In taking issue with Cathy Cleary (July AD2000) regarding the parody of "Come As You Are", Peter Hannigan (August AD2000) seems to misunderstand the concerns of this Catholic mother, viz, keeping children within the fold of our Catholic faith and its promise of eternal salvation.
With seven children "grown up and still church-going Catholics" (and 12 grandchildren to boot), it is difficult to take seriously Peter Hannigan's charge that "the writer has totally ignored Christ's oft-repeated instruction that repentance for one's sins is necessary for salvation".
Indications would rather suggest this family to be a walking companion to loving and well-informed sacramental repentance.
Meanwhile, suffering parents, bravely smiling outwardly while inwardly still praying for strength, gratefully thank God if they can say "at least they are still going to Mass".
Younger generations, being more vulnerable to trends of the day, may appear brashly aggressive (or would they say "positive"!) in word, dress, hair-fads and even body-language.
However, while outwardly posing this "stand of last resort", a more deeply and carefully controlled passion, or compassion, could well be stifling an inner yearning to be part of the team for God. (Or stifled perhaps by unwittingly obsessive sensibilities within our own "not-to-be-disturbed established" and, yes, occasionally judgmental generation?)
Mr Hannighan's plea for "reverence for the sacred in the church, before, during and after Mass" is to be commended. Due to the quiet example of our parish priest, this problem is almost non-existent, and prayerful calm prevails in All Hallows.
The hymn "Come As You Are" always brings to me a surge of happiness and reassurance - as a whispered breeze of love from the Almighty Father to His stumbling child.
Thank you. May God continue to bless your work.
BRIGID P. McKENNA