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January 9, 1998     The Message
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January 9, 1998

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1998 i Frohlich The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 _ "." "/i i __ ...... iii :: i,iiiii i: ii.ii:iiiiiiiii!i;iiiili//i : :i . :ii i ii!ii ;:// L i:iL : , i :i L;, : : :  : i i :f ii!iii:iill :ii:i:i: ral intern at Resurrection continues his "journey'  ATFILA FROHLICH N HUGHES village of about 250 people. The i g taft writer village was surrounded by vine- yards and hills, an area similar to the road between Jasper and Holland, he says. "It's beauti- ful." His father was a bus driver. "He likes to work -- he's Ger- man. Working is his life, and his hobby is to make wine." His mother worked at home, then held a job buying groceries and medicines for the elderly. "She's a nice person," Attila says, adding, "She is my moth- er. She tried to do her best when we were children, she tried real- ly hard for us. When my father was angry, she would stand between us." When Attila was growing up in Hungary, the communists were in power. "It was goulash communism," he explains. "It was communism, but a lot of spices. You could do a lot of things in Hungary. It depended if you wanted a better job." 31 years, Attila a lourney. to Austria, to to Evansville. the solitary Who believes to the priest- as pas- at Resurrection and seri- his future and sincere about himself.  about his family Weaves Euro- stories. d fatal- . His paternal ers are who migrat- Up in a Hungarian Life in his village remained largely unaffected by the ruling communist regime, and he was raised in the Catholic tradition by his parents. His grandmoth- er attended Mass every day. He spent the early primary grades in his village school, then traveled to a nearby village for higher grades. His high school was 30 miles from his home, so he lived in a dormitory with 70 to 80 other students. When he completed his sec- ondary education, he returned to his village and began helping out at the school. One day, the village priest told Attila that he wanted to stage a Nativity pageant, using students from the elementary school. It was an unusual request because Hungarian schools were strictly-controlled, government-run institutions with no room for religious tra- dition. Attila agreed to help the priest. "He was a nice man, a nice priest, and we worked together." Soon, Attila was helping the priest with other projects, and one day, he asked, "What do you have to do to be a priest?" He didn't know. The priest told him about seminaries, and Atti- la decided he wanted to attend one. His parents agreed. "They were surprised, but they said, 'OK, if you want to do that.'" He spent the next two years in a Hungarian seminary, but found it "too conservative for me. We had one hour a day free, and no key to go out. It was like a prison. I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to stop my studies." By then, it-was in the late 1980s, and major changes were taking place in Eastern Europe. Hungary had just opened its borders, and Attila decided to study in hmsbruck, Austria. "It was an interesting time," he says, remembering the feel- ing of freedom and the ability to travel. He spent five years studying in Innsbruck. His first year was spent learning German, his sec- ond year he began seminary classes. "To be a student there was a gift from God," he says. During his fourth year of study, he met Father Joseph Kane, currently the pastor at Precious Blood Church, Jasper, who was on sabbatical at the time. They developed a friend- ship, and when Father Kane returned to the United States, Attila wrote and asked if he could come to America to visit. He laughs now at the memo- ry. "I had it in my mind to go to California, Florida, New York. Father Kane said, "Sure, OK, stay here.'" The Jasper priest convinced Attila that it would be better for him to visit the Midwest and see the "real America." When Attila arrived in St. Louis, he saw "huge, big things. Bridges. Highways. Everything is so big. Cars are huge. I was really impressed." He spent six weeks in Jasper, ne day, he asked the priest, 'What do you have to do to be a priest ?" He didn't know. and "really liked it because the people were really nice. Ameri- can people are really nice." He didn't speak a work of English, but was able to communicate in German. He visited Jasper four times. "Every time I had a vacation, I came back." When he completed his theo- logical studies in Innsbruck, he decided against ordination. He believed he would have a very hard time returning to Hungary as a priest because of the con- servative nature of the church there. "The bishops in Hungary think Innsbruck is really a liber- al university." Instead, he found an oasis in Jasper. After several visits with Father Kane, Attila began think- ing  again -- about ordination to the priesthood. "I had the feelings again that I had the first time I went to seminary." Watching "what Father Kane was doing at Precious Blood was really positive for me. After that, I decided to try it again, to be a priest, because I just liked it." Attila is currently in the first year of an extended pastoral internship for the Diocese of Evansville. He is working at Resurrection Church, Evans- vflle. "I'm a lay person trying to get experience about how to work in a parish. The differences between European and American parishes are huge! I feel like a baby because I don't have a lot of information, and everything is new." As Attila contem- plates what to do with his life, he says he knows that "being a priest is not easy." It is something that is "very impor. tant, something that has to be honored." He says he feels like he is "always" on the way to being a priest. "The years in American and Hungary M it's like my journey: 1 believe there is a God who loves us, and I believe He called me. "I feel called. I think it is my journey Vvhen I'm 65 or 70, I'll say it was my journey and it was good." Pastoral Internship is tool for discernment I Attila Frohlich's pastoral internship at Resurrection Church, l Evansville, is designed to offer time for discemme*- both for t him and for the Diocese of Evansville. ,:" lt:s an unusual process, not often used by the diocese, accord, hag to Father Bernard Etienne, "It's an to discern whether or not he environmentalist urges review after chicken slaughter Kong of to stamp review regard them- of creation and have become "apathetic to the feelings of other living things," the environmentalist, Father Anthony Chang Sang- loy, said Dec. 31. His remarks were reported by UCA News, an Asian church news agency based in Thailand. "The unnatural way of inten- sive rearing of animals like mass production in factories is against God's plan of creation. People have overlcked the suf- fering of animals, and the emer- gence of bird influenza is a time for us to reflect," the environ- mentalist added. Environmental pollution and other factors contribute to an inefficient immune system in human beings and animals, Father Chang said. The chickens and other poul- try were killed Dec. 29-31 to eradicate the H5N1 strain of influenza A. The first-ever case in a human being was diagnosed in May and confirmed in August. Thir- teen other cases had been con- firmed as of Jan. I, by which time four people had died and three were in critical condition. The government order for the slaughter followed the sudden death of a number of chickens in the largest local wholesale poultry market and the discov- ery of the virus in chickens sold at four markets. Only poultry reared on several organic farms were spared. A Buddhist monk, Venerable Wing Sing, told UCA News Dec. 31: "It is an unfortunate thing to kill such a large number of liv- ing things all at one time. Although poultry have weak vitality, their lives are no differ- ent from those of humans.'" The incident has prompted some people to become vege- tarian, the monk added. Some Buddhists released hundreds of pounds of live fish into the sea Dec. 30 in what they said was a redemptive gesture for the slaughter. From Dec. 31-Jan 6, some 200 other Buddhists monks and faithful planned to pray daily to "pacify the resentment of the slaughtered souls," said a local Buddhist. Buddhists believe that the prayer and the release of the fish will make it easier for the animals to reincarnate and "lessen the air of resentment shrouding Hong Kong because of the dead souls," Venerable Wing Sing said,