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By Peggy Weber

Recently, I was at a small grocery store and picked up a copy of a Valley Advocate newspaper. It had a cover photo about an historical cemetery and I was intrigued.

I was with my daughter, Elizabeth, and she started to flip through the paper as we drove home.

After just a short time, she closed the paper and told me there was  a cartoon in there that made fun of the Eucharist.

I could not believe it and looked when I got home.

A part of me wants to post the cartoon so you can see just how awful it is. However, I do not want to show this and give it more publicity.

I will quote some lines from it.

The cartoon is titled, “And Also With You” and has a picture priest handing Communion to a boy who is wearing a backwards baseball cap. The cartoon figure has one hand out for Communion. The other is holding an Ipod and he is wearing “ear buds”.

There are several responses made by this young man in the cartoon. I hesitate to write them. One of the mildest is “I always wondered where recycled styrofoam went.”

Another is — “You gonna finish that pimp cup o’wine, playa?”

Others have sexual innuendos and mock transubstantiation.

I was so outraged by this cartoon and thought that I had to speak out.

I called Tom Vannah, the editor of the Advocate three times and never got a return call.

I -emailed him and asked for a public apology. There was no response.

Can you imagine if any other religion had been mocked that way in a local cartoon? Can you sense the outrage that would take place?

I decided I could not be quiet or do nothing. I ask you to  contact The Advocate and let them know that they should not mock the Eucharist in this fashion.

I intend to go to my little market and ask them to think about not accepting the Advocate for distribution in their store.

I have a sense of humor and believe in freedom of the press but this cartoon crossed the line.

Please join me in speaking out.

Advocate contact info:

 Tom Vannah, editor
Valley Advocate
115 Conz St.
P.O. Box 477
Northampton, MA 01061
(413) 529-2840, ext. 218
(413) 529-2844 fax

By Joe Dziok

Currently, I am working in the field shop at the olympics preparing to begin work on building the cameras for the olympics.  It is incredible how much work goes into putting this event together.  It is an incredible experience to work with NBC Olympic engineers.  These people are literally putting together every piece of equipment for the airing of the Olympic games on their own.  They have vast knowledge of electronics and audio/visual integration, as well as networking.  I am so blessed to be a part of this experience.  Combining my current education (Music Production Technology) with this internship experience (learning more of the video aspect) I hope to enter a career in communications and live television.  My goal one day is to work in Catholic communications.

During my free time this past Sunday, I met up with my friend Andy, who was an exchange student in my class last semester, from London.  He took me to some of the great tourist sites of London, including the House of Parliament, West Minster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace.  But my most favorite place we went to was Westminster Cathedral (the Catholic cathedral of England) where many British saints are buried.

P.S. my favorite part about the tour was when we went to the Cathedral and my friend Andy (who is not Catholic) realized my desire to go and pray at some of the altars in the Westminster Cathedral.  He was actually very moved by the time I spent in prayer and joined me.  Later on, I found out that he is Anglican but he has family members who are Catholic.  It was nice to see him join me in praying at the Cathedral.

Editor’s note: Joe wanted to be sure the readers understood that this was not Westminster Abbey, rather he went to the Catholic cathedral in London!

                                                           Kevin Ambrose

                                                            Rest in Peace

 When tears are not enough –

Transparent falling tears

that flood our very breath.

They wash but cannot

Clean away the pain.

Sorrow, senseless in its cause,

Overwhelms the heart

holding steady to the beat,

That steady beat of sadness.

Silence speaks today.

Silence speaks through tears,

Through pain, through sorrow,

Through our beating hearts.

Kevin’s life must live on in us,

unceasing in honor,

selfless in serving,

Still giving in dying.

This stillness so loud in its speaking.

This message profound in its prayer.

Our resolve begs for strength

To bring sense to our sorrow –

That his dying may prove

a reason for being

more true in believing

that one man’s dying can change

the way of our living.

 Editor’s note: This poem was written by Mary E. Franz of St. Michael Parish in East Longmeadow. She penned it on June 8, 2012 after watching the funeral of Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose. Officer Ambrose was killed while protecting the life of a woman and child who called the police regarding a domestic violence complaint.