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January 9, 1998     The Message
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January 9, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 When a young woman wants to be a priest ByFATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service I know Pope John Paul says women But my problem is I really think I to be a priest and help people the can, e of my teachers said I shouldn't feel that way says no, but I do. I want to do what md I pray about this a lot. But what My mother suggested I write your help. (Pennsylvania) deserve congratulations for reflect- and looking for God's will will do with your life. You and your happy about that. o important facts for Is nothing at all wrong with your Priest. Other great and holy women Same desire. have heard of St. Therese of Lisieux, popular and influential women of perately to be a priest. She could never understand why that was not allowed. According to her sister Celine, the source of much of our knowledge about her, even as Therese was dying (at the age of 24) she told her sister, "If I could have been a priest i would have been ordained at the June ordination." As she spoke of the "wonders we shall see in heaven," Therese said, "I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in the honor of the priesthood in heaven." St. Therese, incidentally, was never shy about protesting laws and policies she thought were wrong. She disagreed strongly, for example, with church reg- ulations of that time severely restricting reception of holy Communion. Some years after she died, when Pope Plus X greatly relaxed those regulations and encouraged fre- quent and even daily Communion, he acknowledged St. Therese as the one who inspired and enlightened him to do so. Second, it is important in our spiritual lives to remember that sometimes we may have strong desires, for really good and holy things, that for whatever reason are impossible to fulfill. In those situations we simply have to bypass that desire, accept in love the hurt that results and go There is nothing weak or second-rate in acting this way. We do what we can to change what we believe needs changing, but we don't let these limitations make us bitter or keep us from being useful and happy. Again, St. Therese is a perfect example. She made clear more than once her disagreement with the vari- ous restrictions placed on women, but she didn't let that stop her. She went on doing what she could do and became a saint who accomplished more good during her life and after her death than most of the rest of us dream of. Late this past year, on the 100th anniversary of her death, Pope John Paul declared Therese a doctor, a pre-eminent teacher and saint, of the church. So she is an excellent model. Be courageous for those things you believe are right. And since this is the only life you have, keep exploring how to use your talents as best you can in every way open for you. A free brochure, in English or Spanish, answering questions Catholics ask about baptism practices and spon- sors is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed enve- lope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Church, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address -- or to your Catholic news- is Well known that she wanted des- about our work of becoming a saint in other ways. paper. Kennedy was working to establish Angolan Catholic university 0YMARK PATTISON in 1997 as a way to help raise Catholic -- and a government- figure Coretta Scott King were ai0nc News Service money for the university, run university. About $2 million read at the funeral. Family mem- (CNS) -- orking universi- at the time of his ising niversity start- library will be de Alexan- of Luanda, The letter funer- at Our in Cen- s" University will tUdents in Feb- year of reme- offer college- 1111999. Brian O'Connor, for Kennedy's Rep. Joseph Michael the Ango- lance Fund Michael Kennedy also served as a founding board member of the university. O'Connor said Kennedy "made a long-term fund-raising commitment to the university." The fund operated out of the offices of another Kennedy- sponsored project, Citizens Energy Corp., a nonprofit firm that provides home heating fuel to the poor and shelter to the homeless. Citizens Energy had done some charitable work in Angola in the past, but Kennedy wanted to make a longer-lasting contri- bution, said Filippo Nardin, the Angola fund's executive director. Kennedy first met Cardinal do Nascimento in 1992, when he arrived in Angola to monitor elections. Together they lobbied the Angolan government last May to levy a penny-per-barrel tax on oil exports for both a Catholic university -- about 60 percent of Angola's 2 million citizens are may be wodh more you think! car, truck, boat, camper, or larrn and hinery tothe American Lung Association of could pocket a valuable tax savings? Call [011-free 1-888-300-LUNG (5864) and azrange for z fasl, fret pkk up d)'our rehkle.  RICAN LUNG ASSOCLTION* has been earmarked for each university, according to Nardin. The government also returned a small college and attached convent to the church. Nardin said the properties had been seized in the 1970s, when the Marxist government was a source of Cold War tensions. The U.S.-based Angola fund has about $2 million of its own to either spend directly on the uni- versity or "to be leveraged to get even more money," Nardin said. Kennedy, 39, died in a New Year's Eve skiing accident in Aspen, Colo, when he lost con- trol on the slope where family members were tossing a football while on skis. He ran head-on into a tree. His name was linked to scan- dal last year amid allegations he had engaged in a long-running affair with his children's teen- age baby-sitter. Kennedy was to work on Joseph Kennedy's campaign for Massachusetts governor this year. He had helped his uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy; D- Mass., fend off a re-election chal- lenge in 1994 from Mitt Romne): But after Joseph Kennedy withdrew from the governor's race, Michael was treated for alcohol and sex addiction. Letters from President Clin- ton, South African President Nelson Mandela and civil rights hers brought in Kennedy's cas- ket, spread the pall and read Scripture passages during the Mass. Kenned D the son of assassi- nated U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, was buried in Holyhood Ceme- tery in Brookline, Mass. Family members had listed the Angola Educational Assistance Fund as one of two nonprofit groups to which well-wishers could make contributions in Kennedy's memor3 Contributions ,u:y be sent to Angola Educational Assishmce Fund, 530 Atlantic Ave., 5th Flt)r, Boston, MA 02210. WnHh__...._ men..on.n00,ti i . ........... : 'Knight of the Year' honored in Vincennes Paul Preston of Vincennes was recently honored as the "Knight of the Year" and was given the Msgr. Roman Vollmer Service Award by the Knights of Columbus, Father Gibault Council 712, Vincennes. Preston was honored for donating many hours of service to the council and to Catholic schools. Mass schedule revised at Trinity Church Sunday Mass at 6 p.m. has been discontin- ued at the Pro-Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Evansville. Retreat planned for engaged couples Catholic Charities is presenting a special mar- riage preparation program entitled "Together for Life: A Weekend Retreat for Engaged Cou- ples," at Sarto Retreat House, Evansville, Feb. 13, 14 and 15. Topics will include communication and problem solving, finances, sexuality and spir- ituality. For more information, call Kristel Riffert, (812) 423-5456. Dates, observances in January National Migration Week is observed Jan. 5-11. National Vocations Awareness Week is Jan. 11-17. The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is Jan. 18-25. Monday, Jan. 19, is the legal holiday com- memorating the Birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Catholic Center offices will be closed. The U.S. bishops have designated ]an. 15-22 as Peace Week, part of the Catholic response to the U.S. bishops t994 statement, Con- fronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action. A National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held Jan. 21, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Wash- ington, D.C: The annual March for Life is Jan. 22. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger is among r- idents of the Diocese of Evansville planning to participate. The march begins at noon with a rally on the Ellipse and then contin- ues along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court. Pope John Paul 11 visits Cuba Jan. 21-25. Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 26-Feb. t Message Sunday, Jan. 25, Ls the start of the annual campaign for new and renewtxt sub- scriptions to the dh'esan newspaper.