From Sister Miranda Richards and Mrs Veronica Conlon SIRThe report in your March 10 issue on Bishop Mark Jabales pastoral letter. entitled "No Communion at lay services", arouses deep feelings. We have no argument with the orthodoxy of Bishop Mark's decision, but we have grave doubts about his attitude, and those who agree with him, regarding the pastoral care of their people.
We, the laity, who have attended Mass hundreds, thousands of times can and do distinguish between Mass and a service of Communion. In rural Wales such a service on a weekday is a pure gift and can nourish those who cannot attend Sunday Mass because of transport difficulties. We know that receiving Communion at such a service is linked to the praying Sunday community.
Those not in agreement with services of the Word and Conununion are sacrificing parish communities to maintain a priest-centred model of church. They are evading present realities and the challenge of lay formation and of the strengthening of local communities.
This is tragic, because shortly these communities will have no priests. A community once dispersed is not easily reassembled. If people have gathered to share Word and Communion mid-week they will do so on a Sunday. The Prayer of the Church or silent Adoration is not the answer for young families. We want to work with our pastors, encouraging initiative, creativity and compassion so as to meet the needs of our isolated, struggling Catholic communities.
The orthopraxis of making Communion available to people through celebrations of Word and Communion must surely outweigh the orthodoxy of limiting the Eucharist to those fortunate enough to be able to attend Mass.
In past centuries Catholic Wales was lost through spiritual starvation and neglect. Why repeat history?
Yours faithfully, MIRANDA RICHARDS VERONICA CONLON Caergybi, Ynys Mon