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An Open Letter to Bishop Paul Bootkowski
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November 14, 2015
10:53 am
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Ann Kempster said
How fascinating!

 

I just wrote a letter to the Bishop of Sioux Falls regarding this exact same situation!

 

Here is my letter, which by the way, is not anonymous.

 

Dear Bishop Swain,

 

I want to call your attention to a disturbing conversation that happened on Facebook.  Because your name was mentioned in the conversation, I feel it appropriate to share it with you.

 

First, a very quick note about me:  I am a woman who is living with metastatic breast cancer, the life-ending form of the disease.  I have come to know many women (and men) in the breast cancer community – one of them is a woman named Sara Boghdan.  I am not Catholic.

Sara is next week becoming a Consecrated Virgin within your church.  Please forgive me as I don’t understand the details of what that means.  But this is something she has been very joyful about.  Sara is the definition of chaste and her love of God shines through even to me, a non-believer.  I came to know Sara because of her photo in a book called the Scar Project.  This collection of photos was taken to show the physical destruction of cancer, and has become a powerful symbol of what cancer means.  Sara’s photo was in the book.

 These photos are not titillating, nor are they sexual.  She is not nude in the picture, nor is she inelegant – or unchaste.  She is merely portraying what life looks like after a cancer diagnosis. She is draped, and only her scar and her smile show.  These pictures have inspired thousands of women across the country and likely the world.  They have given hope that life does go on after a cancer diagnosis, and that the human spirit can transcend pain and maiming. She gave a gift of hope to women with breast cancer.

 As Sara posted a countdown on facebook to the day her Consecration will happen,a woman, Therese Ivers,  entered the conversation and asked Sara if she had notified her Bishop about the “obscene” photos she had been involved with.  Despite the fact that Sara stated she had fully disclosed her participation in the project to her Bishop and he had said that it was a non-issue, the women went on to threaten Sara.  She bragged about her law degree, she threatened to write about Sara and out her “obscene” photos.  She mentioned you, implying that because you were a lawyer, you would back her up.

 I am attaching the conversation for you to see.  I find it difficult to believe a Bishop would condone the type of conversation this woman engaged in. She became judge and jury over Sara.

I do not know what a Consecrated Virgin is or what their responsibilities are.  However, I do know that the arrogance, cruelty, jealousy and mean-spirited display by Therese  doesn’t not seem to be Christianity at its finest.  For her to so deliberately ruin something so special for Sara, to sit in judgment of her in a public forum rather than taking it up with the powers-that-be, is beyond my ability to sit quietly by and pretend didn’t happen. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Ann

I shall find it interesting when I write my own blog post and ask people to support a woman who has done nothing but help others, as a woman with an evil heart makes up fake letters for the sole purpose of attacking her. At the very least, your Bishop should be angry at you for getting involved in things not your business and involving him in trivial matters that have been decided. At the most, he should direct you to pray for your soul. I hope you kept that “anonymous” letter as you may need to show it.

And this post has been saved.

As a non-Catholic, you may have different ideas about the virtue of chastity than Catholics and you have certainly expressed your views on this matter.  Since it is clear you are not a Catholic, those reading this will understand that you do not speak for the Church or what is considered chastity by the Catholic Church.  However, this is a warning that participants on this forum are not permitted to accuse people of “faking” things or making rash judgements about a person’s interior motivations such as claiming an individual has an “evil heart”. You are not God and you do not know the conscience of another person.  For the record, the writer of the letter is not myself and asked to have it kept anonymous because she saw the ferocity with which I was attacked by certain people and feared for her safety.

July 1, 2015
4:44 pm
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How fascinating!

 

I just wrote a letter to the Bishop of Sioux Falls regarding this exact same situation!

 

Here is my letter, which by the way, is not anonymous.

 

Dear Bishop Swain,

 

I want to call your attention to a disturbing conversation that happened on Facebook.  Because your name was mentioned in the conversation, I feel it appropriate to share it with you.

