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Letters to the Editor



The fresh-air approach of the Prairie Messenger will be missed

The Editor: As a child of the Second Vatican Council seeking a better church and world, I will surely miss the Prairie Messenger. Its commitment to ecumenism and interfaith understanding, as well as social, ecological and ecclesial justice brings me strength and hope.

The PM invites questions while honouring the local and universal church. It bravely presents diversity as something to be celebrated rather than feared. Faithfully, it fulfils the mission of the Catholic press —to inform, inspire, challenge, comfort and entertain out of love for God’s truth, church and world.

During my association with the PM in the Saskatoon diocese, I encountered those who resisted or rejected its broad vision. Many more welcomed its fresh-air approach, opening windows and doors for the sake of humanity and earth, our common home.

I continue to learn from the PM, thanks to its editors, writers, columnists, volunteers and staff. Other members of my religious community join me in expressing special thanks to the Benedictine monks of St. Peter’s Abbey who for so long have carefully tended the PM flame.

For everything, a season. May this final year of publication bring new commitment to God’s loving desire for transformation, communion, unity and joy. Empowered by God’s Spirit, may the Word of life find new expression, giving voice especially to those who are rendered poor and voiceless. — Roma De Robertis, SCIC, Saint John, N.B.


PM was reader’s spiritual nourishment

The Editor: It is with great consternation that I read of the forthcoming closure of the Prairie Messenger. I looked forward to reading your paper every week.

How will I replace the articles by Rev. Ron Rolheiser? His article was the first one I read upon receiving the paper.

I learned so much on the subject of Eastern Christianity through the articles written by Brent Kostyniuk. Insights on the Sunday readings and Scripture by Gertrude Rompré and others were a very good preparation for the weekend mass. Maureen Weber always gave me food for thought with her analysis of many of the current issues in our church. Gerald Schmitz wrote articles that I never missed reading.

I could go on and on. . . all this to say that I don’t know how I will replace my weekly readings in spiritual matters.  — Aurise Kondziela, Winnipeg


PM’s demise will create a void

The Editor: I am truly sorry to read that by May 2018 the Prairie Messenger will discontinue.

I always look forward to read your Catholic journal. It will be such a void when it’s discontinued.

Across the years, the international, Canadian, local news, etc. have kept us in touch and enlightened our faith.

Surely, many readers will miss your great journal. Canada, and especially the Western section, will deeply sense a great loss. — M. Claire Toupin, Anola, Man.


Reader will renew for final year

The Editor: We just received Vol. 95, No.1 edition of the Prairie Messenger and are sorry to hear that you will no longer be publishing after May 2018. Frank and I have truly enjoyed your paper for quite a few years . . . often consoling and often challenging . . . but always balanced in our view.

Because my husband, Frank, has macular degeneration and can no longer read without great difficulty, and because we are both retired, we decided not to renew our subscription this year. But having read in this edition that this is your last year, we would like to renew for a final year.

Thank you for bringing such good theology and joy to so many parts of our country. — Patty Fowler, Portugal Cove, NL


PM proved to be a great teaching tool for students

The Editor: How sad to read that the Prairie Messenger will cease printing next May. There may be oodles of “news” in the secular press, on TV, radio and screens, but your paper carries faith-based articles on justice and peace that mainline news neglect totally or cover in a very superficial manner.

Before retiring, I taught grade 11 St. Paul’s High School students (Winnipeg) a course in social justice. The course included a service component to fulfil and then to reflect upon in writing and in group discussions. But the boys also were given their own weekly copy of the PM. The boys were allowed to select any two articles from the PM, indicate what aspects of social justice were covered, and then write a short personal reflection on the article.

The boys were to be honest and to minimize piety. Their reflections were always confidential unless they granted me permission to read their reflections to others in their class. The students grew, and I grew, by reading their reflections.

They frequently noted that the PM covered topics they had never heard of. They loved reading the lyrics of SJ type (or not) pop tunes. They gradually made more connection between the Bible and their culture (or, the lack thereof). And THEY were making the connections, not me.

I think they actually enjoyed the course in spite of the work they had to do. Nobody in the administration complained about the cost of the PMs. They were a good teaching tool and thus a good investment.

Today my friend passes his copies of the PM to me, or I pick up a complimentary copy at the back of our church (St. Ignatius). I skip over some/many articles depending on their content or my free time, but I still enjoy your paper.

Maybe if I and other people had taken out yearly subscriptions you would not be stopping publication. Mea culpa.  

Thank you for the years of work you spent producing the Prairie Messenger. You will be missed. — Richard Grover, Winnipeg