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Letter: Catholic women do, in fact, preach

Thanks for Bob Keeler's excellent column "The deacon preached his wife's words" [Opinion, Nov. 25], on the lack of women preaching in Catholic churches. One of the columnist's online critics invited him to join another church if he wanted to hear women preach. Not necessary.

Fact check: Female voices have been heard in more than half of Long Island Catholic parishes. Over the years, Nancy Dwyer of Valley Stream and my wife, the late Marie Zirkel of Wyandanch, and others, have preached at weekend Masses in more than 20 parishes, each to raise consciousness, prayer and contributions for the church in the Dominican Republic. They, and many nuns, have given homilies at retreat Masses.

Both the Dwyers and my wife and I were among the couples invited by the late Bishop John R. McGann to introduce and preach about his pastoral letter on marriage.

There is hope for the Rev. Roy Burgeois, whom the Vatican released from the Maryknoll order because of his support of women priests. Among preachers banned because of controversial peace publications was Thomas Merton. He and his book "The Seven Storey Mountain" are now recognized as treasures of the church.

Don Zirkel, Circleville

Editor's note: The writer has served as a lay deacon in three Catholic parishes.