Catholic Charities and the goodness of mankindAt a time...

the Forum

January 22, 1993

Catholic Charities and the goodness of mankind

At a time when so much seems to be going wrong in Maryland -- rapid growth of homelessness and unemployment, high rates of teen pregnancy, record-breaking murder rates and excessive drug use -- it is hard to recognize the good that is still going on in our communities.

I was recently asked to participate in Project College Aware, a program sponsored by Catholic Charities to make Marylanders more aware of its services. As a college senior with the month of January off, I participated with 17 other college students in the same situation, and I must say that not one of us was disappointed in our decision.

Catholic Charities was experimenting with us, because this was their first time offering this program to our age group. The vision started with Jack Bovaird, director of family and children's services, and was carried off with the assistance of Peggy Powell, Lynda Meade, Catrese Brown and Ray Wright.

These people were asked to help to show off the Catholic Charities services; it was not their duty. Many showed up at 7 a.m. and did not leave until 10:30 p.m.

We toured many of Catholic Charities' programs, including Our Daily Bread, St. Vincent's, Gallagher Center, the Lodge, Sara's House, Christopher Place and St. Elizabeth's. We were moved to see the devotion and dedication of such a large and diverse staff. Everyone wanted to tell us about their agency.

At a time when people are often feuding, it was nice to see that everyone present for the week's events could see that there are people who are in need of help, but at the same time, Catholic Charities is doing what it can to provide the needed services. It was easy to see why the staff was always so friendly, kind and caring: They are rewarded daily by the people whom they serve. I was overwhelmed by their remarkable spirit.

As I was driving home after the five-day event, I had such a feeling of goodness that it almost brought me to tears . . .

The five days I spent with Catholic Charities were much like this experience, because all of our hearts raced for those in need, but it was such a great feeling to know that Catholic Charities and its incredible staff are there to help.

I would encourage everyone to become aware of this work. Thank you, Catholic Charities, for this experience. You have restored much lost faith in the goodness of mankind to myself and 17 other students.

Nancy T. Jurkiewicz

Salisbury

The writer is a senior at Salisbury State University.

TV networks profit handily from crime

The profit involved in crime is often debated.

In the past decade this argument has taken a different twist. Prime-time television has cashed in on soap opera like news stories: The Texas cheerleader story, a teen-age boy seduced by his teacher and the three versions of the Amy Fisher story.

Do the people watching these programs realize they are supporting blatant exploitation?

The goal of the networks that make these movies is not to inform the public but to capitalize on a sensational, often one-sided version of a crime.

Should criminals be reimbursed for their actions? However, the networks can easily justify it because they are making money. The ABC and NBC movies about Amy Fisher, aired simultaneously, reached almost 40 million viewers and were ranked number two and three in the Nielson ratings. CBS' version, which aired a week earlier, also placed in the top 20.

How can anyone watch a televised re-enactment of an attempted murder merely for entertainment? Is the American public so full of curious thrill seekers they must glorify criminals?

A movie about Jeffrey Daumer, a cannibalistic, homosexual serial murderer is currently being made. If precedent is any indication, this movie will be a box-office hit. What a shame that traumatic crimes have been turned into money making ventures.

Kathy Marks

Mt. Airy

The writer is editor-in-chief of the South Carroll High School Cavalier Courier.

Ban everything

Now that we have gotten rid of the putrid air that was threatening the very lives of baseball fans at Oriole Park by banning smoking in the stands, it is obvious additional precautions should be taken to insure their safety on their journey home.

This can be accomplished by banning the consumption of all alcoholic beverages there, since alcohol-impaired drivers are the cause of a large number of deaths and injuries.

And to further promote longevity, some thought should be given to eliminating the sale of junk food at the park such as hot dogs, etc.

H. Robert Wagner

Baltimore

Self-righteous hypocrites

I wish to take the strongest possible exception to the latest absurd notion from the anti-smoking zealots and self-righteous hypocrites and their desire to do it their way by banning smoking in an open-air stadium.

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