Readers’ Responses, Fall 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I just finished reading your Summer 2023 issue with the article about the Student Essay Contest winners. Wow! The students’ submissions were so good — appropriate, aware, touching. Both of the winning essays brought tears to my eyes of joy, appreciation and respect.

I am an octogenarian, having raised with my husband (now deceased) a family of five children, 11 grandchildren and four beautiful healthy great grands. I am blessed and grateful. 

Reading about the students and their essays restores my hope. They are way more impressive and intelligent than some current politicians. Tell them to hurry and grow up. We, the world, need help as soon as possible. I probably won’t be around by the time these wonderful young people are running our country. But I am relieved and encouraged by their wisdom and passion. Thank you for honoring them. It is the most encouragement I’ve felt in ages.

Deanna R. Dean
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania


In 2017, I traveled to Tanzania to meet with Ruth and Roy Meyer. (See Partners in Mission, Spring 2023). Ruth’s cousin and her family joined us in Arusha before we set off for Magalata, where Father Daniel Ohmann had erected a modest church. Our mission was to teach Watatulu children math, science, reading and English, in addition to God’s Good News. As a retired teacher, I was excited to be with the students. They were so eager to learn. 

While six of us taught, Ruth and Roy traveled to remote places to visit with the students’ parents since it was the Meyers’ responsibility to make sure the students were progressing in their schoolwork. 

This experience was a humbling time for me. These children had very little, yet they were happy to learn and sing hymns of praise to God. Mass was celebrated most joyfully. The families shared their meager food offerings with us very generously. It was a time of self-renewal for me. 

My husband, David, and I will continue to contribute to the Watalulu Education Fund, thankful for this life-altering experience.

Barbara Foerch
Irving, Texas


I wanted to congratulate you on the recent article “Finding Eucharist among the Displaced” in the Spring issue of Maryknoll magazine.

Since I worked with Father John Barth for six years while he served on the General Council of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, I know him well. He certainly lives his faith.

Maureen T. Foster
Mechanicville, New York

In your latest issue, Spring 2023, the article “Finding Eucharist among the Displaced” had this quote from Father Barth: “My Eucharist is giving food to the hungry and starving. To me that’s the Eucharist.” How refreshing to hear this.

Vincent Hamon
Los Angeles, California


I would like to respond to the reader who commented about being shocked to see chair yoga in your Spring 2023 publication. Yoga is an excellent form of fitness exercise consisting of strengthening bones and muscles and improving balance. Chair yoga is perfect for older or disabled people. My Catholic church has allowed yoga to be taught and practiced in one of our facilities for the last 10 years. We pray Catholic prayers after each lesson with a core group of people who also know that each and every one of us will pray for the needs of the others. 

Thank you all for the holy work you do around the world!

Peggy Wright
Omaha, Nebraska

Several people have complained recently in Readers’ Responses about Maryknoll’s emphasis on creating renewable energy. I don’t think they grasp the seriousness of the problem. Food and water are threatened. Without food and water, the poor and all the rest of us will perish. While promoting renewable energy does not have a warm fuzzy feeling, it is full of love. The transition to renewable energy will be costly, inconvenient and full of mistakes, but we should still try.

I love the way the Maryknoll Society covered its parking lots with solar array canopies and preserved all the trees. I relayed the article and photos to the Bar Harbor town council and have repeatedly spoken out that we do the same.

Laureen Donnelly
Bar Harbor, Maine

I received the Maryknoll magazine Spring issue and read it, cover to cover, as I have for many years. I especially like the writings of Father Joseph Veneroso. In 2013, you printed “A Prayer for Children” that he wrote. It was so telling of the children of our times. I love it. I pray it every day. Thank you for such a fine magazine. Keep up the good work. 

Barbara Gessler
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

I have been a supporter and subscriber to Maryknoll for a quarter century, and I read and enjoy every print edition. A special treat is always the poems by Father Joseph R. Veneroso. He has a way of expressing profound truths about our faith in a very accessible, image-filled way. He definitely is a highlight of Maryknoll magazine.

Joseph B. Atkins
Oxford, Mississippi

Featured Image: Maryknoll Father Juan Zuñiga, secretary general of the Maryknoll Society, is pictured with seminarians (left to right) Matthew Sim, Charles Ogony and Joshua Mutende Maondo at their perpetual oath ceremony on June 3, 2023. (Michael Calvente/U.S.)

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