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January 12, 1996     The Message
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January 12, 1996
 

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y- 2 ,, , Te Mpssage -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana , mm m mmmmmm mmm m Bishops urge establishment of 'Peace Following is the text of a re- I2ort on the U.S. Bishops' Re- sponse ito Racial Division in America. The report was pre- sented by Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D., at the Fall Meeting of the bishops in November 1995. Over the last year, most dra- matically the last month, there have been a number of devel- opments which have called at- tention to the continuing racial divisions in our society. These events, as well as the media coverage and our own differing reactionsand perceptions of them, call us as believers to prayer, reflection, dialogue and action. As a Church blessed with many members of differing races, nationalities and ethnic identities we have particular responsibilities to promote dia- logue and reconciliation, jus- tice and peace across racial and ethnic lines. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to provide a unique historical position to being about healing and atonement among the various races, so that the prayer of Christ to his Father, "That they all may be one," may finally be realized. The Committee on African American Catholics joined by the leaders of the Committees on Hispanic, Social Develop- ment, Migration and Refugees are asking the bishops and the Catholic community to provide leadership in the area of racial 'reconciliation. We are asking that you continue to address this issue, but take some addi- tional positive steps to promote reconciliation. It seems to us that we can make a contribu- tion to this discussion in con- sidering the following initia- tives: * Celebrate Peace Week 1996 as part of our continuing efforts to overcome "a culture of violence," (beginning with Martin Luther King's birthday through The Anniversary of Roe vs Wade), focus on themes of peace and reconciliation and celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 1996, with African Americans and other Christian Churches; Prepare for the season of Lent by working for Ecumeni- cal collaboration on Reconcilia- tion, addressing issues relating to racial reconciliation, and public repentance for the divi- sions in the Church and the sin of racism; Highlight themes of repen- tance and reconciliation, using the season of Lent as opportu- nities for prayer, dialog, and atonement as preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000; Create an atmosphere -r I , Christmas Store a success More than 1,220 low-income family members shopped for clothing and personal items at the 1995 Christmas Store, operated by Catholic Charities. Families do not pay for the mer- chandise, which included clothing of various styles and sizes, toys and household items. Jim Collins, director of Catholic Charities, noted that 1995 was the twenty-second year of operation for the Christmas Store, and he thanked "the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the many volunteers from the parishes, St. Mary Church in Evansville for hosting the store, and all the many people who helped make the store a success." Wayne Bochert, who coordinated the project, said that all the merchandise given at the store is brand new and costs approximately $50 to provide items for a typical family of four. Each child receives, at minimum, sweat pants or jeans, shirt, socks, underwear, gloves, tooth- brush and a toy. Each adult receives a shirt, hat, socks, toothbrush and a personal care item. Each family also receives, atminimum, a towel, washcloth, blanket, shampoo, deodorant, soap and toothpaste. Bochert said that because of the many dedicated efforts of the volunteers, that there are many families in the Evansville area who experienced a brighter Christmas. Looking ahead to the Third Millennium Franciscan Sister Patricia Ann Froning, who has been working on plans for observing the approach of the Third Millennium in the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky., will speak at St. John Church, Newburgh, on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. Sister Froning has been studying the Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, which calls for an ordered approach to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. According to the document, 1997 is to be the Christological Year, including reflection on Baptism and faith. 1998 is to be devoted to the Holy Spirit and the virtue of hope. 1999 is to be the Year of the Father and the virtue of charity. For more information, contact Benedictine Sister Jeanne Voges, (812) 853-6181. r Vocation Awareness Week moving Beginning in 1997 the annual National Vocation Awareness Week observance will be held : i n January, during the week in which the feast of the Baptism of the Lord falls. The change was approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Vocations at the request of the National Religious Vocations Conference and the National Conference of Dioce- san Vocation Directors. i ,The 1996 observance is scheduled for the twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Oct. 13 :t'iiugh 19. ""Ih 1997, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is Jan. 12, and the awareness week will be .scheduled Jan 12 through 18. "By moving National Vocation Awareness Week to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, vo- cation directors and the bishops' Committee on Vocations hope to raise awareness of the bap- tismal call of all Christians to service in the Church through the vocations of priesthood or di- aconate, religious life, marriage or singleness," said Father Paul Theroux, secretary of the bishops' Committee on Vocations. Encouraging Marriage Celebration . Worldwide Marriage Encounter encourages planning of a special celebration of"World Mar- riage Day" on the second Sunday in February. Planning team members want to "proclaim publicly that despite the doomsday divorce statistics, marriage is alive and well for countless couples in this country." Worldwide Marriage Encounter urges parishes to schedule special Masses, issue proclama- tions or acknowledge the day in some appropriate way. Pastoral ministers seek insights and inspiration The twentieth aw_mal Great Lakes Pastoral Ministry GATHERING will be held in Rose- mont, Ill., March 8 through 10. The theme is "Insights form the Past... Inspiration for the Future." Conference goals include acknowledging how "the windows have been opened" in the church and ministry since the second Vatican Council. The keynote address will be given by Father Richard P. McBrien. A major address will be given by Edwina Gately. For information, contact Conference Services by Loretta Reif, P.O. Box 5226, Rockford, IL 61125. Phone (815) 399-2150. Priest planning Holy Land pilgrimage Benedictine Father Alban Berling of Morganfield, Ky., will be the spiritual director of a Pil- grlmage to the Holy Land, Rome and Assisi, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 2. F/ther Berling has been a monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey for more than 50 years and has served in various parishes and Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the Diese of Evansville, and the Diocese of Owensboro. He was pastor of St. Mary Church, Huntingburg for 15 years, and pastor of St. Benedict Church, Evansville, for 20 years. For information, contact Father Berling, 304 Church Street, Morganfield, Ky. 42437. Phone (5O2) 389-2287. wherceoy given to our : unity and programs foundation istry, joint social economic Reach American and faith as tion, prayer  tion; Draft a tion conduct that Message to publish text: Faithful for life By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor A statement from the U.S. bishops, Faithful for Life: A Moral Reflection, opens with this story: "A man on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho was beaten, robbed, and dumped by the side of the road to die. Three travelers later saw him lying there. The first and sec- ond were his own countrymen, and in fact, one was a priest and the other a Levite. Each one crossed the road to avoid the victim and hurried on his way. The third man was a for- eigner, almost as unwelcome as the bandits themselves. He was the only one who stopped, gave the victim first aid, car- ried him to the nearest inn (where he himself would not have been welcome to stay), and lodged him there at his own expense to convalesce." The statement continues: "We are all journeying down from this story h! flatly persuasion! today that our to those of contrary, we r those we them, to choose." The point out ours to victims of thanasia. "It been chosen way for A special sage will be week, Jan. complete Faithful for The every reader from the the of the Roe v. Jan. 21. 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