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July 10, 2011
Salem News

Upset with 'veterans organization'

To the editor: Having just returned from "a large retailer" in Salem, I was very upset at seeing a so-called "veterans organization" soliciting money and/or selling merchandise. Upon questioning them, I found out the organization was from Zanesville and they had no information about their organization.

In May, another "veterans organization" was set up and upon questioning them, they were from Akron and had no literature. Having been involved locally for about 40 years in veterans organizations and issues, I am compelled to write and discourage the local citizens from donating without knowing anything about an organization. Many patriotic, well-meaning people donate to support our active and retired military servicemen and women. If you would like to donate and support your area veterans, I would ask that you stop by or mail your donation to any of the great local veteran groups although they do not publicly seek donations except for selling "poppies" around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Locally, our area veterans groups donate thousands of dollars annually to our public safety forces, schools, youth and sport groups, and charitable organizations and much more. Their accountability and bookkeeping is excellent and nearly all their funds stay local.

As an example, the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts throughout Ohio donated over $4 million last year.

Thank you to all who support our active and retired military, but I encourage you to be weary of some who would prey on your patriotism.

JIM DICKENS, Veterans of Foreign Wars of Ohio, Past state commander

Lauds local Crime Watch group

To the editor: Salem Perry Township Crime Watch has done it again-provided a wonderful time (July 3) for all the families in Salem! This was the first year that we were part of the crowd and watching the children have so much fun and the ability to run around without worry says a lot about our town. The bands were great and so kind to donate their time! Thank you to Roe Haskin and all the volunteers who made this possible!

God Bless you all!


Mistake to close church

To the editor: Vatican II Counsel named the people of the church a priestly people by virtue of baptism.

The word "liturgy" means "the work of the people." We gather each week to celebrate God and the fruit of our labors and gain the strength needed to continue that work. We find ourselves in a precarious position today with communities of faithful who have dwindled in most local religious groups, Catholics being no exception. Consolidation of congregations is the #1 answer, secularism named the #1 culprit. I contend that had we as Christians been doing a better job with evangelization, been more attentive to the needs of those who had been in the community, worked harder at looking for the real reasons why folks left and ministered to those needs we would have less of a problem today. If those who filled the pulpit had done a better job at recognizing problems, developing talents and encouraged participation through example we would not be where we are today. I contend that every time a church closes it is a reflection of failed leadership, failure in ministry, failure to be that priestly people we were all called to be! Hope, however, is not lost. God still blesses us with many who are talented and willing; hearts still yearn for the Sacred and peace. I pray that our priest, local ministers and Christians will find it within themselves to get creative with social media, services and example to encourage and grow available talents so to locate those who wander in darkness and bring them home to an open, loving church community. Experience tells me that people like to help others; that many hands make light work and that if lead and encouraged the people will respond to God's call. I believe that it is a mistake to close Immaculate Conception Parrish as a worship site because it is important to have the church accessible. I believe that in spite of heroic efforts that short of well-placed sky hooks there is no realistic way to accommodate the parking needs of a growing handicapped community. How much can it really cost to have this church remain open for one Mass a week under whatever name you want to give it? I ask not as a 'troublemaker' or one with evil intent regarding our priest but as a concerned member of our faith community! We are a priestly people by virtue of our baptism. Can we stop the hardheadedness long enough to really look honestly at the facts and leave this worship space available to accommodate the needs of so many? Is it that much to ask that we make the services (Mass, CCD, adult education) more convenient for those who may not be able to have them otherwise? Bigger isn't always better and bigger will not fix financial woes unless bigger means more members who are vested in what we believe! Let's work together to gather the flock!

PATRICIA E. HOMAN, Hammondsville



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