Latin brotherhood grows thanks to manyThe Brotherhood of...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

October 11, 1999

Latin brotherhood grows thanks to many

The Brotherhood of the Lord of the Miracles of Baltimore would like to express our appreciation for The Sun's extensive coverage of Sunday's procession ("Carrying on a Peruvian tradition," Oct. 4).

We wish to respond, however, to the article's suggestion that Maria Casella "spearheaded" the brotherhood's formation.

While Ms. Casella organized informal processions in the vicinity of Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church in previous years, many members of the Peruvian community expressed a desire to hold a more elaborate procession.

To this end, they asked the Rev. John Lavin, then pastor of the Catholic Community of St. Michael and St. Patrick, to help form the brotherhood. Under his auspices, an organizing committee was established.

Ms. Casella was offered a position on the committee, but declined. The organizing committee formally established the brotherhood during its first general assembly in January.

Ms. Casella attended this assembly but withdrew, saying that she wouldn't recognize the committee's legitimacy.

Due credit for founding the brotherhood goes to Father Lavin -- for his spiritual support and for placing the facilities of his parish at our disposal.

Credit also belongs to Victor Rosas, secretary general and captain of the carriers, for his untiring efforts to enlist support from the community and from other Brotherhoods in the United States and to the other members of the organizing committee, including Juan Fernandez, William Coronado, Jane Arias, David and Magaly Brantley and Maria Elena Arias.

Other brotherhoods have worked for years to carry out their first procession.

We were able to do this in only nine months.

We owe this success to the faith and persistence of Baltimore's growing Latin community.

Victor Rosas David Brantley Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, secretary general and secretary of public relations for the Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles.

King-making is not goal of city ministerial group

Pundits are pontificating about Baltimore's mayoral election. Some are proclaiming that black political power is entering a new phase.

Some are proclaiming the defeat and diminished influence of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA), which endorsed Carl Stokes for mayor.

As a past president of the IMA, I believe it is important to state that the IMA embraces vastly more than political endorsements or king-making.

Winning elections must be secondary to principle. Our primary principle has been to give voice to black and minority needs and concerns, which have too frequently been ignored or glossed over with political rhetoric.

The IMA endorsed Mr. Stokes because we believed he would be the best mayor.

We perceived Mr. Stokes as a person who would lead African-Americans to further organize to solve their own problems -- not to exclude whites -- a goal for which the IMA has worked across racial lines for many years.

However, the blunders Mr. Stokes and City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III committed during the campaign were never forgiven by many of Baltimore's voters.

Thus, continuing a long tradition of blacks voting for white candidates, strong black support combined with overwhelming white backing made Martin O'Malley a big winner in the city's Democratic mayoral primary.

If Mr. O'Malley becomes mayor, we shall not be losers -- if he works in a way that respects diversity for a much better Baltimore.

Mr. O'Malley must rally and organize the city's best talents. And we must overcome political animosity and divisions and work for a better Baltimore.

The Sandtown-Winchester housing project and the Child First authority are examples of what we can accomplish with leaders working together.

For the IMA's part, we will continue to be in the forefront of the struggle for equity in employment, education, housing, health and many other areas.

The limelight of political approval must not beguile us and lure clergy from the calling of justice for all.

We shall continue to be advocates for African-Americans, other minorities and the poor.

The Rev. Sidney Daniels Baltimore

The writer is a past president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

F-22's high cost raises questions

The Pentagon provides few incentives for contractors to operate efficiently. The longer it takes to develop a weapon . . . the more that firm is paid.

The Sun's courageous reporting on the F-22 fighter aircraft contributed to the debate over whether it is affordable and essential to U.S. security. But a key question has yet to be asked: Why does this airplane cost so much?

Until this question is answered, and appropriate corrective measures are taken, we have no assurance that the next fighter plane will be more affordable, or that the taxpayer will not recoil as the bills arrive for future weapons.

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