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Evansville, Indiana
January 15, 1988     The Message
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January 15, 1988
 

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January15,1988 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I From Poland to Posey County II II 3 St. Philip parishioners welcome visiting Polish seminarian By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer Posey County is a long way f2mPoland, but parishioners aUSt. Philip Church are doing their best to make their young visitor from there feel right at home. Their simple greeting on the marquee outside of the parish center, "Welcome Janusz," is one of the first things Janusz Luczkowski saw when he arriv- ed at St. Philip three weeks ago. Luczkowski, a 25-year-old seminarian from northern Pond, is visiting his relatives, th'Lytwynczuk family of St. Philip parish. His uncle and aunt, John and Pauline Lyt- wynczuk, immigrated to the United States nearly 40 years ago. Luczkowski's trip to the United States to visit them marks the first time he has ever traveled outside of his native land. What brought Luczkowski to America? It all started a year ago with a conversation Lyt- wnczuk had with Father nicene Dewig, pastor at St. Philip. When Lytwynczuk men- tioned he had a nephew who was studying to be a priest in Poland, Father Dewig teasingly said, "Why don't we get him over here? They don't need more priests in Poland!" Five percent of all the priests in the world live in Poland, ac- cording to Father Dewig. The rsons for the abundance of llests there are varied, but Father Dewig speculates that perhaps the election of a Polish pope nine years ago may be a factor in the increase of voca- tions there. There were 17 priests ordain- ed from Luczkowski's seminary last year. Most of these new priests go into the missions because they are not needed in Poland, said Father Dewig. Luczkowski was born in Lidzbark, Poland, a town of about 20,000. He has two sisters and two nieces. His father died when he was 11 years old. When Luczkowski was 14 years old, he started serving at Mass. "I was small," he laughed, holding out his hand to show how short he was then. After being an altar boy for several years, he decided to become a missionary priest. Luczkowski attended the Society of Divine Word Seminary in Ksiezy Werbistow, Poland. He has finished two years of philosophy and one year of theology; he has three years of theology left before he is ordained. He is hoping to complete his studies here in the United States. Luczkowski has studied 'English for four years and can understand spoken English. He does have trouble with a few slang expressions. For exam- ple, he didn't know what Father Dewig meant when he used the term "goofing off." However, when it comes to the English terms and expres- sions used at Mass, Luczkowski has no trouble at all. The celebration of the Eucharist is basically the same here as in his homeland. The only difference, he said, is that Polish Catholics Janusz Luczkowski, far left, is a Polish seminarian who is hoping to complete his studies in the United States. He is visiting Father Eugene Dewig and his uncle, John Lytwynczuk, of St. Philip Church, Posey County, -- Message Photo by MaryT. Ellert are not allowed to receive com- munion in the hand, but on the tongue. Also, there are no lay ministers of communion in Poland -- they are not needed because there are so many priests there, he said. One of the cultural dif- ferences Luczkowski has discovered -- besides the language barrier -- is the abun- dance and variety of food in America. He has eaten several foods here which are not available in his country, he said. After only a week at his uncle's house, he had already gained five pounds, he sighed. Luczkowski's hobbies in- clude listening to music and playing soccer, basketball and volleyball. The seminarian has been overwhelmed by the attention showered on him so far. He ad- mits he was a little embarrassed when Father Dewig introduced him at Sunday Mass a few weeks ago, and during an inter- view with the diocesan newspaper, he seemed more than a little uncomfortable talk- ing about himself. It's obvious this shy, young man is not used to being in the limelight. Luczkowski plans to spend his visit brushing up on his English and getting used to the culture and customs of this country. Even though his future plans are uncertain, he is enjoy- ing this introduction to American life. "I'm very happy to be here," he said, smiling. ICC focuses on legislation of interest to Church By ANN WADELTON Indiana Catholic Conference Bills of particular interest to the Catholic Church, including those targeting medical care for pregnant women, very young children and welfare recipients, are being debated at the Statehouse in this short session of the legislature. Another bill would open the Principal Leadership Academy to non- public school participation. Speaking for the Church at the Statehouse is Dr. M. Des- mend Ryan, executive director f the Indiana Catholic Con- farence (ICC), backed by a net- work of about 3000 Catholics .throughout the state. By contac- ting their own legislators, Net- workers demonstrate that ICC issues have grassroots support. One medical bill, SB 26, was approved 9-0 in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on the third session day. The bill would extend Medicaid coverage for 15 mon- ths after AFDC benefits end. The intent is to remove one of the main disincentives to work under the current program -- the loss of medical benefits for the recipient and her children. IN COMMITTEE testimony, Dr. Ryan cited the need to strengthen welfare families by offering support during the dif- ficult period of transition from from welfare to work. The bill, sponsored by Senators Blankenberger (R-Indpls.), Craycraft (D-Selma), Worman (R-Leo) and Simpson (D- Bloomington), now goes to the full Senate for debate. HB 1080 would make preg- nant women and children under age two eligible for medical care through Medicaid if they live in a family with in- come under the federal poverty level, $11,200 annually for four persons. Indiana currently limits Medicaid coverage to families who qualify for AFDC, $4152 for a four person family. The program is called SOBRA for the federal action authoriz- ing it. ICC and other supporters, in- cluding the Director of the Public Welfare Department and the Indiana Perinatal Associa- tion, point to the humaneness of providing care as well as the cost effectiveness of early health care. Women who lack prenatal care are more likely to have low birthweight babies, under five-and-a-half pounds. Those babies are 20 times more likely to die during the first year. And the average cost of neonatal intensive care for a low birthweight infant is $13,ooo. The Institute of Medicine estimates that every dollar spent on prenatal care saves $3.38 in the first-year costs for low birthweight infants alone. Some states have realized even greater savings on their in- vestments in prenatal care. SOBRA would be funded 63 percent by the federal govern- ment and 37 percent by tke state. State share is estimated at $10.4 million the first year. In HB 1080, the state share would be funded by an increase in beer excise tax from $0.115 a gallon to $0.3625. Bill sponsors are Rep. Brinkman (R-Indpls), Day (D-Indpls) and Dean (R- Bloomfield). SB 70 would permit prin- cipals in non-public schools to attend the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy, authoriz- ed by the General Assembly in 1986, but limited to public school principals. The  Academy has earned praise for its mix of lectures and shared learning experiences to help rincipals develop better adership skills and com- munication strategies. The pro- gram also focuses on ways to improve school climates and strengthen academic programs. SB 57 is sponsored by Sen. Vobach (R-Indpls). If you're a subscriber who's moving, print your new address below (include your new parish, if applicable). Attach the label with your old address from your most recent issue of the Message in the space provided and mail us this coupon. NAME ADDRESS CITY PARISH STATE Zl P (affix old label here) The Message P.O. Box 41. 9 Evansville IN 47711