April 16, 2009

Convene a contest for new state song

With all the discussion about the state song, I find it interesting that no one has referred to Baltimore's Municipal Anthem, "Baltimore, Our Baltimore," as a model to emulate when considering new words for the state song ("Why not an old song - and a new one?" Second Opinion, April 10).

As a Baltimore public school student in the 1940s, I learned a great deal of Baltimore history through the verses of the municipal anthem that spoke of Charles Carroll, clipper ships and the defense of the city against the British.

Civic pride was always evident when it was sung by municipal bands.

The anthem, first published in 1916, was created by a lyricist and a composer from Baltimore as part of a nationwide contest held by the city.

Why not have another contest for a new state song?

We surely could use some excitement in our lives during this economic crisis.

Richard A. Disharoon, Baltimore

The writer is vice chairman of the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance.

Ordaining women can cure shortage

I read with great sadness the inspiring story of the Rev. Jim Hannon and his work in six Western Maryland parishes ("A busy shepherd," April 10) because this priest shortage need not be so devastating to the people being served or the people serving them.

There are many people who have religious vocations that call them to the priesthood who, because they are women, are not even considered for this meaningful work of God.

Is it not time to start dialogue on this important topic, to take our heads out of the sand, to pray for God's guidance, and to do what Jesus would have us do - treat all people, men and women alike?

I have been a lifelong Catholic and I love my faith. But we are not perfect yet.

Peg Howard, Severna Park

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