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I am writing in response to the Feb. 8 letter, "Use funds to continue Father Baker's work."

I appreciate the writer's acknowledgment of the accomplishments of Father Nelson Baker during his lifetime and the work that continues today in his name. But I feel the need to clarify the significance of the canonization process and the programs that exist for young people in need.

The process of canonizing an individual predates us by hundreds of years. It is not a process for us to challenge. The Vatican has already recognized Father Baker's amazing life's work by bestowing on him the title Servant of God.

It is necessary at this point to document and prove an unexplainable occurance or miracle. The writer took specific issue with the time and money necessary to promote Father Baker's cause. The investment in this process is priceless. There are many individuals in Western New York who volunteer their time and who have worked tirelessly to help elevate Father Baker.

While I acknowledge that it is a costly process, countless individuals from our region and beyond have generously donated funds specifically toward Father Baker's cause for canonization. This unending devotion to the process is a result of the tremendous significance the title of saint has for those of the Catholic faith.

Father Baker's legacy continues strong at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna. More than 800 staff members provide intense therapeutic residential, educational and outpatient services for nearly 2,000 children and their families every day.

This includes the "lost children" with severe emotional, behavioral and/or psychological conditions. It also includes individuals with developmental disabilities, teens experiencing a crisis pregnancy and loving couples anxious to become a family through the process of adoption. These services are funded by state and federal agencies, as well as generous donors.

On behalf of all of those involved in Father Baker's cause for canonization and the work that continues in his name, I assure Western New Yorkers that the highest discretion is used in the necessary, and invaluable, effort to promote Father Baker, his accomplishments, his legacy and his elevation to sainthood.

President, Board of Directors
Baker Victory Services

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