Language, liturgy & baseball

Levels Of Translation

Rita Ferrone’s critique of the new English translation of the Roman Missal (“It Doesn’t Sing,” July 15) is an expert reflection on its difficulties. The specific virtues and failings of the translation are one legitimate concern. The manner in which this translation was imposed on English-speaking Catholics may be of greater concern.

I will do all I can to smoothly introduce and reverently pray the new translation. I will also keep in mind that its promulgation, while canonically legitimate, does not seem ecclesiologically so. For the sake of unity in communion we should implement this translation of the missal, even though the same principle of communion was at times violated in its development and adoption.

Robert J. O’Donnell, CSP
Minneapolis, Minn.

 

The Big Freeze

Thank you for printing Rita Ferrone’s “It Doesn’t Sing” and Fr. Nonomen’s “Up against the Wall” (July 15). My heart aches with and for both of them.

I am an eighty-two-year-old grandmother and I remember well the daily missal I carried to Mass in the 1950s and ’60s. It had the Latin Mass prayers printed on one page and the English translation on the facing page.

I thought then that the wording of the prayers seemed obscure and obtuse, and I did not feel close to God praying them. I have recently attended some instructions on the new liturgy, and I am afraid we are going back to the same obsolete style.

I love the translation we now use, but I fear that, in Andrew Greeley’s words, “the church may be headed back into the freezer for four hundred years.”

Teresa Mottet
Fairfield, Iowa

 

Extra Innings

Patrick Jordan’s review of Dan Barry’s Bottom of the 33rd (“195 Outs,” June 17) brought back to me the long-forgotten joys of being a fan, of believing fervently in one team above all others. If I pay attention now to a pennant race or to the World Series, it is usually just to root for the underdog. (If I may say so, the most satisfactory underdogs of recent memory were the Arizona Diamondbacks in their defeat of the vaunted Yankees in the 2001 Series.)

I appreciate the jog to memory of one of the most exciting sports moments in my life, the 1951 triumph of the New York Giants over the evil Brooklyn Dodgers. Jersey City, where I grew up, had a Giants farm team, so there was no question of where loyalty lay. At the incredible moment of Bobby Thomson’s home run, my brother and I ran screaming into the street along with all our neighbors. Now I can have the thrill of watching it again on YouTube!

I am indebted to Jordan for calling attention to Barry’s writing, and for reminding me that not only have there been many great sports writers, but there have been many great writers who also write about sports. I look forward to reading the book and to adding Barry to my list of must-read columnists. Jordan, whose own prose is often sublime, seems to have imbibed writing skills at an early age: his father read to him choice sports columns from the L.A. Times at the breakfast table. How lucky is that?         

Lauretta O’Connor
Fairfield, Conn.

Published in the 2011-08-12 issue: 
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