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January 10, 1997     The Message
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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference -- Finding peace through forgiven I don't know what you think when you hear the word, "peace" but I know that I was surprised when I read the pope's message for the World Day of Peace, Jan. 1. "Peace" has several meanings for me. Often, it means "peace and quiet," with the emphasis on the "quiet" part of that phrase. Peace in the world means the guns have been quieted, the fight- ing has been stopped. People have stopped shouting at each other long enough to listen to each other. Peace in the home often means the same thing. The fight- ing has been stopped. People have stopped shouting at each other long enough to listen to each other. It's quiet. Well, maybe that's not what you,think about when you hear the word, "peace." And it is certainly not the central thought in what Pope John Paul II had to say. What he said was this: "Offer forgiveness and receive peace!" My first reaction was that the pope had it back- wards. I keep thinking that somebody else is sup- posed to be forgiving me. Maybe_we've preached John the Baptist too much, shouting loudly for"repentance" -- and we've forgotten to preach enough about the peace of salva- By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR tion brought to us by Jesus Christ. - The pope's message struck me more than once.Without naming the places in the world torn by ethnic or religious violence, he said that "Ask- ing and granting forgiveness is the only way out of situations marked by age-old and violent hatred." The pope also refused to gloss over the hard realities. Truth and justice are not abandoned during the act of forgiveness. "The evil which has been done must be acknowledged and as far as possible corrected," he said, and "Forgive- ness neither eliminates nor lessens the need for reparation." * * * What do the words, "peace" and "forgiveness,"' mean to you? To members of your family? Your friends? Is there, or was there, a "peace-maker" in your family? What qualities should such a person have? If there are children in your home, ask them to give you examples of peacemakers from their world of school, sports, work, music, or television pro- grams. Is forgiveness part of their world? The pope reminds his readers to look to the scriptures for examples of God's forgiveness -- to the father of the prodigal son, and to God's son who taught us all to pray passes as we forgive those His message concludes with an specific actions: "To you parents, the first educators dren in faith, I ask you to help your upon all people as their brothers reach out to others without prejudice, tude of trust and acceptance. Be for: reflection of God's love and effort to create a united and He challenged educators to "to live in every situation the virtues understanding and respect; hold up els those who have been artisans of ciliation."  He appealed to young to e sures of other cultures and building barriers, and to works of peace." ..... ": And to the men and women in are called to serve the common them to "exclude no one from special care of the weakest sectors To make a difference in the world he every person of good will" to receive peace!" ---- Vatican Letter Comments about this column are prleing@cfm.org or the Christian P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. A more frail pope closes busy year with eye on mil By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS)  A year older and a bit more frail, Pope John Paul II closed out a busy and productive 1996 with his eye firmly on an approach- ing target: the year 2000. In December, the pope inau- gurated a three-year prepara- tion program of prayer and spir- itual renewal for the Great Jubilee. His aides say the 76- year-old pope views this period, aimed at revitalizing the church The-MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansvite at its roots, as potentially the most important in his pontifi- cate. The pope has been:quietly hearing, progress reports through- out 1996 on plans to hold major meetings with Jews and other religious groups in the lead:up to the millennial year. He has reviewed ambitious regional synod plans, and the first such assembly -- on the Americas will probably be held next fall. Increasingly, the pope men- tions the importance of the jubilee in speeches to bishops, lay groups and even foreign . ambassadors. The millennium is onhis mind, and he is clearly determined to personally lead the church across its threshold. The pontiff's vision for the future is so grand that it often overshadows the daily evidence that his stamina is fading, the result in part of a nervous sys- tem disorder. After being sidelined several times with fever, the pope had a troublesome appendix removed A different kind of vacation To the editor: Have you thought about a vacation that expanded your view and experience of life dra- matic.ally while helping others? Appalachian Exchange, a pr 0- gram offered through Associat- ed Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, offers such an oppor- tunity. Appalachian Exchange is a ministry that offers volunteer groups an opportunity to come, live and serve in Appalachia for a week. By spending time in this unique environment, volunteers learn, and reflectwith 1Dc,pep- ple about, the Appalachian cul- ture ,while working: gether. to improve basic life needs and build friendships. The ministry represents a real exchange tlat benefits everyone. Groups, mix to 12 in size, may consist of youth (grades 10-12) with adequate adult companions; adult groups (couples, singles, retirees) and/or families (youngest at least 9 years old). Ap ,atnp ingto live its vision of".., com- passionate service, empower- ment and justice for all God's people," believes safe, adequate and sanitary housing is a basic human right. Volunteers are pro- vided for individuals/families unable to provide for themselves physically and/or financially and who cannot receive help through other sources. Projects, dependent on the skil!:of the group, may include roof repair, porch, ramp, step building, updating bathrooms, electrical, plumbing, interior- exterior work, painting, general house cleaning, yard work, etc. An attempt is made to tailor the project to the needs of the vol- unteers. Planned cultural exhafiges and time. for sightseeing are included and determined by the group. We do ask that at least three days of service be provided. Appalachian Exchange involves: simple living , physical labor, cul- tural experience, spiritual growth and sigheeing, Opportupfi' ties" While.being a year-round program, a limited number ofoppodunities exist at any given time. Groups will be accepted on first contact, first serve basis. For more information, write me at P.O. Box 523, Jonesbor- ough, TN.37659 or call (423) 753-3001. Sister Jean Sonsalla Jonesborough, TN in October. When doctors announced there were no addi- tional intestinal problems, many Catholics breathed a sigh of relief. The pope took it easy for a month and was back on the job in November. But around the same time, Vatican officials began to speak openly of the nervous system ail- ment, the most obvious symp- toms of which are a shaking left arm and a tentative gait. While refusing to be more specific, the officials have not denied reports that the pope suffers from Parkinson's disease, a degener- ative disorder for which there is no cure. In late 1996, the disease or the medication for it appeared to be affecting the pope's speech, which has grown noticeably less distinct. At the same time, he has cut back the number of talks he gives -- often replacing them with written messages -- and reduced the length of speeches. For a pope known for his abil- ity to communicate, this has to be a heavy cross to bear, Vatican officials say privately. But if these health factors made 1996 a "lesser" year for Pope John Paul, he could still count a great number of accom- Bishop's plishments -- He visited in five sepa spot where I camedown i I -- He ment on a synod on th and F electing popeS, claves. entists, position theory. He significant Christianity, a bridge of Orthodox. Anglican Carey at the -- He nouncementS of world hunger ages, on nuclear sonnel nic strife ally The following activities and events are ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Editor ..................................... Paul R. Lemgang Proeuc'rec:hncm .............. Jos Deeic keve,O .................................. F' Ne, V, and ,S Writ: ........................... Uary Huo Address all communicatkms to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-O169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Sing' Cow Price: $.S0 Emd as pqmcrcal matter at N post oce in  IN 47701. Pubrcan nunt 843800. Postmast=: Return PO0 n 3579 to 01 ol Pubk:an Cop 199S  Pre,= ot Evansv i i