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January 12, 1996     The Message
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January 12, 1996
 

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,- ,.. , 10 ," .' =!"   -:, ,,',.." !" t','#J( ; ':" o 4it,,'i':? - ,J .   ,' _ ..,'  * ," The Message  for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Study says Catholics give less, but enough to keep Church :By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service ,qv WASHINGTON (CNS) -- One of the main reasons Catholics give far less to their church than Protestants do may be that it costs far less per person to run a Catholic parish, says a new study on church giving. This is not a problem if Christian stewardship just means "paying the bills and maintaining an institution," it says. But it calls that "an inade- quate definition of steward- ship" which ignores steward- ship's more fundamental aspect as an act of discipleship to Christ. It says U.S. Catholics would have to more than double their weekly offertory contribution if they wanted to have the same ratio of churches and clergy as Protestants do and if they were to pay their clergy as well as mainline Protestant congrega- tions do. The analysis of Catholic and Protestant giving patterns was part of "The State of Church Giving Through 1993," the fourth in a series of annual studies by Empty Tomb, a non- profit Christian research and service organization in Cham- paign, Ill. Researchers John and Sylvia Ronsvalle conducted the series of studies with a grant from Lilly Endowment, a major fun- der of religious research. Empty Tomb provided Catholic News Service with a I I I would like to express my thanks to the Holy Spirit, Mary, St. Anne, St. Therese, St. Benedict, and St. Jude for favors r e ceived. Sincerely, M.M. II I II I" I I Needed Westside Evansville, "Good Catholic" woman to sit with senior female, 5 days a week, 24 hr. shifts. If wanted, 7 day/week live-in would be con- s i dered. Transportation preferred. Call 853-3929 and ask for Kathy. I I I III II I prepublication copy of the analysis and other excerpts from the study. In its main report  an an- nual update on church giving patterns in 29 U.S. Protestant denominations comprising more than 100,000 congrega- tions and more than 30 million Christians -- Empty Tomb found that, after adjustments for inflation, members con- tributed slightly more to their church in 1993 than in 1992, reversing three successive years of decline. But all of the increase was used to cover higher congrega- tional expenses. The study said people's contributions through the church for "benevolences" missions, charitable work, social service to others and church needs outside the local congregation -- went down again, for the eighth straight year. The actual reported average contribution per full or con- firmed member in the 29 de- nominations was $457.76. Ad- justed to constant 1987 dollar values for the sake of year-to- year comparisons, that was the equivalent of $367.39, up $1 from 1992. But reported congregational expenses per member rose by $2.44 to $304.84 in constant dollars. So the average contri- bution for benevolences, again in constant dollars, dropped from $63.99 to $62.55. In 1968 more than 21 per-  Peoples Trust Company SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. BOX 191 LINTON, INDIANA 47441 cent of contributions in those : churches went to benevolences. In 1993 only 17 percent went to benevolences. To com'pare Catholic and Protestant giving, Empty Tomb cited several studies from recent years which, de- spite varying approaches, have consistently reported that Catholics on average give the church a much smaller per- centage of their income than Protestants do. But it said there is evidence that a prevailing attitude to- ward responsible stewardship in both the Catholic and Protestant communities is one of giving enough to pay the bills. From that standpoint, the lower level of Catholic giving could be explained by "efficien- cies in the way Catholic con- gregations are organized," it said. It pointed out, for example, that the U.S. Catholic Church would' need 167,000 active priests to meet the average people-clergy ratio of 347-to-1 enjoyed by the 27 largest Protestant denominations in the nation. In fact there are currently fewer than 33,000 diocesan priests in the country, about 20 percent of them re- tired. To match Protestant people- clergy ratios and to compen- sate their clergy as well as FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 I I DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Saint Anthony Parish, Clarksville, IN, 1000 families, New Albany Deanery, is seeking a full-time Director of Religious Education; MA in Theology, Religious Studies or Education preferred; responsibilities include: catectmtical programs for children and youth; sacramental programs, Christian Initiation of Adults & Children and Adult Education, For additional information contact: Fr. Dismas Veeneman (812) 282-2290 I Send resum before February 1st to: DRE Search Committee Saint Anthony Parish 316 North Sherwood Avenue Clarksville, IN 47129 The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Evansville is accepting applications and inquiries for the position of: Director, Catholic Campus Ministry at Vincennes University. The successful candidate will be an active and professed Roman Catholic and will have a demonstrated aptitude of personal, theological, and professional ministerial and pastoral abilities. A candidate with a Mas- ter's Degree in Catholic Theology (or related area) is preferred. Candi- dates with a Bachelor's Degree in Catholic Theology and a strong aca- demic and/or experiential background in Catholic Campus Ministry will be considered. Direct inquiries to: Campus Minister Search Committ..ee. Office of Youth and Young Adult Min|stry P.O. Box 4169 Evansville, IN 47724-0169 II II ii III I I mainline Protestant denomina- tions do, U.S. Catholics would have to give the church $4 bil- lion to $5 billion more a year just to pay the priests, it said. It noted that according to a national study in 1988, "while the average Catholic household contribution to clergy compen- sation was $28, that for Epis- copalians was $201, for Lutheran Church in America households was $342 and for United Methodists was $268." Since the typical Catholic parish serves larger numbers of people and offers a larger number of worship services each week, the cost per person to build and maintain parish facilities is less than it is for Protestants, the study said. It estimated that U.S. Catholics would be spending anywhere from $1 billion to $3.3 billion more a year on cap- ital expenses if the typical Catholic congregation was as small as the typical Protestant one. The study said such differ- ences of economic need might MUENSTERMAN'S FIRESTONE SERVICE, INC. 1400 W. Franklin Evansville, IN I i v ii UNITED  ]BANK / OIJB B II&N{lr WASHINGTON-SHOALS-LOOGOOTEE || i i help exlain give so much lesst than Pr Protestants and to find an ing the before church to be faithful fluence." The study su$ Catholics and could be preach Catholic pastoral letter, A Disciple's "They for all ChristiaJ thentic experienced Christ," the "The State Th ro ugh from Em 2404, 2404. The cost is including dling. COUNTRY BANQUET ROOM FOR ALL MILLER & M "Funeral Since KORD ENPdCRMENT CF. FEIDIN/,ND, INDIAKA January - April 1996 Programs January 26-28 Woman's Anger: Weatherby.Hoard 27 Come To The Center: Centering Prayer Day* February 9-11 Befriending Creativity/Embracing Its Shadow: 10 Come To The Quiet: The Surprise Of Welcoming: Hedinger, OSB 17 Introduction To Centering Prayer Workshop* 20-23 Holistic Tools For Spiritual Direction: Focusing: and Mary Stuart, DW 23-25 Archetypal And Alchemical Underpinnings Of Wittekir OSF March 1-3 15-17 16 22-24 23 29- Apr 4 April 4-7 Journey Of The S Soul Mates: Honoring The Mysteries Of Baute, Ed.D. Come To The Quiet: The Wise Woman Withiz Harpenau, OSB Enneagram Two: The Continuing Journey With Slf Jew,he Knoerle, SP, Bernice Kuper, SP, and Karlene Come To The Center: Centering Prayer Day* Holistic Directed Retreat: Kristine A. Harpenau, te(2m Holy Week: A Triduum Retreat *Centering Prayer programs presented by the Kordes Kordes also offers Elderhostel For more information about Kordes Enricbmest programs, write or calh 841 E. 14th Street, Ferdinand IN, 800-880-2777, extension 2907 ! '