Dear Editor:

My faith was shaped by my Jesuit and Presbyterian background.

My maternal great-grandfather was raised by an uncle who was a Jesuit priest back in the late 1800s. His daughter, my grandmother, married a Presbyterian, a wonderful man of faith. Her father had no objections to the marriage even though he was a devout Jesuit Catholic. My grandmother ended up living with us after my grandfather died at a young age. So, my parents were Presbyterian, but I was shaped also by the faith of my Jesuit ancestry.

One may ask, what does that have to do with anything?

Well, you see, “back in those days,” marrying outside the faith was unacceptable for many Catholics; but my great-grandfather was a good “listener” and he saw goodness in the man my grandmother married and there was never a problem.

So, again, you ask what is my point?”

Well, the Jesuits always have been known for their wisdom, as the best teachers “out there,” their dedication to science and new discoveries — broad-minded men of faith for sure. So, when a Jesuit priest speaks, I listen.

The other day, there was a conversation on TV about our young folks and churches that included a Jesuit priest, and the wisest thing he said in that conversation was this: “Churches today preach too much and listen too little.”

What a magnificent statement! I will add that this statement is true of our society as a whole, especially our politics. We are too much “into ourselves” to listen completely to issues. I feel sorry for the closed minded, who listen only to those who support their personal bias, often sprinkled with untruths. Peace and happiness most surely escapes them.

Patty Patton Tillerson

This story was posted on June 20, 2013.