Forum, July 5: Memories of a Man of Faith

Wednesday, July 04, 2018
Memories of a Man of Faith

Congratulations on your excellent “A Life” article about Father Stan (“The Rev. Stanley Piwowar: ‘There Was Not a Phony Bone in That Guy’s Body,’” June 11). He gave his life to his church, his community and his faith.

I joined the Catholic Church as an adult and was required to meet with a priest and study the ways of the church and the Bible. Father Stan was retired and available to help me out, and when I had satisfied all the requirements, I was be allowed to participate in Holy Communion.

It was at those meetings that I got to know the man as well as the priest. I came away realizing that he was kind, understanding, helpful, devoted to his faith and had an uncanny sense of humor.

He told how he came to hand out Tootsie Rolls in church before Mass. Before coming to Claremont, he was a priest in Littleton, N.H. He told me he wanted to connect with the children there. “I needed an ice-breaker to help get acquainted with them,” he said. “I thought candy would be a good idea.” He didn’t want parents to get upset because the candy might spoil their kids’ teeth, so he took the advice of a dentist who was a member of the church who told him to give them Tootsie Rolls. And so it was; that was many Tootsie Rolls ago.

He also confided in me that becoming a priest was not an easy choice for him. The year he graduated from high school our country was at war, and many of his friends and relatives were joining the military. He told me that he spoke to one of his favorite teachers about his dilemma: to serve his country or serve his God. Her response: “Stanley, I think you would make an excellent priest.” That bit of advice affected many, many more lives then just Father Stan’s.

God bless Father Stan, and thank you, Valley News.

Mickey Pillsbury


There Will Be Consequences

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, events are moving at a frightening pace. The Republicans are determined to end the era of Roe v. Wade, and state after state is about to adopt laws that wholly criminalize the ending of a pregnancy. Some states will threaten doctors with prosecution, others will threaten mothers with draconian consequences. All of that will happen, and very soon.

But political actions have consequences. Every state restriction on access to abortion will produce bad news for Republicans. Women will die, either because they could not get a termination of their pregnancy, or because they could get one, and it was unsafe. Rape victims will be forced to carry horrific pregnancies to term, and religious zealots will call it God’s will. Daughters of Republican power brokers will get knocked up and will quietly scoot up to Canada to “take care of it,” and they will be seen and then outed to face political outrage. (Safe abortion used to be part of white privilege after all. It will become so again.) Angry pro-choice citizens will fight to pass laws making biological fathers bear some of the burdens of an anti-abortion climate, all with unknowable political reverberations.

This list can go on and on, but the absolute truth is that Republicans, even those who claim to be pro-choice, will feel the heat from the fires they are now going to start. So think about it GOP, as you glibly celebrate the fact that you denied one president his power to appoint so your current president could end Roe v. Wade. You can decide to go forward with this triumph (I’m sure you will), but there will be consequences. At the very least, you will turn many mere opponents into lifelong enemies.

Peter Hoe Burling


The writer is a former member of the N.H. House and Senate.

Don’t Blame the Teachers

I would like to respond to the article in the Valley News that compared private and public schools. (“A Search for the Right Choice: Parents, Public Schools Battle Over Private Education,” June 3).

A mother of a student who received high grades at a private school and poor grades at the public school blamed the difference in grades to the poor teaching in the public school. At private schools, all students have mandatory study time when their teachers are available. In public school, the parents are responsible for teaching their children good study habits. What was the mother of the boy doing when his grades were below average? Don’t blame the teachers for this. The blame is on your shoulders for not working with him.

One of the major problems in today’s education system is the lack of parental participation in their student’s studies. It should be a pleasure to spend time with your child reviewing what they were taught that day. The big excuse from parents is that the work is beyond their capability. It should be fun to learn together with your children.

Do not blame the teachers for poor grades. Parents have to be a part of a child’s education.

Guenther Frankenstein