Make the Southern Cross a Vital Read for Catholics
Tom Kent, Cape Town -Your editorial “A question of survival’’ makes me “despair” because there is very little I can do about your predicament.
It would indeed be very sad if The Southern Cross had to close. But do I buy the paper out of obligation or because I want to be interested, inspired and informed on matters Catholic? Sadly, in my case, it’s the former.
Please accept my criticisms in the humble spirit in which they are intended.
Sales will not improve by continually lamenting the dire straits the paper is in.
A Deeper Look at Content
Most of its content is of little interest to many readers, for example, the May 1 front-page lead is a sales pitch for Cardinal Napier’s new book, certainly not front-page material.
Pages 4 and 5 have in their titles the phrases “septic tank grave”, “bad on homosexuality”, “genocide letter” and “Easter bombings”, not exactly family reading over the Sunday breakfast table!
The Page 5 article on the Columbine survivor who became a nun is good. It is interesting, inspiring and informative.
The articles on Pages 2, 3 and 8 are parochial and of interest only to those about whom they and the photos apply.
On Page 6, well, enough said about the editorial, and the main letter is depressing. The writer is simply venting his spleen.
Page 7’s “How to preach better” is interesting only to those who preach, and can be summed up in its last five lines.
3 “i’s” interesting, inspiring and informative
Pages 9 and 10 are good, interesting, inspiring and informative. If only we had some saintly politicians in South Africa!
It is noble to record the lives of outstanding people in the obituaries. They are interesting, inspiring and informative.
On the last page Fr Nicholas King SJ fulfils the three i’s…interesting, inspiring and informative and his articles, surely, are the basis for preaching better. Why does any priest struggle to write a homily when it’s already been done for him?
Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI is learned and writes well but his articles are way over the heads of most readers, mine included sometimes. Enough criticism!
Now for some suggestions which pass the three i’s test. What about articles on:
- Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje and the relevance of Our Lady’s messages to our lives. Long overdue!
- The life of a saint and the miracles attributed to him or her. Do one per edition.
- What a novena is and why we should pray one.
- How to pray (what, when, how, why) with examples.
- Why we should go to confession.
- What a martyr is, with examples such as St Thomas More.
- How one deals with ridicule from non-Catholics on matters of faith.
I would like to see more about how I can deepen my faith, with examples from those whom we revere. Surely this is the raison d’être of a Catholic paper?
I support your efforts to keep The Southern Cross alive but a business cannot trade on its longevity. In conclusion: ‘’Work as though everything depended on you and pray as though everything depended on God’’ (St Augustine).
I rest my case!