Re: “A question of faith,” in The Weekend Telegram Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.
I was both saddened and a little concerned over Saturday’s front page article. Terry Loder seems to have brought to light a very relevant and troubling concern: the presence of Catholic symbolism at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital here in St. John’s.
He refers to numerous crucifixes and a statue of St. Clare in the main lobby. I’m sure we are all familiar with the statue, but I can’t say I could pinpoint the exact location or quantity of crucifixes within the establishment.
He also made note of the absence of inclusion, especially “in today’s day and age.”
I would like him to define today’s day and age.
Seems life moves quicker than we do, seems children grow up faster, the aged are forgotten and our quest for the next big thing is all-consuming.
Perhaps, just maybe, any symbolism in our lives is a good thing.
Perhaps the crucifixes and the statue don’t represent Catholic supremacy or religious monopoly.
Perhaps in a place where hardships are fought and sometimes lost, they represent hope, peace, compassion and self-sacrifice.
Perhaps they symbolize something greater, beyond human struggles without religious identity. Perhaps they represent God, whoever or whatever He/She/It may be for each of us.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “God has no religion.”
The Sisters of Mercy have evolved and embraced “today’s day and age.”
Their ministry to the sick in homes and institutions has been adjusted for today’s world.
However, does their presence imply religious oppression for others?
These objects are nothing more than beacons, reminders and, yes, symbols.
Terry Loder, can you please explain how removing the symbols left by those who built the hospital would be inclusive to others — in “today’s day and age?”
Can the founders of the hospital be acknowledged and included somewhere, too?