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January 5, 1996     The Message
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January 5, 1996
 

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114 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana . I --- Taking the time to make a difference-- ................. Peace Week: Starting a new tradition m, Did you ever have this experi- ence? You do something special one year for a birthday or a holiday. And then the next year, someone in the family loudly proclaims that "We always do it this way." Or per- haps complains that "We always do it this way." Either way, that's a tradition. A few years ago, ! began to learn a little about Kwanzaa, a seven-day observance of principles and values celebrated by many African-Americans. The celebration reaches into the distant past, it goes deep into the culture and the heritage of the people who participate in its rituals m but it was started by one man, Mulana Karenga, in 1966. I began to hear something about Kwanzaa in the 1980s, but I really knew nothing at all about it until the last two or three years. The words and phrases associated with Kwan- zaa -- Swahili words such as Nia and Imani and others w used to seem so strange to me. But little by little, those words meaning "Purpose" and "Faith" have become more familiar to me. Some traditions -- "We always go to Grandma's house on Christmas Day," for example -- may take only one year to develop. Others may take years. But if the tradition is to take hold, someone has to care. By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR Someone has to make the tra- dition happen. Someone has to make a decision. Love is not an emotion, mature married people tell us. Love is an act of the will. So is tradition. Or perhaps, so it may be. In these first few weeks follow- ing Christmas, there is an opportu- nity to participate in the establish- ment of a new tradition. In this new year of 1996, a call is being is- sued. Several committees of the U.S. bishops have proposed some initia- tives for 1996 which might well become "traditions" if enough people care. The Committee on African American Catholics and the leaders of the Committees of Hispanic So- cial Development, Migration and Refugees are ask- ing the Catholic community to take action. The first initiative proposed by the committees is to celebrate Peace Week 1996 as part of the con- tinuing efforts to overcome a culture of violence. Another initiative is to prepare for Lent by working for ecumenical collaboration on reconcilia- tion, especially racial reconciliation. Lent is familiar to me. "Peace Week" is brand new in my consciousness. Peace Week begins with the birthday of Martin Luther King and continues through the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Neither of these dates is listed on my 1996 dar. Perhaps some year, Peace Week will calendar if enough people decide that How do new traditions begin in you have children, talk with them vorite traditions. What events of 1995 would you What occasions in your family life traditions? Who started the traditions neighborhood? Your parish? Your Take the time to observe "Peace home. If you can, make it possible for to happen. Peace is more than patching up brokenness. Take the time to within your own family or circle Mark the occasion of Martin birthday, Jan. 15, at your house or borhood. Set aside time on Jan. 22 to pray victims of abortion. Express your elected federal representatives. have had abortions to find peace. Seek peace and follow after it! Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Iowa 50010. ...... Washington Letter Abortion battle shifts focus from Supreme Court to Con By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic'News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) The stately white columns of the U.S. Supreme Court build- ing once galvanized pro-lifers as the site where the legal "right to abortion" had been born and the place where they hoped -- it would one day die. But with no major abortion- related case before the high court, the battle over abortion has moved across the street to the U.S. Capitol, with occa- sional visits to the White House. Since its 1995-96 term began in October, the Supreme Court has repeatedly turned down appeals that raise the abortion issue. None of the cases di- rectly addressed the constitu- tionality of abortion, but in- stead asked questions such as whether restrictions on picket- ing at abortion clinics violate Plea for moral preaching To the editor: (A recent letter contained)a plea to our diocesan clergy to begin preaching Catholic doc- trine in light of the results of the Purdue University survey. I heartily concur and would The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Pub/ished weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pulisher .............. Bishop Gera A. Gettelfinger FJSao ....................................... Paul R. Leingang Production Technician ................ Joseph Dietrich Adverting .................................... Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address ell communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1995 C, Press d EvansW like to greatly encourage our clergy to preach the one moral teaching that most concerns the spiritual lives of their peo- ple. For nearly 30 years now our good shepherds have watched silently as roughly 80 percent of their flock have fallen into a pit. This pit has been identified by the Vicar of Christ as being "intrinsically evil." I have watched priests figu- ratively do acrobatics dancing around this subject during their homilies., I've also been privileged on rare occasions to witness a few of our diocesan clergy preach plainly and faith- fully on the same subject. One those rare occasions, everyone in Church is absolutely quiet, even the babies are calm, seeming to sense their parents' need to hear the message. I have no formal education in these matters, but if the virtue of faith is defined as "the grace to accept the Church's teachings" and so few people in our diocese accept this one particular teaching, one is certainly reminded of the Gospel reading of Sunday, Oct. 22: "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any the right to free speech or whether states can refuse to pay for Medicaid abortions in cases of rape and incest. In declining those and other cases the high court gave no insight into its reasoning. But observers say the justices think they stated the definitive word on abortion in their 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, which reaffirmed a legal right to abortion but ap- proved certain limitations, such as parental notification, informed consent and a reason- able waiting period. "There is still significant state legislative activity on abortion," said Helen Alvare, director of planning and infor- mation in the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activi- ties. "It's simply not making as much national news." The only real innovation in state legislatures has been Ohio's successful move to ban what are called "brain-suction abortions" in Ohio and "par- tial-birth Congress. A parti one in which the forming the delivers a living killing the fetUS ing the deliverY" banning the P passed both Congress, ton has said he does not for using the tect the editor faith on the earth?" One way of measuring how much faith there is in a community is by the number of vocations being generated to the priesthood. Those religious orders and dio- ceses that faithfully teach "this one moral law" experience an increasing number of vocations to the priesthood. It would seem obvious then that the way, maybe the only way, to increase vocations to the priesthood is to increase the number of couples truly living their vocation of marriage. There would seem to be a di- vine, direct correlation. Therefore, I want to encour- age all Catholics to live and bear witness to our Church's beautiful teachings and yes even this most controversial teaching. What have we to fear if God is on our side? The loss of a comfortable life Comfort- able relationships? Our reputa- tion? Our lives? I doubt it! But if so just remember the words of Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount: =Blest are you when they insult you and per- secute you and utter every kind of slander against you be- cause of me. Be glad and re- joice, for your reward is great in heaven. Our diocese, our country urgently needs souls willing to risk persecution for the truth, who love God's chil- dren enough to speak the truth. "This one moral teaching" is so obvious I needn't even iden- tify it by name simply because so many consciences are trou- bled by it. That troubling bur- den can be easily lifted through the Church's healing sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus spoke of the shepherd leaving the 99 in lost one. He Heaven re tant, returned good shepherd the lost 80, the treacherous them to green sure some of and scream the eventually we good shepl certainly die. Bishop's sch The following ctivities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: ! i  'i:i!?  !i: ....... k