Who was it who said never talk politics or religion with friends. I think it was my father, Walter Gustav Fors, but then, he always respected me and allowed me to question him in an open dialog. He always had my respect and love, and it was reciprocal.
This is an open letter to Monsignor John A. Alesandro, pastor of St. Dominic R.C. Church.
In our opinion you should open your arms and your church to the Concerned Families of St. Dominic R.C. Church.
The families are hurting and love St. Dominic's and don't want to go away to another church. In talking to people in order to write the article on the front page about the second meeting of the group, it is our opinion that the young families feel dis-enfranchised. (That is actually a quote from a respected lay leader of the church.)
Your parishioners deserve your attention in whatever form they feel is necessary. Most of them are parents with the well being of their young children uppermost in their minds. In my opinion, you have to experience being a parent to know the depth of that love and concern.
We remember as young parents the emotional change that took place in our mind when we realized we were totally responsible for another human being, who was our own flesh and blood.
Our advice, unasked for, is to hold the open meeting. Let the parishioners explain their objections and answer the objections in person.
Letters don't do the trick. One-way messages don't work. There must be an open dialog between you and your parishioners. You owe them that.
We have attended the two open meetings and the people are wonderful. They are caring, open, honest, hurting and determined. They are also Catholic and that is what they intend to remain. They will be your best parishioners in the long run. They will be the blood and bones of your new church. Please don't deny them access to your church and you.
We wish you had heard one of your parishioners as he gave a wonderful homily. He asked why Jesus chose Peter and Judas as two of the 12 disciples? He ended by concluding that maybe he was thinking of leaving room for a group like the Concerned Families of Saint Dominic's. It was a wonderful spiritual message from a lay person.
Monsignor Alesandro, you have a beautiful group of parishioners. Please give them the courtesy of listening to their objections. As we said before, the way to a sale is honesty with the customer.