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January 15, 1988     The Message
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January 15, 1988
 

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t .o  CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILEE VOLUME 18 NUMBER 19 JANUARY 15, i988 'Called by Name' Catholics asked to participate in diocesan vocation program By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor Catholics in parishes throughout the Diocese of Evansville have been asked to participate in a vocations program known as "Called by Name." 0cations Director Father David Fleck is coordinating the program, which began last weekend with an- nouncements in churches. The program continues through the next two Sun- days, as people in each parish are asked to supply names of friends and acquain- tances who may have the attributes necessary for the priesthood or religious life. An announcement prepared by Father Fleck asks people in the church to "look around -- sitting with us now are those who have qualities, abilities and yes, even the desire, to be a priest, sister a brother, but are just waiting to be "Called by Name." Another announcement describes a priest as a person who has "a strong sense of God's presence especially found through people. He needs to relate well especially as enabler and with compassion. He must also be a per- son of courage." A religious woman or man should be a person who relates well with others, one who is in touch A'th his or her feelings, and who can lsten and respond appropriately to others. Cards are being distributed in the diocese, for people to use in suggesting names for the program. The cards may be returned to the parish in the collec- tion basket, or mailed directly to the vocations office. Father Fleck says he hopes to receive 250 names from all over the diocese, of unmarried men and women at least 16 years old. Pastors will be asked to help in a preliminary screening of the names sub- mitted. People who are "called by name" will receive a letter from Bishop Francis R. Shea, to let them know their names had been submitted and to en- courage them to continue to use the qualities that bad led someone to con- sider them for priesthood or religious life. The people who are named will also be invited to an Information Evening. According to Father Fleck, the pro- gram emphasizes the importance of the community in the call to priesthood or religious life. "It is rooted in the early Christian Community as related to us in the Acts of the Apostles. During the first centuries of the church, individuals were invited and sometimes coaxed in- to entering the presbytaral or episcopal ministry." It was the role of the com- munity, says the vocations director, to discern "appropriate charisms and human qualities needed for particular ministries." A major reason for the program is the declining number of priests and religious, but Father Fleck quickly in- sists that numbers measure only a part of the importance. In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, only one of more than 1,000 people named in a similar program has taken steps toward the priesthood. Father Fleck says success has to be measured by the increase in community awareness of the needs of the church o BY NxI&/00, and the talents of community members. Counting the numbers does not provide an accurate picture of the impact on vocations to the priesthood, religious life, the permanent diaconate or to other lives of service. He says what is impor- tant is the realization -- within the com- munity- of the community's par- ticipation in the vocations of those who serve. The importance of the community was stressed by Bishop Shea, in a letter to priests. The program, he wrote, "raises the consciousness of all Catholic people of God to their respon- sibility of fostering vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life." Pope's Austria trip raises new controversy VATICAN CITY (NC) -- A Vatican Radio announcement that Pope John Paul II would meet with controversial Austrian President Kurt Waldheim dur- ing his trip to Austria next June drew sharp reaction from the Jewish com- munity and a new episode of strain in Jewish-Vatican relations. Some Jewish leaders, recalling the tensions over the ex-German army of- ficer's reception at the Vatican last June 25 urged Pope John Paul to confront , Waldheim over his World War 1I ac- tivities. The Austrian leader was an officer in a German army unit which committed atrocities against Greek Jews and Yugoslavian partisans. He has been ac- cused by Jewish groups of participating in or knowing about those crimes. Jewish leaders also said the pope should speak about the Holocaust, the Nazi extermination campaign which took  6 million Jewish lives, in Waldheim's presence. Some called on Waldheim to resign before the pope arrives. One Jewish leader said Waldheim should confess his past to the pope, then resign. The Vatican said the pope's meetings with the Austrian president during the trip are a matter of protocol. The pope normally visits the head of state during a foreign trip. On Jan. 5, Vatican Radio broadcast the announcement of the papal trip and some details of the itinerary, including a planned June 23 meeting with Waldheim. The schedule also includes a session with Austrian Jews and a visit to the former Nazi concentration camv at On the Welcome to America -- A Polish seminarian visits relatives at St. Philip Church, Posey County. See page 3. St. Bernard Church, Rockport -- Feature parish on pages 10-11. Christmas at Coxpus Christi -- An Epiphany story and photos on page 14. ................................................... I II IIII I I IIII I I I 'lllllll II I II[ Mauthausen June 24. A rumor that Waldheim would ac- company Pope John Paul on the Mauthausen visit intensified Jewish concern over the Austrian trip. The Vatican and Alois Mock, Austrian foreign minister and vice chancellor, denied the rumor. The Austrian trip was planned before the public controversy developed over Waldheim's World War II activities, said Joaquin Navarre-Vails, Vatican press spokesman. He said organization of a papal trip usually begins at least two years before the trip occurs, and it is normal to arrange a meeting with the head of state. ON JAN. 6, leaders of top Jewish organizations said they hoped Pope John Paul would discuss the Holocaust with Waldheim during the June 23-27 visit. Morris B. Abram, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish, Organizations, urged substantial discussions between the pope and the Austrian president on the issue. "If the pope as leader of the Catholic Church and as head of a state ... feels obliged to reciprocate Kurt Waldheim's visit to Rome last winter, I respectfully suggest that he use it not as a mere for- mality but as an opportunity to give public expression to his views" on the Holocaust and its dreadful and continu- ing lessons for all humankind," Abrams said. Seymour Reich, president of B'nai B'rith International, said Pope John Paul should hear Waldheim's confes- sion. There is "only one useful act of such a visit," he said, "if the pope were to take confession from Mr. Waldheim, and if that act gave Austria's president the moral courage to do what he should have done years ago: publicly admit his past and withdraw from public life." Abraham H. Foxman, national direc- tor of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, linked new understand- ings between the Vatican and the Jewish community to the issue. "IT IS TO BE hoped that in light of new sensitivities stemming from the pope's recent meetings ... with Jewish leaders, he will use the announced visit as a new and different opportunity to confront the issues of the Holocaust in the presence of Kurt Waldheim on Austrian soil," Foxman said. A Jewish delegation met in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, this summer with top Vatican officials and the pope to iron out problems raised in Jewish-Catholic relations by the earlier Waldheim visit. Another meeting, in Miami, was part of the pope's itinerary during his U.S. visit last September, but Waldheim's reception at the Vatican became a major topic of that encounter. The controversy over the Austrian trip bred rumors that Waldheim would accompany Pope John Paul on his visit See POPE'S page 13