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9/11: Gathering Our Leaders and Thoughts

September 15, 2002

All of us at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels are grateful to you for the editorial that appeared on the anniversary of 9/11. That afternoon, the cathedral was filled to capacity, with an overflow crowd watching on an outdoor TV screen as the city's ecumenical and inter-religious leaders gathered for prayer, readings and song. This interfaith dimension of the cathedral is one of its principal purposes, and we hope to see many similar gatherings. We view the cathedral as a sacred space for all groups, not just Catholics.

We concur fully with your suggestion that the new conference center serve as a gathering place at least once a year as a "state-of-the-art think tank" for addressing the many needs and issues of our entire community. That is one of the reasons the conference center was developed on the site, and we look forward to working with the civic community, nonprofit groups, religious organizations, business leaders, our colleges and universities and others to analyze our community's most pressing problems. The new cathedral was built in the heart of the city precisely to become a partner in solving the city's most vexing issues and to become a place of dialogue.

Our biggest challenge: Which issue should become the very first one to tackle? We welcome the suggestions of The Times' readers.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony

Archbishop of Los Angeles

*

Your special section, "A Year After" (Sept. 11), was beautifully done. Thank you for the heartfelt interviews. It's difficult to understand a person like Karla Olivos, whose only concern is for herself. How can she complain about her inconveniences in crossing the border each day? Does she not know what a wonderful opportunity she is being granted in being allowed to attend college here? Hopefully she has read the moving stories you published.

Carol Taber

Santa Maria

*

Re "We Carried a Big Stick, but We Chose to Walk Softly," Commentary, Sept. 11: John Balzar's reflection about America's walk since 9/11, without trite sentiment, hit the mark and made me cheer. We stand tall, now, as much because of what we refused to do--alongside what we have done--since Sept. 11. Tolerance is our strength, proudly not forsaken in our commitment to democratic ideals. I am proud to be an American because of this and, of course, a whole lot more.

Stephen Colet

Castaic

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