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Sad that Our Lady of Hope is leaving

August 10, 2014
Updated 12 a.m.
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Sad that Our Lady of Hope is leaving

Recently my husband and I drove to Latham for our monthly Hannaford food pick-up for Our Lady of Hope. We realized this would be the last weekend, as they are moving to Connecticut.

Upon arrival we were informed there is no more food pick-ups as most of the residents have been transitioned to the Connecticut location. As we drove away, furniture and other items were on the side walk ready to be moved. My eyes welled up with tears and we were both silenced realizing we were losing wonderful friends and an order of very devoted holy sisters and staff.

My first memory of the Little Sisters was in the ‘70s when they were located on Central Avenue in Albany. The building was very old. Yet upon entering, the residents were clean and the environment of respect for all was throughout. We had two very distant elderly and frail cousins that lived in an apartment in Watervliet. They were very poor and had minimal resources. My brother and I would visit them, as they were very lonely and enjoyed company.

I began to visit them when I was in grammar school and continued through high school. One of the two died, which left the weaker remaining. Their out-of-state nephew asked for help from my brother, who immediately contacted the Little Sisters. The next day, Mary was brought to the Little Sister’s location and stayed there until she died. What impressed me about the Little Sisters was how kind and respectful all were to the elderly. In an age when secularism has infiltrated the church and orders, the Little Sisters continue to live and display their vocation by living the life of a sister.

Many religious orders seem embarrassed of the habit and living a holy life, both priests and modern-day “women” nuns. Local religious women are commonly seen wearing secular clothing, make-up, jewelry, showing cleavage, etc. How sad that is when we need women who are not embarrassed of wearing a habit and living a religious life. It is also unfortunate that the local priests and bishops have not strategized a way to keep Our Lady of Hope here.

This is the second religious order to relocate out of the area. Well, sometimes events happen for a reason. I do know the Little Sisters of the Poor were a diamond in the rough, actually a breath of fresh air for many. God Speed and Blessings!

The last Mass is at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19 in Latham at Our Lady of Hope.

Patty Minkler

Troy

Ellis letter disregards facts of Gaza situation

In his recent letter, “Israel responsible for violence in Gaza”, Tom Ellis blames the current fighting in Gaza solely on Israel and further accuses Israel of territorial expansionism. Mr. Ellis’ tirade conveniently disregards a number of critical historical facts regarding the region.

First, he disregards the fact that Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005. Rather than use the withdrawal as an opportunity for initiating a dialogue with Israel, Hamas used military force to drive the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza and into the West Bank.

Subsequently, Hamas has regularly used Gaza as a launching site for rockets into Israeli population centers. The current military conflict in the Middle East is a direct result of Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. The collateral fatalities and damage in Gaza are unfortunate and distressing, but are also a consequence of Hamas’s intentional placement of rocket launching sites and bomb factories in highly populated areas of Gaza.

Second, Mr. Ellis fails to acknowledge that the Charter of Hamas, issued in 1988, is very clear about its goal in the Middle East: “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad.” In this context, “jihad” refers to a military struggle against Israel, which only ends with the total destruction of Israel. At this point in time, Hamas has not altered any aspect of the charter.

Thirdly, Mr. Ellis does not mention that in 2000, President Bill Clinton convened a Middle East peace conference in Camp David. Attending the conference were Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. A draft agreement was developed by the conferees. However, at the last minute Mr. Arafat refused to sign the agreement, offered no alternatives and simply left the conference.

Finally, Mr. Ellis completely ignores the fact that Israel has indeed ceded land and adjusted borders to obtain peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). Israel can hardly be accused of territorial expansionism. Israel simply wants meaningful and lasting peace treaties with its neighbors.

Given the historical facts, it is clear that there could be peace if Hamas permanently stops its rocket attacks, officially rejects its goal of destroying Israel, and enters into serious negotiations with Israel.

Don Steiner

Niskayuna

 

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