ST LALTRENCE'S PARISH in Cambridge was the subject for Parish in Focus, 28 November. I would first like to congratulate you on mentioning some of the justice issues that the parish is involved in, like providing meal tickets for the homeless, letter writing for Amnesty, the selling of Traidcraft fairly traded goods, and so on. It is indeed a very vibrant and alive parish in doing so many varied and worthwhile things.
There was one item that simply dismayed me. You mention the parish has "Altar boys". Dear me, we live in the late 1990s on the brink of the 21st century where there are no longer just altar boys but also altar girls and even altar ladies. There are more females than males serving — I should know, I have trained every one.
Stephen Chapman Cambridge
I SHOULD LIKE to draw your attention to the plight of Fr Henryk Okolotowicz and his parishioners in Nieswiez in Belarus who are being persecuted by the Belarus authorities.
The church at Nieswiez, which was the ony church open in Belarus during the Soviet communist regime, has now been confiscated by the Belarus authorities who intend turning it into an atheist historical museum.
Fr Okolotowicz's parish is a very large one covering many square kilometres and he ministered to both Belorussian and Polish Catholics. He is now confined to Nieswiez and is forbidden to speak to foreigners.
Alexander Leigh, Ashford, Kent Sr FRANCIS DE SALES pointed out that there are three addictions which rob is of our common sense, conscience and free will. They are: power (including money), obsessions (including sex), and drugs (including alcohol).
As the media and modern society encourage all three, it is no wonder that we are in trouble.
Simone Crawley, Stockport, Cheshire
I HAVE A VERY old meditation book on Our Lady, entitled The Lily of Israel. Unfortunately I do not know the author nor the publisher. I should be very pleased if any reader could help. Leo Goodstadt,
113 Humphrey Road, Manchester MI6 9DE Correction: IN THE LETTER (5 December) oa the position of Palestinian( and Israeli) Arab Christians, some words were unintentionally omitted. The sentence beginning "Another common omission" should have read "by those who ignore history is that the Palestinians were then offered their guaranteed state "(ie by the UN in .1947) "which they rejected..."
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