Readers Respond – April 1, 2017

Fr. Tommy memories
New Orleans

Your article about Father John “Tommy” Tomasovich was a joy to read. I was a 40-year friend and a better person for having known Father Tommy. Five years ago, after heart surgery, he brought holy Communion to me in my home. It meant so much. I know I can’t tell the church who should be a saint, but in my mind, he is one.

MICHAEL RAPIER

Heroic Dorothy Day
Haaswood, La.

Greetings, from an 80-year-old (81 on April 13), self-taught amateur and author of 21 self-published books in the fields of philosophy, theology, depth psychology, history and theoretical physics.

I’m writing to thank the Clarion Herald for its very moving article regarding Dorothy Day (March 11, “Dorothy Day’s spiritual journey had N.O. twist”).

In early 1963, and at the request of a Trappist monk near Atlanta, I spent two months working at the Catholic Worker house in New York and there enjoyed meeting and conversing with Ms. Day. She was perhaps the most charismatic female I’ve ever met.

How sweet it is, then, to read words reminding me of those times enjoyed so well 54 years ago! Would to God it were possible to spend all my days practicing the kind of heroic charity work to which Ms. Day introduced me!

As God would have it, though, my biological father lost his mind in 1975 at 72 years of age and, pressed by the 4th Commandment and my then-six siblings (two have since died), it fell to me first to care for him until he died in 1981, then to care for our mother until she died in 1996 and, now, to care for the assets left to me and my siblings by our parents.

That means living in and overseeing the family’s ancestral home in Haaswood, Louisiana, where our paternal grandfather settled in 1910 upon leaving Kiln, Mississippi, in order partly to escape the sad memories inflicted on him by his wife’s early death in 1906.

She, Alice Norton Herlihy (both her parents were born in Ireland), was a martyr for the faith. Rather than practice birth control, she, though warned by doctors it might happen, carried to term the son whose birth cost her life shortly thereafter in 1906.

Thank you, then, a thousand times for your words so conducive to very pleasant memories, and may God bless you richly for your thoroughly enjoyable gift.

EDWARD HAAS

Easter hospitality
New Orleans

When large crowds show up for Easter Mass, it seems that the occasion needs to be worked effectively.  Maybe there’s a hope that a welcoming and conciliatory attitude will get them to continue coming. But  history has always dashed this hope. Perhaps the approach should be to teach them clearly while you have them. Particularly they should be warned not to receive communion unworthily. Actual conversion might be possible from presenting the Catholic faith clearly; or some approach must be used that God will bless.

WARREN HART

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