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Santa Ana Priest Is Fighting the Good Fight

October 19, 2003

As a lifelong Catholic, I am astounded that Bishop Brown is trying to blackmail Father Barman into resigning as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Although a member of another parish at the time, it was my pleasure to work with Father Bill and his parishioners setting up ESL and citizenship classes for his ambitious and eager-to-learn congregation. In this capacity I [saw] this humble man of God go about the business of making lives better for the poorest and neediest among us. Bill Barman is a brilliant, enthusiastic, street-smart man who would succeed in any entrepreneurial endeavor. Thankfully he has chosen to give his life to his impoverished adopted brothers and sisters. To remove him from this work is unthinkable.

I will continue to support my own parish, as is my responsibility, but I have sent my last contribution of any kind to the Diocese of Orange and Bishop Brown. Solicitations from the diocese will result in my contributing not to the Diocese of Orange but instead to Our Lady of Lourdes Church and the brave young man, Father Bill Barman, who dedicated his life to serving the underserved among us.

Bill Borden

Huntington Beach

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Re "Feud Halts Building of Church in Santa Ana," Sept. 27:

Let's see. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is going to tear down Our Lady of Lourdes Church, serving a predominantly poor Hispanic congregation in predominantly Hispanic Santa Ana.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church will be replaced by Our Lady of La Vang Church (Our Lady of La Vang is the patron saint of Vietnam), which will have a Vietnamese pastor to serve a predominantly Hispanic congregation.

Whose convoluted logic is this?

Little Saigon is three miles west of the site of the proposed new church. I am certain Bishop Tod D. Brown would have little problem in appealing to wealthy Vietnamese doctors, lawyers and businessmen for land and funds to build our Lady of La Vang Church in the heart of the Vietnamese community rather than in a Hispanic community.

Modernize Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Don't take away what little these poor loyal Catholic Hispanics have. I fully support Father Bill Barman in his struggle to prevent a horrible injustice.

Jerry Mazenko

Garden Grove

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