A faithful Providence Visitor reader, I was drawn to Bishop Tobin's column "Catholic Preaching: Powerful or Pitiful?" (Visitor, Feb. 1)
Priests now face a greater challenge than their counterparts of yesteryear. Instead of a largely immigrant church, they now speak to a far-better educated Catholic populace, some conservative ("more sin and salvation" themes, please), others more liberal (more about "love, which covers a multitude of sins").
My concern - one that is shared by many graybeards like me - is the almost universal poor sound system in Catholic churches. "Poor" because it's almost totally inadequate to offset:
1) the vaulted echoing sound of older churches;
2) the "undermanned" single mike;
3) the egregious failure of speakers, especially readers, to adjust and speak in the mike;
4) the almost whispered volume of readers.
In the meantime, I suggest installing a bank of mikes on every podium to accommodate short and tall people (because you'll never get some to adjust the mike, including to the left or right), and sound baffles or acoustic columns from ceilings. And every year, have an in-service program at the diocesan level to help readers (God bless their volunteerism "to get the word out, loud and clear."
Eight graybeards recently lamented a service. I'm afraid the message too often falls "on deaf ears."
(This letter originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)