Roland Bernier: Berlin River Drivers won't disappoint

To the editor:

For anyone that loves Hockey here in Berlin New Hampshire and the surrounding area, Berlin New Hampshire has a Semi Professional Hockey Team, "The Berlin River Drivers", of the Federal Hockey League. These young men hoping to score a place in a professional setting continue to work their way up in the standings. As of right now, "The Berlin River Drivers" sit in second place in the Federal Hockey League. The Berlin River Drivers can be seen at the Notre Dame Arena during home games and occasionally (if your lucky) see them meandering around the city or North Conway as they have no reservations working on their PR in our community. For a more in depth look at their schedule go to the Federal Hockey Leagues home page, click on Berlin River Drivers then on Schedule. If you want to loose your voice, get the Adrenalin flowing and just have a great time watching some really hard hitting, fast skating hockey, make your way out and support these guys! You will not be disappointed! Go River Drivers!

Roland Bernier,
Berlin

Reverend Mary C. White: Women priests are leading the Catholic Church

To the editor:

I would like to offer clarification about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
Although the Vatican does not recognize our women priests, our ordinations are valid because we have apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church. Apostolic succession is the "unbroken tradition" going back "to Christ's example and to apostolic practices" that Father Kyle referenced in his letter.
The principal consecrating Roman Catholic bishop who ordained our first women bishops has apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church, and remains in communion with the Pope. This courageous man followed his conscience, and corrected a grave injustice within the Church by restoring the priesthood to women. Therefore, our bishops validly ordain women (and men) as deacons, priests, and bishops.
Women priests are not leaving the Catholic Church. We are leading it! Women priests are modern day prophets, who proclaim Jesus' radical message of equality and justice for all people. We are following our consciences, and answering God's call to serve the Church we love.
The Roman Catholic Church is experiencing great challenges. The number of celibate male priests is dwindling. The current number of celibate male seminarians is not enough to replace priests who retire or die. The Church in the United States has paid over four billion dollars for sexual abuse settlements. Mass attendance is down. Financial support of the Church is down. Catholic parishes and Catholic schools are closing. The Church is in desperate need of healing, renewal, and transformation.
The People of God... who are the Church... are seeing these signs of the times, and are calling for the Church to start putting new wine into new wineskins. This includes ordaining women.
Scholarship and archaeological evidence show that women were ordained in the early church as priests, deacons, and bishops. Approximately 70 percent of American Catholics favor ordaining women as priests. The Vatican's own Commission determined there was absolutely nothing in the Scriptures to support the ban on ordaining women as priests.
I offer to view the award-winning film, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, which summarizes much of this evidence, with anyone who is interested in watching and discussing the film with me.
For those who identify themselves as Catholic, but are seeking a different way to be Catholic, I invite you to consider a local alternative. The Open Door is an inclusive and non-judgmental Catholic Faith Community. Our summer home is at the Shelburne Union Church. In the winter, we celebrate Mass in private homes, like the early Christians did.
The words of Jesus serve as our foundation: "I certainly will not reject anyone who comes to me" (John 6:37).
At The Open Door, all are invited to enjoy full participation in the Mass. All are welcome to share their wisdom and insight during our shared homilies. All are welcome to receive Communion.
I invite anyone who wants to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Marriage (including those who are legally divorced or want a same sex marriage), Anointing, or Ordination to contact me.
Reverend Mary C. White, ARCWP
Pastor, The Open Door: An Inclusive and Non-judgmental Catholic Faith Community
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(603) 616-9729
www.facebook.com/NHRomanCatholicWomanPriest/

Frank LaFerriere: As a community we should support Bikes Not Bombs

To the editor:

I applaud Bronson Leclerc for doing what he is doing with Bikes Not Bombs. It proves again to me how the students of our local schools are truly involved in the community they live in.

What amazes me is that Steve Roy and Annie Lake has to complain about it because it is in their view. Really Steve and Annie?

I used to go by Bikes Not Bombs on Mill St all the time. Sure sometimes there was an overflow, typically that happened before the organization came to pick up the bikes and people would drop off the bikes so they could be picked up. Yet most of the time? The bikes were kept in the enclosure. But even with the overflow, Betty and Matt Saladino kept it pretty organized. It may not have been perfect, but I see no reason to trash Betty, Mike or Bikes Not Bombs for it. Nor do I see a reason to put a stop to Bronson in continuing this work where he plans on having it. It is amazing that Bronson picked this project for his senior class project. He should be commended for it. He has been involved in it since sixth grade and that says an awful lot about the goodness of Bronson's character.

If it worries Mr Roy and Ms Lake so much, how about they participate in the program and work towards keeping it organized, instead of doing what they can to make it a “not in my backyard” problem.

