To the editor:

As a parishioner of St. Joseph Church, Platte Center, with the announcement a few weeks ago in our parish and the article in the Omaha World-Herald and Columbus Telegram regarding the possible closing of our church along with two other area rural churches, I am very upset and baffled. The recommendation stems from a study conducted by "a Wisconsin" consulting firm (at what cost?) to close our parish because of "numbers" and seemingly not the "vibrant" parish the study would like us to be! Instead of paying for a study, should we not be investing in finding solutions instead?

St. Joseph is a strong community and financially secure. We are a rural agricultural parish and when the need arises given any event or circumstance we are the most vibrant and supportive community you will ever meet. If our parish closes, our community is gone.

Did the study consider the elderly of our parish? Some are members of the families who formed St. Joseph. They rely on our parish for daily and weekend Masses. What about the children of our parish, our future Catholic community? Are their parents expected to drive them 15-20 miles for religious education? These children need to see an active, open Catholic Church in their community to keep their faith alive. We have had several men and women join the vocations from our community and I can only assume their local "community" parish helped guide their decisions.

Given our atmosphere today, where our Catholic faith is consistently attacked in every possible way, we should be doing everything we can to keep our churches open. How do we expect our Catholic faith to grow, to bring more people closer to God, when our churches are closing?

Angela Dolezal

Platte Center