Letters, Week of Aug. 27, 2015

Southbridge Mass appeal

To The Editor:
I am writing in rebuttal to the comments made in a recent article concerning Mass being said in the community room at Southbridge Towers (news article, Aug. 13 – 26, “Mass exodus at Southbridge: Church services end”).  There is a statement in the article saying that the service in the community room has become a “Mass of convenience” for the residents.

There are many people, seniors, middle-aged and young children who attend Mass, at S.B.T.  I recently started to attend Mass there and will admit that while it is convenient I also found it to be personal, comforting and bonding. I came to regard my fellow attendees on a more friendly level, I found Father Hayes and Father Mark, when saying Mass, were directly speaking to each and everyone of us. Their sermons were said and done on a more one-on-one basis, sermons that we actually listened to and applied to our everyday lives. They communicated with all of us in a manner that made us feel like we actually belonged to a close-knit family. The volunteers at the Mass made the service relaxing and welcoming.

I am not quite sure why anyone feels that they should have a say in where anyone should attend Mass. The service at S.B.T. is done in a reverent atmosphere where all the attendees feel like we are where we belong.

Convenient, absolutely. Needed, absolutely.  The people who are in wheelchairs, who are too old or too sick or incapacitated to walk elsewhere to attend Mass are so devastated by this.  If the people who feel that watching Mass on TV is an option then shame on them. Being at Mass in person is what makes everyone feel good about attending and receiving holy communion by a priest, and not by a surrogate.

What difference does it make where Mass is held and where anyone should pray? Why should the opinions of a few people change something that has been working well for many years?
Lorraine Fittipaldi

To The Editor:
I was shocked and dismayed to learn that the Catholic Mass celebrated every Sunday inside Southbridge Towers community room has been suspended since 7/31/15.

There are a variety of lame explanations, from the 8/2/15 Sunday Daily News article, which quotes the Archdiocese spokesperson, Joseph Zwilling that “A Mass in an apartment building was not appropriate”; someone quoted in Downtown Express says that “It became a Mass of convenience, not a Mass of necessity.”

I’m sure Pope Francis, “The Pope of the People” will be very disappointed to learn of this decision.  Although, the Church of St. Andrews, as well as Our Lady of Victory are mentioned as the preferred houses of worship in our community, we are a neighborhood that is continuously under construction.  It is difficult to navigate broken streets, and traffic for people without walking challenges. Last winter, while most of N.Y.C. was snowbound, Sunday services were conducted with regularity at our beautiful newly renovated community room in Southbridge.

In fact, if you look at the capital campaign web page for Our Lady of Victory Church, it says ”we should remember that God will not be outdone in His generosity to us and is always mindful of us and our needs.”

Telling people to watch services on TV, just doesn’t cut it.
Robin Warshay

Questionable survey

To The Editor:
Re: “Survey shows some satisfaction, but also garbage problems” (news article, Aug. 13 – 26):

You do your industry no favors by publishing the thinnest of information as splashy news.  What criteria were used in interviewing people for their neighborhood “satisfaction”?  Is it definite that those interviewed actually live in and spend time in the neighborhoods their answers supposedly represent?  What age groups were interviewed?  Were “the students” appropriately monitored for their work? 

I have huge reservations about these conclusions spread with great showiness over two pages of your newspaper that Catherine McVay Hughes chooses to accept as what “Community Board 1 needs.” 

Three hundred sixty-six people in Battery Park City think everything is wonderful?  They do not see the traffic on South End Ave. engorged by tourist buses and block-long trailer trucks? They do not ride the M20 bus that is totally unreliable? They do not notice the arbitrary decisions that Brookfield Place (ta-ta) is allowed to make to create a “junkyard” atmosphere outdoors juxtaposed to its overpriced shops indoors?

Did students interview only other students perhaps or, at least, was it only-millennials-need-reply to this survey?

The problems in Downtown neighborhoods cannot possibly be captured in a survey as unreliable as this, and the results are so superficial that taking them seriously makes your newspaper look silly.  The project makes Community Board 1 look silly as well. One major source of dissatisfaction in ALL the Downtown neighborhoods cited is Goliath developers, like prehistoric monsters, stomping roughshod over citizens’ rights by usurping space that only Goliath developers can afford. That is more complicated than “more night life.”
 Dolores D’Agostino