 

First, a very quick note about me:  I am a woman who is living with metastatic breast cancer, the life-ending form of the disease.  I have come to know many women (and men) in the breast cancer community – one of them is a woman named Sara Boghdan.  I am not Catholic.

Sara is next week becoming a Consecrated Virgin within your church.  Please forgive me as I don’t understand the details of what that means.  But this is something she has been very joyful about.  Sara is the definition of chaste and her love of God shines through even to me, a non-believer.  I came to know Sara because of her photo in a book called the Scar Project.  This collection of photos was taken to show the physical destruction of cancer, and has become a powerful symbol of what cancer means.  Sara’s photo was in the book.

 These photos are not titillating, nor are they sexual.  She is not nude in the picture, nor is she inelegant – or unchaste.  She is merely portraying what life looks like after a cancer diagnosis. She is draped, and only her scar and her smile show.  These pictures have inspired thousands of women across the country and likely the world.  They have given hope that life does go on after a cancer diagnosis, and that the human spirit can transcend pain and maiming. She gave a gift of hope to women with breast cancer.

 As Sara posted a countdown on facebook to the day her Consecration will happen,a woman, Therese Ivers,  entered the conversation and asked Sara if she had notified her Bishop about the “obscene” photos she had been involved with.  Despite the fact that Sara stated she had fully disclosed her participation in the project to her Bishop and he had said that it was a non-issue, the women went on to threaten Sara.  She bragged about her law degree, she threatened to write about Sara and out her “obscene” photos.  She mentioned you, implying that because you were a lawyer, you would back her up.

 I am attaching the conversation for you to see.  I find it difficult to believe a Bishop would condone the type of conversation this woman engaged in. She became judge and jury over Sara.

I do not know what a Consecrated Virgin is or what their responsibilities are.  However, I do know that the arrogance, cruelty, jealousy and mean-spirited display by Therese  doesn’t not seem to be Christianity at its finest.  For her to so deliberately ruin something so special for Sara, to sit in judgment of her in a public forum rather than taking it up with the powers-that-be, is beyond my ability to sit quietly by and pretend didn’t happen. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Ann

I shall find it interesting when I write my own blog post and ask people to support a woman who has done nothing but help others, as a woman with an evil heart makes up fake letters for the sole purpose of attacking her. At the very least, your Bishop should be angry at you for getting involved in things not your business and involving him in trivial matters that have been decided. At the most, he should direct you to pray for your soul. I hope you kept that “anonymous” letter as you may need to show it.

And this post has been saved.

June 27, 2015
6:39 pm
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Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
January 27, 2007
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I received this letter from an anonymous source and after prayer and reflection decided to publish it.

It’s come to my attention that you’ve been considering making a good woman in the Catholic church a consecrated virgin. I am of course referring to Sara Bogdhan (Sara B) who is considering this vocation.

I’m also aware of the Scar Project blog where Sara K. Bogdhan bares herself and her soul telling her remarkable story. I was raised Catholic and know that traditionally, only certain women could pursue this vocation but i also see a new trend of acceptance and love for people formally looked down upon for certain vocations, ie, women priests, gay nuns, etc… considering this woman had a sexual encounter posting about it online, in the past she would have been barred from ever being considered a consecrated virgin but now, thanks to the changes in the church over the years, she has a chance to pursue her dream and that is beautiful. It’s time for acceptance and i embrace that.

Although I’m married (only legally which may help my case,) I’d like to also know if i too, could be considered for the vocation. I think i may like to give up my current lifestyle and pursue something more important in the church and be a light of hope shining in the today. I believe i would have much to offer and feel that i could give back in this way. I realize that i may be a little too far ahead in my thinking, that these changes in our church are gradual and so perhaps, it’s not time for me to do this just yet but our Lord said to ask and you shall receive… so here i am.

Thank you for your time, i look forward to your response.

Also, because i may have misunderstood your actual position, I’d prefer to remain anonymous until i know that I’ve not read too much into your position, thank you for your understanding.

Very respectfully yours.

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