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New parish needed in Costa Mesa

November 02, 2003

Regarding beleaguered Rev. Joseph Robillard and St. Joachim's Church

in Costa Mesa.

Perhaps the solution is really contained in the misstatement of

Bishop Jaime Soto quoted on the front page of the Daily Pilot

("Bishop addresses problems at St. Joachim's," Oct. 17). Soto twice

refers to St. Joachim's as a "Westside" parish.

St. Joachim's is on the Eastside. Most of the Latinos live on the

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Westside. Perhaps what is really needed is a new parish on the

Westside, which would be exclusively Latino. There is precedent for

this with the waves of 19th century immigrants. Germans in Memphis

and French, Italians, Polish, Croatians and others in Chicago founded

churches, often within a few blocks of an existing "English" church.

They wanted to worship in their own way and their own language, as do

the Latinos quoted in the article.

Many Eastside residents now attend church on the Balboa Peninsula

or in Eastbluff, taking their donations with them, precisely because

they feel the St. Joachim's parish has become more geared toward

Latino needs than their own.

But the final push for Soto and the Diocese of Orange County to

found the new parish should be the Latino woman cited in the article

who is actually planning to starve herself as a protest to existing

conditions at St. Joachim's.

It just isn't working.

ROSEMARY C. STEINBRECHER

Newport Beach

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