I am even willing to spend the time necessary, if need be, to help Bronson keep the area organized and cleaned up. I walk by that area almost every day and if it needs some cleaning up, then I will do so. It sounds like Matt will continue to do so too.

So before you put the kibosh on this very worthwhile program and Bronson's project, which does incredible work with developing countries, and also keeps all of these bikes that would end up in our landfills out of them, I say allow Bronson to do what he is doing and finish it. Lets see what he does before badmouthing and causing problems that may not even be there.

As a community we all should support Bronson, Matt, Betty and the Bikes Not Bombs program.

Frank LaFerriere,
Gorham

Les Glover: Special Bingo at VFW this Sunday

To the editor:

I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about our little hidden gem, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2520 at 1107 Main Street here in Berlin. The VFW has a history of veterans support through services, fundraisers, and activities. Friday night fish fries, dances, weekend breakfast, and bingo just to name a few of the events.
Many people have celebrated weddings, birthdays, baby showers, jack and jills, anniversaries, holiday parties, bachelor parties, retirements, fundraisers, auctions, karaoke and other events that people would gather. It is a great place to hold an event. To book at date and time call the VFW at (603) 752-9754.
On New Year’s Eve, Bob Pelletier has rented the hall for a party, all are invited to attend and celebrate the ringing out the old and in with the new. 6 p.m. to close.
Friday nights, the hall is rented to Jody Houle where he spins his songs and host karaoke for all to try. There is some great talent that performs every Friday (and others like myself that know better than to sing). Show time starts at 8 p.m. but the doors are open sooner.
On Tuesdays the hall is rented for the Queen of Hearts drawings. The first drawing of the new deck will be Jan. 10. Tickets are available now.
Other activities include the women’s dart league on Thursday evenings, Corn Hole on Wednesdays (except the third Wednesday of the month). Many others come in to play pool or cards. Cribbage and Blocks are popular. Many come to socialize.

The one I really want to write about is Bingo on New Year's Day. On Sunday, Jan. 1, we will be having a special Bingo. We are paying out $200 on each of 13 regular games. Our Mega Blackout winner take all has been under $500 just once in the past year (almost paid out $1000 once). Doors open at 2 p.m. (this is a different opening time than usual) and pull tab ($499 to the winner of each box) sales begin at 2:30 p.m. We will start selling the bingo cards at 4 p.m. and calling starts at 5:30 p.m. Over 20 people have volunteered to bring in items for a “pot luck”, which as everyone knows, people will bring their best dish. I want to thank Service Credit Union and Smith & Town printers for their donations for this event, which is making these payouts possible. All are welcome, come early and get a great seat. Bring your friends, family, team mates, and co-workers. Maybe we can make this an annual event. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

I want to thank all of you and your families that have served us.

Les Glover,

Berlin

Rev. Kyle Stanton: Where the Church stands on women as priests

To the editor:

I write today in response to the article entitled “Following Her Heart, Local Priest is Changing the Face of the Catholic Church” that ran in your Dec. 15, issue. There were several misconceptions in that article, which members of my parish as well as the larger community have found confusing, misconceptions that I would like to correct.

Despite what the name may imply, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is not an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church. As such, the Church does not recognize any ordinations performed by the Association as valid, and no member of the Association can be considered a validly ordained bishop or priest.

The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Mary White’s status as a priest. While it is unlikely that formal excommunication proceedings will be initiated, by pursing an unrecognized and invalid ordination, Mary White has chosen to leave the Church and put herself outside its communion.

While I am sure that Mary White is a person of sincere good will and is acting with the best of intentions, the Roman Catholic faithful should be aware that they separate themselves from the Catholic Church by participating in or attending any “simulations” of a Mass or other sacraments by a member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. All excommunicated persons are barred from participating in the liturgy in a ministerial capacity and from receiving the Eucharist or other sacraments though they are not bared from attending Mass.

Entirely aside from the issue of the Association’s standing within the Church, under canon lay the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. The sacrament of Holy Orders—in which a man is ordained a priest—has always been reserved to men, in fidelity to Christ’s example and to apostolic practice since the time of Christ. The Church considers this unbroken tradition to be in accordance with God’s plan, and Pope Francis has repeatedly affirmed this stance, most recently just last month in response to a reporter’s question.

I make this statement out of pastoral and spiritual concern for those who present themselves for invalid rituals, who by their actions place themselves outside the Church. And I pray that those who have placed themselves outside the Church will be reconciled with the Church and that the harm and any division caused will be healed with the help of God’s grace.

Rev. Kyle Stanton

Pastor
Good Shepherd Parish in Berlin
Holy Family Parish in Gorham