Regarding E.J. Dionne Jr.’s Feb. 17 Outlook commentary, “Looking for a good pope? Try a nun”:

I have been an avid daily reader of The Post for more than 50 years, but this is my first response to an article that so moved me. During my high school years, I was taught by nuns in Germantown, Pa., and I had the distinct honor of being assigned to help senior nuns who needed extra help as they gracefully retired and aged in the nearby convent. It was a life-changing experience to be part of their strong religious belief and compassion for humanity, and especially to be taught by them.

I wanted to become a nun, but it was not to be, as family was my calling. I still hold true to Catholicism by volunteering with Catholic-supported soup kitchens in the metro area.

Mr. Dionne is right. Nuns not only perform services that involve social justice, they, too, have thoughts. It is time for a “Mary” to lead the Catholic Church. I hope that the 117 cardinals will take Mr. Dionne’s suggestion as a thought-provoking idea whose time has come.

Diane Jenkins, Germantown

Kudos to E.J. Dionne Jr. on an insightful, thoughtful essay. Many of us estranged Catholics continue to scratch our heads at the Vatican’s ever more heavy-handed and patriarchal “leadership” — which stands in absurd contrast to the realities of modern Christians and the communities they serve. It will indeed take a radical step in a new direction to breathe some relevance back into the Vatican.

Cheryl L. Heidel, Arlington