To the editor:
I went to Mass at St. Mary's Church for the last time on Saturday evening, May 17.
The sole reason for attending was hoping to hear something, anything about the resignation by Father John Medwid. I wanted to hear what a great pastor he had been, what a kind and caring man he was. How he was always there for the parishioners in need, any time of day or night, how the parish wished him well. Nothing was said from the pulpit. Nothing at all.
I did find what I was looking for that evening in front of the church after Mass while collecting signatures for a petition that will be given to the bishop in support of Father Medwid. Parishioner after parishioner shared with me the shock and disbelief that Father Medwid would no longer be at our church. How they were all saddened by the unjust treatment of our pastor. Others shared stories of how kind and caring he had been to their loved ones in need. Members of the Spanish community shared their stories of Father Medwid's kindness as well and how much they enjoyed the Spanish Mass at church and how the tears filled their eyes at the news.
I myself, after being a parishioner of St. Mary's Church for the past 42 years, will not be going back either. I cannot support a parish that does not follow the rules of Christianity, nor the teachings of Christ. I do not want to be associated with a church that is run by a core group that can dictate what goes on in our church. The congregation was not included in the decision to have Father Medwid resign. Had they been, I know that the outcome would have not been the same. By remaining a parishioner now would make me feel that I supported their decision and that I agreed with it. I cannot do that. I will find a new parish. My faith in God has not been shattered.
And Father John Medwid, I wish you the best. Remain as you are. You have a kind, caring and loving spirit that cannot be taken away from you. God Bless.
Michael T. Boice,
Without a priest and pastor
To the editor:
My husband and I are long-time parishioners of St. Mary's Church. We want everyone to know that Father Medwid is a wonderful person and priest and he also was a wonderful pastor. Father was very upright and honest and also very approachable, which many priests are not. My husband and I felt that we could discuss anything with Father Medwid. He is a very intelligent man and spent a lot of time in prayer and research and his homilies were very God-centered. We are very sad that he resigned due to a small group of parishioners and/or parents.
We feel that this small group of parishioners and/or parents should let the rest of the parish know their identity and what their concerns are. Apparently in their minds, their concerns were significant enough that they felt that they had to communicate with the bishop. If nothing else, many rumors that are circulating would be put to rest.
Most parishioners of St. Mary's Church had a very good relationship with Father Medwid and his past Sunday, we signed a petition that will be sent to Bishop Scharfenburger and the new human resource director of the Diocese of Albany, letting them know how much we loved and cared about Father Medwid. We would like him to rescind his resignation and return to our church as our pastor if possible. We miss him very much. We were very lucky to have Father Medwid as our priest and pastor especially at a time when many churches in the diocese have neither. God bless you, Father Medwid. Now we are also among the number of churches without a priest and pastor.
Dan and Marilyn Andrews,
Memorial Day: In our hearts
To the editor:
Memorial Day is one of respect, honor, gratitude and admiration. It has a special meaning for all of us. The old saying that freedom isn't free rings load and clear.
It has been five years since 1st Lt. Jared W. Southworth was killed in action in Afghanistan. He left behind a wife, four young children and a loving extended family. Like so many others who have fallen, Jared laid down his life so we can enjoy ours.
What many see as a motto, "God, Family and Country," was a way of life to Jared and so many others like PFC David Taylor Miller, Capt. John J. McKenna IV and Lance Capt. Anthony J. Denier. The courage and dedication to put oneself in harm's way is something only a few are willing to do. Let us never forget their selfless sacrifice. We owe them all a debt we can never repay.
Although it has broken our hearts to have lost a loved one, we can take comfort in the fact that Jared, like so many, wanted to defend our country. Like all who have fallen before them and will fall in the future, let us give thanks for those American heroes.
Not only on this day, but every day, let us honor and salute our fallen brothers and sisters who have truly given us the land of the free and home of the brave. As many hearts ache for their loss, as does ours, let their memories never fade.
The writer is a candidate for the New York state Senate in the 49th District.