The Editor: I felt great shock and sadness, when I read in the May 17 issue of the Prairie Messenger that the paper will cease publication in May 2018. That will be such a huge loss to the Catholic and Christian community. Your paper has provided us with up-to-date information on our faith and our holy church. We have been inspired and educated by the various writers and their views on our faith.
I cannot imagine how I will fill the loss of the knowledge and spiritual guidance that I receive from the Prairie Messenger. How unfortunate that many of our Catholic families have chosen not to subscribe to your most excellent paper. Surely there are more than 4,000 Catholic families in Saskatchewan who could subscribe to the Prairie Messenger and benefit by the articles.
The demise of this paper will be a disaster of which the consequences will be felt for years among our Catholic families. How many of our younger families actually access Catholic material through the Internet and other electronic media? I suspect that very few have Catholic information coming into their homes.
Yet we allow ourselves and our families to be bombarded by the secular media. This line of communication forms our thinking and takes away our Catholic mindset.
We lose our direction and find it ever more difficult to understand our Catholic teaching.
Is there not any way that we can keep the Prairie Messenger publication for many more years into the future? I would be willing to pay double the subscription rate if that would help. — Naden Hewko, Macklin, Sask.
The Editor: It is rather ironic that, in the age of a pope with a strong commitment to fearless dialogue and encounter, the Prairie Messenger with its noble near-century history of dialogue and debate is now preparing its own funeral. Yes, church print publications are facing huge financial challenges. They are becoming obsolete due to virtual information feeds.
At the same time the Internet seems to be replacing thoughtful reporting in print media with unrestrained vitriol and growing divisions. This is crisis time for all with a passion for sound church reporting and robust theological conversations.
We will shed our tears over the Prairie Messenger’s closure and so we ought; such mourning reveals the depth of our affection, gratitude and love for the many years of faithful service to the faith community.
But while we weep and wail, can we begin to muse what could be the “new opportunity” concealed in this profound loss? What can take its place in ways that can build on the PM’s inspiring legacy and respond to the signs of the times?
In the footsteps of our fearless leader and champion for Christian unity, Pope Francis, can we explore the pooling of ecumenical resources? Is it possible to create new avenues for the sharing of our denominational gifts and conversations through joint communication efforts? Let the brainstorming and dreaming begin. — Jim Ternier and Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers, Humboldt, Sask.
The Editor: I just received the May 17 edition of the Prairie Messenger and I am so sad. I loved your paper. I was an informed Catholic because of what I read. I was so inspired by so many of the columnists.
I know life must go on, but there will be a big hole in my life next year when you close. Thank you so much for your excellent paper. — Marilyn Paul, Moosomin, Sask.
The Editor: In your May 3 editorial you refer to Pope Paul VI’s phrase “Development is the new name for peace” which has, as you say, become a mantra for people working for global justice.
When Pope Paul wrote those words, it was a time of hope and optimism. It was widely believed that the poor countries of the Global South would “develop,” i.e., improve their lives through hard work and with aid from the developed world. Then peace would follow.
Fifty years later, it is clear that despite the huge efforts made by people in those countries, with the support of international institutions and NGOs, development has not brought peace to many of the countries of the Global South. Today, many of those countries for whom the future looked bright in 1967 are ravaged by war, terrorism, internal oppression and corruption, which make development impossible.
Now it is more important than ever that the international community work for peace worldwide. When that has been achieved, development will surely follow: “Peace first, then development.” — Michael Murphy, Saskatoon