I trust this e-mail will find you in good spirits.
I am writing to address my concern with regards to what transpired after Mass today.
Sr Marnie had approached you and was ignored. When Sr Sheila brought this to your attention, you asked that respect be shown to you.
Respect – you have used this English word many a time and always in the context that this is lacking from the community.
On consulting The Concise Oxford Dictionary, a plethora of meanings is presented. The following I have chosen:- Regard with deference; avoid degrading or insulting; treat with consideration; refrain from offending.
Sr Marnie is 80 years of age and has spent her religious life in service for others. She is gentle of nature. In the short time I have known her I have yet to hear her raise her voice. Being the very good person she is, she was very affected by your behaviour, as I am.
With utmost consideration, which has proved to be the hallmark of her life, Sr Marnie approached you. I ask this question: who in this instance has shown disrespect?
What lessons can I learn?
You are the Parish Priest and therefore our Shepherd. How have you taken care of your flock? What leadership qualities have you shown? Is this how God’s gentle creatures are to be treated ?
During the Neocatechumate Catechesis, the leaders (which includes you) have said they are messengers. So what is your message? Where is the love of God and the love for the community which is being preached? Is this only for “certain” people of the Way. Interesting…..
I respectfully have to say that God’s love is for all.
In today’s sermon you touched on the hard life in Brazil. I am now thinking about, together with Joe Pelle, your mothers whom you both have mentioned a number of times in your sermons. How would both of you have reacted if your mothers were treated as you have treated Sr Marnie, not to mention Sr Dom.
I request that all parishioners of our community be treated with the respect you would accord your own mother.
I have noticed of late, there seems to be much anger emanating from both priests. This is quite evident during the sermons. It would be reasonable to read this as both of you being quite tired. With respect, I suggest both priests should take leave from the parish for about three months.
Many a time you have introduced the Catechesis session by requesting all to open their hearts. With respect, I request that you open your heart to our community.
Thank you for your time.