As I read all the Readers’ Forum letters about Catholic bashing, I wonder how many people realize the part Catholicism has played in people’s lives.

Bill Wilson is credited for the AA. How many people realize Father Ed Dowling, S.J., was a friend and mentor to Wilson? Dowling did not battle addiction. 

He taught Wilson the 12 steps of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He was the founder of Society of Jesus. These 12 steps are known as spiritual exercises.

When one studies the 12-step process of AA and NA, one realizes the similarities. How many lives have been saved by the 12-steps approach? How many lives have been changed forever?

Both AA and NA follow the steps for the process of recovery. 

Also, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon/Alateen are worldwide organizations. Think about how many Catholic organizations we have in our area. St. Vincent de Paul, the Family Kitchen, the Thrift Store and food banks. The list goes on and on.

I think our priests should be thanked for their work of the Lord. We should be thankful we have a lot of faith groups in our area that also provide much-needed services to our families. The next time you see a priest, thank him for his work. 

We should be thankful at this time of year that Catholicism continues to bless us in many ways. I am thankful for my faith community of St. Clement’s Parish.

Dr. Judith Thomas

Johnstown

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