Readers’ Responses, Spring 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the Winter 2023 issue of Maryknoll, the proclamation of peace by your editor-in-chief, Lynn F. Monahan, is essential for a true understanding of the Advent season.

In reading the passage from Isaiah on the first Sunday of this celebratory time, we learn of a judge who will settle nations’ differences. We hear that “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). Words to consider during these troubling times. 

But what did it for me in the magazine was the photograph of two men from South Sudan meeting on a footbridge in mutual goodwill. The message with the photo is an appeal for the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, but workers for the harvest are indeed few. Perhaps I too will reap and gather one day. In the interim, let us all beseech God for a peaceful resolve.

Mark A. Sleboda
Redford Township, Michigan

Two recent letters to the editor, “Too Political” and “Column Raises Doubt” in the Winter 2023 issue, were critical of Maryknoll magazine’s articles on the environment. The first described global warming as “a political issue, not a religious one” and asked that Maryknoll “do God’s work” rather than “push agendas.” It also promoted the benefits of fertilizers and pesticides. The second letter was critical of renewable energy and articles “written by environmental activists.”

A different perspective on these topics is suggested by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. The pope writes, “We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.” I believe that articles focused on the environment, such as on the adverse effects of fertilizers and pesticides and the health benefits of renewable energy, are being responsive to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’.

Frank H. Galvan
Beaumont, California

I read with sadness in your Winter 2023 issue the comments from two readers on your environmental positions. Some of these comments aren’t factually correct. Pesticide use harms people and critters, and has already caused resistance so that it is less or not effective. 

Renewable energy is actually cheaper in most cases than that produced by fossil fuels. Its reliability is a work in process, e.g., battery technology advances. This a moral as well as political issue. We have been poisoning our earth and the wealthier nations are most responsible. We need to change. Please keep up the good work.

Catherine Hancock
Reno, Nevada

In response to “It’s Time for Renewable Energy” in the Fall 2022 issue of Maryknoll magazine, your readers should be aware of all sides of this controversy in order to make informed decisions. 

Climate change is a crisis in political science and not in real science. Apparently many believe that climate change will destroy Earth, but as aptly stated by John Coleman, meteorologist and founder of the Weather Channel, global warming is “the greatest scam in history.” 

Worldwide, many socialist-driven governments are promoting the elimination of fossil fuels and the implementation of cap and trade to control carbon emissions, along with other controls that benefit only the wealthy, privileged, political and cultural elites. 

Global warming has become a non-scientific social and political issue and a commercial enterprise generously funded by national governments and wealthy individuals, but much has been documented detailing how and why there is no crisis. For example, the tabulation of 1,350 references from “climate realists” is available online at  

Whatever the future may bring, it looks like the wind, solar and electric vehicle industries are here to stay, at least in some capacity, but these industries should be guided by real science and economic viability and not by political science and governmental subsidies. 

None of these alternatives can exist without mining most of the components required for each, so none are “clean” in the sense believed by alarmists who do not understand that everything societies need must be produced from commodities that are either grown or mined. 

The science is certainly not as settled as is promoted by world governments and the mainstream media, and the real scientific evidence demonstrates that fossil fuels do not need to be eliminated to save Earth. 

Climate change need not — and should not — be a prime factor when making decisions involving land use, manufacturing or political activity.

Jack C. Hamm
Grand Junction, Colorado

In the beginning God made this beautiful world and gave it to us to care for. What a gift! 

I have been told the best thing we can do for this earth is to plant trees. Last year, at age 90, I gave five of my grandchildren five trees each and they, with their parents, planted them. What joy.

Mary Lou Young
Olpe, Kansas

Featured Image: Students enjoy a field day at Emusoi Center, a school founded by Maryknoll Sister Mary Vertucci in Arusha, Tanzania, for girls from East Africa’s pastoralist communities, (Gregg Brekke/Tanzania)

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