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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Catholic Laity Is Secure Only in Its Faith

October 04, 2003

"Nun's Job Loss Puts Focus on Laity's Role" (Sept. 27) highlights some very archaic practices in the Catholic Church, and it brings to mind the old, simple adage that, at times, "the truth hurts." It also makes it very clear that all of us, clergy and church administrators included, need to take responsibility for our own actions.

We parishioners at St. Brendan Church were blessed to have Sister Judy Molosky take up the helm after our pastor's departure. We were fortunate to have her dedicated care and leadership during a very difficult time for our parish. We were also honored with Bishop Joseph Sartoris' wisdom and warm nature as he worked with Sister Judy and our competent staff to help us regain our inner peace and spark our giving spirit so that we could use it for the benefit of others.

As I expressed in a letter to Cardinal Roger Mahony, I believe that we desperately need the Sister Judys of the world as pastoral associates, in addition to the help of deacons, dedicated church musicians, lay teachers and more. The clergy cannot do this alone. We need a plethora of talented and giving people who can help bolster the foundation of our church so that our faith, and the goodness within our church, can evolve and grow in strength in an ever-changing society.

Pat Edouarde

Los Angeles

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Another headline could have been "Church Silent; Laity Loses." That nuns are lay people was crystal clear. Molosky lost her job. The lay people at St. Brendan Church lost a caring, capable pastoral minister. The archdiocese is silent. A priest who is quoted will not identify himself for "fear of retribution" -- from whom? The pastor who chose not to renew Molosky's contract after only three weeks in his position, afraid of being seen as a "dinosaur," defends his action by saying that "the whole situation has been blown out of proportion." He gets to go to graduate school while Molosky has to find another job to support herself and to contribute to the support of other women in her order. Silence and distortion are exactly why those in the laity need to reclaim their power in parishes. The laity deserve better from the church. I hope they vote with their feet and their checkbooks.

Sister Jo'Ann De Quattro

Sister of the Holy Names Los Angeles

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