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Disappointment (letter)

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 Contents - Jul 2004AD2000 July 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Separation of Church and State? - Michael Gilchrist
Liturgy: New improved English Mass translation nears completion - Michael Gilchhrist
Feminist 'rituals': no substitute for prayer - Joanna Bogle
News: The Church Around the World
Pastoral Letter: The secular challenges to our faith: how to respond - Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett
Eucharistic Adoration: heart of evangelisation - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain: 'Sure, it's a bit of a hill' - Paul Russell
Letters: Synod (letter) - Lance Eccles
Letters: Courageous lead (letter) - Tom King
Letters: Ineffective system (letter) - John Mulholland
Letters: Catholic schools (letter) - George Simpson
Letters: Dating the Gospels (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Informative talk (letter) - Frank Bourke
Letters: Gay lobby (letter) - Alan A. Hoysted
Letters: Abusive letters - Maureen Federico
Letters: Christian models (letter) - Brett Powell
Letters: Christians the most vilified group (letter) - Arnold Jago
Letters: Disappointment (letter) - Cathy Cleary
Letters: The Passion of the Christ (letter) - June Forester
Letters: Parish concerns (letter) - Peter Gilet
Letters: No kneelers (letter)
Letters: The power of one (letter) - Brian Harris
Letters: Sacred Heart (letter) - V. Mulligan
Letters: CD response (letter) - Melanie and Christopher Duluk
Books: Flee To the Fields - The Founding Papers of the Catholic Land Movement - Peter Chojnowski (reviewer)
Books: An Essay on the Restoration of Property, by Hilaire Belloc - John Ballantyne (reviewer)
Books: Ethics and the National Economy, by Heinrich Pesch - John Williamson (reviewer)
Redemptionis Sacramentum (Sacrament of Redemption) abridged version - Fr M. Durham
Books: More new titles for 2004 from AD Books
Reflection: No time to pray? Try contemplation - Fr Leo J. Trese

I am writing to express my disappointment at the "poem" written by Bruce Dawe in the May edition of AD2000 and the tacit approval given to its sentiments by the editorial staff of AD2000.

When I was a little girl, attending Mass with my parents, my mother would say to me, if I commented on what anyone was wearing, "You should have been too busy praying to notice anyone else." I have passed this same advice to my seven children, now grown up and still church-going Catholics.

I am confident that they, in turn, will pass it on to our twelve grandchildren as soon as they are old enough to be tempted to exercise the same lack of charity and failure to grasp the real purpose of attending Mass so vividly demonstrated in Bruce Dawe's pale and badly proof-read parody of a hymn loved by many, old and young.

My husband and I have brought up our children through the perilous path of adolescence, and have many friends who have done, and are still doing the same, and we would say to Bruce Dawe that he should be glad that those young people he sneers at are still attending Mass. Maybe they are not dressed the way he would like and they may not be too excited about your crimplene safari suit either, for taste is a pretty individual thing.

But I have been at Mass at too many churches where I notice with sadness that a whole generation of young people is missing and I wonder whether the negative, critical and judgmental attitudes reflected in this "poem" contribute to our church congregations' loss - for loss it most certainly is.

These young people's taste in clothing and their behaviour will change throughout their lives to something that Bruce Dawe may find more acceptable; but their experience of the church as somewhere where they are not welcome may lead them never to return with their families; and this, I believe, would be a tragedy and so, I hope, would Bruce Dawe.

Forbes, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 6 (July 2004), p. 14

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