NOTE FROM OPINION EDITOR AMELIA ROBINSON: A nearly 66-year ministry will come to an end when the Paulista Fathers leave St. Thomas More Newman Center on Sunday, July 31.
Newly installed Bishop Earl Fernandes announced that there would be a new vision for the parish.
After:Letters: “moral indignation” to surprise. The era ends in an LGBTQ parish for a new vision
We asked readers to share their thoughts on the Newman Center and its priests? Below is a selection of submissions. Other letters will be printed in the Sunday paper.
Father Vinny was my spirit guide
For many years I have taken my confirmation classes from The United Methodist Church to the St. Thomas More Newman Center to learn more about the Roman Catholic Church and to experience the grace and wisdom outside of the common of Father Vinny McKiernan.
He led these young people through the beautiful Paulist-built church, Stations of the Cross, and maze on the OSU campus, inviting them on a conscious spiritual journey, and then grabbing ice cream at Graeter’s.
Each young person has been changed by their encounter with this loving priest.
After:Letters: 91-year-old faithful priest among those ousted from residence. Bishop out of step.
Father Vinny was one of the most important voices of the Catholic Church in our city’s interfaith work for peace, especially after the 9/11 attack and subsequent war.
Personally, Father Vinny has been my spiritual guide, a friend of my family, and the leader of my mother’s memorial gathering. He and the entire Paulista community were a sign of God’s love at work in the world. We still need them. We will all miss them.
Reverend Patricia Wagner, Maple Grove UMC
Share your thoughts:How to Submit a Letter to the Editor for The Columbus Dispatch
“For an hour a week, everything made sense”
On the afternoon of June 30, I was in the kitchen with my wife and our 13-year-old granddaughter, who came from Cincinnati.
My cell phone rang with a text from a friend telling me that the Paulistas were leaving the Newman Center and that all programs for non-students would be discontinued.
After:Church ‘thrown us out in the cold, slammed the door in our stunned faces’ | Opinion
Stunned, I blurted out that we wouldn’t be going to Newman again. Hearing this, our granddaughter said, “Oh, I love going to mass there!” Me too. In my 77 years, this is the only church where I really miss it if I can’t go to mass on Sunday morning.
With a world in turmoil and our faith increasingly questioned, one hour a week, everything made sense. I am very grateful for the 12 years that I have been a member of this wonderful community.
John Kelley Brennan, Christopher Columbus
“The spiritual house is torn down”
In 1972, as a 21-year-old new registered nurse, I moved to Columbus to work at OSU hospitals. Immediately, I found a welcoming, faith-filled community at the Paulist-run St. Thomas More Newman Center — and I stayed. My faith was nurtured there and grew there.
After:Ohio State Catholic Student Ministry to Get New Management at Newman Center
My husband Jim and I raised our children there. Our two sons received their sacraments at Newman and they learned about the love and acceptance of Christ in a space filled with joy.
Through family deaths, illnesses, and life struggles, the Paulists were there to support us and reassure us that we were not alone and that the Lord loved us unconditionally. They worked side by side with us to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth.
After:Jardy: Not everyone feels welcome in an LGBTQ parish anymore. Bishop “shut it all up”
The Paulists ministered in OSU hospitals saying masses, visiting the sick, and anointing the dying.
Here I am now, a 71-year-old retired nurse whose spiritual home has been torn away. I feel gratitude to have had the love, support and guidance of the Paulistas for 50 years, but I am very saddened by how their ministry at Newman ended and sorry for future students of the OSU who will not learn the mercy and love of Jesus. and the compassion of these special spirit-filled men.
Laura Jackson, Christopher Columbus