll serves as a great dope slap to help bring focus to that reality.
I wish you the best with your wonderful missionary work and hope you will continue to slap me upside the head with your coverage of the U.S. Catholic Church in mission overseas. Believe it or not, you have even inspired this narrow-minded soul to take positive action in that regard.
Brian F. Sullivan
Plymouth, Massachusetts

PROUD OF STUDENT
I was delighted to see the article on Melissa Altman and her family in the Spring 2021 issue. I was Melissa’s history teacher at La Roche University in Pittsburgh and in class we spent much time discussing the four U.S. churchwomen who were martyred 40 years ago in El Salvador. These women have had a special place in my wife’s and my heart over the last four decades, and to see Melissa serving the poor, not only as a lay missioner but in the very region of El Salvador where two of the martyrs—Sister Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan—served brings great joy to us. Melissa, we at La Roche are so proud of you.
Edward T. Brett
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS
In the Spring 2021 edition, I read the article “Families Working Together in El Salvador.” I was impressed by the work Melissa Altman and her family were doing at the Acomujerza cooperative. After reading about the friendship bracelets made by local young people, I wanted to help out and purchase some of the bracelets, but I didn’t see any information on how to purchase them.
Please let me know where I can find additional information regarding these bracelets. I’m sure there are other people like me reading this article who would like to help out and purchase some bracelets too.
Marc Dent
Kirkville, New York
Editor’s note: For those who wish to contact her regarding bracelets, Melissa Altman gives the following email:
acomujerzaderl@hotmail.com

LOVE POEM
My mom and I were deeply touched by Father Joseph Veneroso’s beautiful love poem to Jesus in the Spring 2021 issue of Maryknoll magazine. His writing demonstrates a childlike, artist’s sensitive heart that deeply loves the Lord and his Church. Can you tell us about the gorgeous carving of Christ that accompanied the poem?
All the stories were beautiful, but I really appreciated the stories out of Asia, where Christians have bravely endured threats of the harshest persecutions for centuries. The convert from Taiwan touched me especially in light of the dangers her people face in their relationship with communist China. These souls are living testimonials to us to value and defend our Christian Catholic faith and especially the ability to receive the sacraments from noble souls like the Maryknoll priests.
The early Maryknoll seminary in Pennsylvania is now a Baptist college, oblivious to the Catholic heroes who trod the halls, the chapel erased of all references to the Blessed Mother or the saints, but we walk those magnificent grounds conscious that they bore the blessed footsteps of martyrs.
Dorina Amendola
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Editor’s note: The figure of Jesus is part of a life-size Way of the Cross made by stone carvers from the Artesanos Don Bosco in Huaraz, Peru. The statues are installed in a prayer garden at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Las Vegas.

MY MOTHERLAND
I just read the article “Abundant Graces Flow in Taiwan” by Yu-Mei Lee in the Spring issue of 2021. It touched my heart very much. Being an immigrant from Taiwan, I appreciated so much the contributions Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers have given to my motherland. I heard Father Eugene Murray is still in Taiwan. His dedication is admirable.
Joseph Ku
Palo Alto, California

DIFFERENTLY ABLED
One of the Maryknoll priests who died this past year was Father Brendan O’Connell.
His family moved to Waterbury, Connecticut, from New York City when he was still in the seminary. My brother and I served Father O’Connell’s first Mass in June of 1963. The missioner was assigned to Taiwan, where he opened a school for developmentally disabled children.
In 1980, while Father O’Connell was home on leave, he baptized my daughter, Martha, who was born with Down syndrome. Father O’Connell’s sister, Helen, had Down syndrome.
Joseph P. Nolan
Waterbury, Connecticut

MODEL ST. JOSEPH
What a wonderful article about St. Joseph in your Spring 2021 issue. Father Joseph Veneroso was able to show us how St. Joseph answered God’s call and how he can be an inspiration to us in so many ways.
Pete Winkler
Saratoga Springs, New York

Featured image: Sister Wanzagi, seated at front right. pauses with members of the Sts. Peter and Paul parish Divine Mercy group in the mountainous district of Aileu, East Timor, where the Maryknoll sister serves. (Courtesy of Susan Wanzagi/E. Timor)

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