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Catholic Services to Immigrants

May 28, 2000

In response to "A Matter of Help, Not Rights" (Opinion, May 21), concerning society's outreach, or lack of outreach, to immigrants, especially those from Mexico:

Gregory Rodriguez criticizes the L.A. archdiocese for not establishing more parishes and schools for the new immigrants. Does he have some idea how much the $4 billion a year that the immigrants send out of the country might do toward establishing and maintaining new parishes and schools?

Given Rodriguez's figures about how few new parishes and schools the archdiocese has established in the past 25 years, I wonder how many new schools the LAUSD and other public school districts have established to accommodate the immigrants.

Recently, at a church meeting, an immigrant said, "We need more Latino priests." I said: "The way to get more Latino priests is to get more young Latino men in the seminary." A Latina next to me said: "You got that right, Cisco."

As for the infrastructure, I invite Rodriguez to my parish to observe and discuss our various immigrant services. I hope he is ready to spend the day.

LAWRENCE BERG

San Gabriel

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While Rodriguez gives some credit to Catholic Charities, he bemoans the fact that the physical infrastructure of the Catholic Church has not grown to receive and minister to its new members as it did during the postwar population boom to this area during the 1950s and '60s.

Perhaps if Mexico sent priests to this archdiocese in the numbers that Ireland did in the past, we would see the needed buildings. What's the purpose of schools and churches if there's no one to teach or preach in them?

BARBARA BRADFORD MILLER

La Habra

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