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Evansville, Indiana
January 6, 1989     The Message
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January 6, 1989
 

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January 6,1989 "Events The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 1988 was year .of Rome visit, Mother Teresa, and the drought By MARY T. ELLERT rain on July 11. and PAUL LEINGANG Father John Breidenbach, Message Staff associate pastor, called it "the greatest experience of 'church' 1988 will be remembered as ' that I have ever experienced!" the year the bishop went to Rome, Mother Teresa came to Louisville, a fundamentalist preacher stormed into Evansville ahd the Russians ar- rived in Ferdinand. In 1988, priests and parish staff came together to discuss the role of the priesthood; women and a few men came together to discuss the bishops' pastoral letter on women's con- cerns; people throughout the diocese came together to pray for rain. 1988 will long be remembered as the year of the drought. The summer months were long, dry and particularily stressful for the farmers in southern Indiana who daily looked toward the heavens for life-giving rain to save their crops and livestock. "Should We Pray For Rain?" was the title of an article by Father John Boeglin, diocesan -rural life director, in the Message on June 24, !988. "Just because God has not sent rain does not mean that God is unconcerned. Perhaps God sees this drought as a potential for deepening our relationship with God," he wrote. "Perhaps the drought is a way to teach u that we need to appreciate more the gift of water." Out of this article grew the idea to plan a diocesan Mass for drought relief, said Father Boeglin. One thousand people attended the service, held in Ferdinand on July 11. It began at the Convent Immaculate Con- ception, and after a quarter- mile procession, concluded at St. Ferdinand Church where Bishop Francis R. Shea celebrated Mass. "Everyone who-attended came closer to one another and to God," he said. "It was a faith-filled, hope-filled service. ' ' Similarily, 800 people gathered at St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes, to pray !or Built with Quality to Save You Time & Money 00#SPER..D IN[STNSMISSIONS Alvin C. Ruxer, Pres. Factory and General Office Hwy. 231 S. Jasper, IN (812) 482-1041 There were many "ex- periences of church" in 1988. About 600 Catholics from the Diocese of Evansville went to hear Mother Teresa speak at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., on June 18. For many of them, it was the chance of a lifetime to see the missionary from Calcutta in person. Hers was a "clear and simple message of faith and the love of God," according to Ben Evans, member of St. Theresa Church, Evansville. "I find it very helpful to my own faith journey to hear her speak." The Church Teaches Forum is an annual event sponsored by the Catholics United for the Faith and the Cardinal Mind- szenty Foundation. Reaction was mixed to the full-scale ecumenical crusade held at Evansville's Roberts Stadium during the fall of 1988. The Lowell Lundstrom Crusade, Sept. 11-18, attracted a great deal of attention among area churches', both Catholic and Protestant. Lundstrom, an Assemblies of God evangelist, travels throughout the country with an entourage of musicians, and celebrity guests. His face was plastered on billboards, bumperstickers and storefront windows during the weeks preceeding the crusade. On two occasions, the crusade crowd swelled to over 7,000. Each night, Lundstrom would ask those present to make a commitment to Jesus Christ. Those who came for- ward were directed backstage to counselors from the different denominations participating. Father William Traylor, one of the co-chairmen of the crusade, was glad that representatives from the- Catholic Church were present to meet those who came for- ward. He said the crusade was worthwhile because it con- nected people into the Catholic church. Others questioned Catholic involvement in the gathering because of its emphasis on biblical fundamentalism. The emphasis of Ministry Day IV was on all parish ministries. Bishop Kenneth Untener' of Saginaw, Mich., was the keynote speaker, Oct. 15 at the Green Convention Center, Evansville. The event was sponsored by the Diocese of Evansville, through the Catholic Activities Department, Secretariat on FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS. t.F FURNITURE - CARPET - APPLIANCES HOME OUTFITTERS .' - JASPER - LOOGOOTEE - WASHINGTON NEW STORE OPENING IN VINCENNES COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Autol Homer Fire & Life[ Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 311 N. Wabash 425-3187 Ill Worship, Office of Catholic be "called by name." Education and Office of Conti- The men and women whose nuing Education for Clergy. names were submitted during Ministry Day IV included ses- the "Called By Name" program sions on Sunday readings, the were sent a letter from Bishop Eucharist and parish teams. Shea and invited to attend an 1988 was the year the informational meeting. diocese, in the person of Bishop Shea, participated in an ex- The list of names included perience of the universal many "impressive men and Church. women who have a lot to offer Bishop Shea met with Pope the Church in leadership John Paul II in Romeduring his roles," said Father Dave Fleck, "ad limina" visit. Bishops from director of the Vocations Office. Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin "it has been very good that the spent a week at the Vatican people in the parishes have discussing matters affecting taken the responsibility to their own dioceses as well as challenge men and women to the universalChurch, look at the possibility of In 1988, issues affecting all of religious life and priesthood. the Church in southwestern In- Our leaders need to be called diana included the role of the forth from the community." priest, the salaries of women In other news from the Voca- religious and women's tions Office, the Diocese of concerns. Evansville received a Lilly En- A Presbyterate- Convocation dowment grant to stengthen the "to clarify the role of the priest " quality of candidates for the today" was held Nov. 9 at the priesthood and religious life. Catholic Center, Evansville. The $19,050 is being used to The gathering was open to implement "The Story of My priests, deacons, parish staff, Life" project in area Catholic school officials and others with high schools. The Vocations Of- leadership positions in the rice distributed questionnaires church, to sophomores and juniors Presentations were given by throughout the diocese; it is Father Matthias Neuman, hoped that 2O to 3O of them will O.S.B., and Sister Lynn Jarrell, be identified as having "the O.S.U. right stuff" for leadership in the In 1988, a proposal to raise church. the pay of women religious in Opening chapters of several the Diocese of Evansville news stories were written in became policy. The new policy 1988, with promises of major calls for paying women new chapters in 1989. Among religious the equivalent of after- them were education stories tax salaries paid to lay persons, ranging from asbestos to school and states that women religious closings. and their congregations are Perhaps one of the biggest responsible for housing and stories came from Vincennes travel expenses, when the people in that corn- Two sessions on the bishops' munity made the decision to document on women's con- keep the K-12 school system cerns were held in the Diocese intact. of Evansvilleduring 1988. During the school board People gathered at St. Joseph decision-making process, the Church, Jasper, and the school administration, faculty Catholic Center to discuss the and students "were under some first draft of "Partners in the stress and some strain," accord- Mystery of Redemption." ins to David Ulrich, superinten- Laura Robinson, social con- dent of Catholic schools in cerns director for the Diocese of Vincennes. "Now the mood is Ownesboro, Ky., facilitated the more relaxed, but everybody discussions at both diocesan realizes the challenge to keep sessions, the school open did not end Participants had the oppor- with the vote b> he board. It is tunity to submit their thoughts an ongoing process." and comments about the docu- He spoke of the importance of ment. Their responses should recruiting more students for help the bishops who will Catholic schools and fund- rewrite and publish the final raising. One of the projects in- draft, which is expected to be itiated in 1988 by Vincennes finished in November of 1989. school supporters was the A call to church leadership Adopt-a-Student program. came in 1988 from the friends Implemented in five Vincen- and relatives of hundreds of nes area parishes, the program people in the diocese, raised $22,000 to help finance Four hundred and, seventy tuition for families "without men and women in the Diocese enough resources" to send their of Evansville were "called by children to Catholic schools. name" during a new program The program resulted in a initiated by the diocesan Voca- seven percent increase at both tions Office. Rivet and Flaget -- the highest During the month of January, increase in enrollment in the Catholics in parishes county, according to Ralph throughout the diocese were Ruppel, program chairman. asked to submit names of The same week it was dec/d- friends or acquaintances who ed to keep open the Catholic may have the attributes schools in Vincennes, an necessary for priesthood or Evansville Catholic school was religious life, but are waiting to closed. !!iliiiii:i:i!i!i!i!ii:il i i Mfli:i i:" ii.'' !iii!iiiii iiiiii"'':i:iiiiiiii!' :iMleri:.., !i:.:i .iiiiiiiiill iiiiiiii iiii ll 3 The closing of Ascension School "felt like a death in the family," according to Father Earl Rohleder, pastor of St. An- thony Church. Ascension was a consolidation of St. Joseph and St. Anthony Schools, located at the former St. Anthony School. There were 115 students in grades K-5. "Urban development and a shift in population have pro- duced a decline in enrollment, at a rate more rapid than an- ticipated," said Father Ray- mond Kuper, director" of Catholic education, when an- nouncing the closing. "Our best projections show that kindergarten enrollment in the next five years will be too low to provide a quality program." Later in the year, it was an- nounced that the St. Vincent de Paul Society plans to convert the former Ascension School into a shelter for homeless families. Memorial High School, Evansville, was plced on pro- bation for one year by the In- diana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). "The ruling is a result of commissioner Eugene Cato's finding the use of undue in- fluence in securing a student to come to Memorial High School and inducing the student's family to secure residence in Evansville," said principal Gerry Adams in a news release. The IHSAA decision was made public on Aug. 25. "Memorial is a school with great enthusiasm. That en- thusiasm covers many areas, in- cluding athletics," said Adams. "The school is supported by parents, patrons, alumni and others who time and again demonstrate their commitment to quality programs -- both academic and athletic. Sometimes this support reaches too far." In early March, the ISTEP tests were administered to diocesan students in grades one, two, three, six, eight, nine and 11, Only 25 students -- less than one percent -- tested below the state minimum competency level, according to Father Kuper. He said diocesan students scored "consistently" in the top 25 percent. "We are satisfied and pleased with the results," he said. "This represents large schools, small schools, rural schools and urban schools. It's a consistent pattern of success." Asbestos continued to be a problem that plagued Catholic schools in the diocese. Bishop Francis R. Shea signed an asbestos inspection contract with a Kansas-based finn to have diocesan school buildings inspected by October 1988. After inspection, each school will determine whether to remove, encapsulate or repair the asbestos. There are 29 elementary school buildings and four high schools in the diocese; many of them were constructed in the 1950s and 60s -- when the use of asbestos materials was prevalent. See EVENTS page 6