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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 27, 1995     The Message
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January 27, 1995

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Purdue stu Catholic social teachings: A gap between belief and PartVIina series Maas Weigert stressed the fact in religious education pro- effect. Black and Latino Indiana Catholics say that, one of the Church's main tasks is to build a more just and equal world, but most are not actively involved in efforts to accomplish that goal. Sixty-two percent of Catholics in Indiana agree that "the Church's main task is to build a more just and equal world." Seventy-nine percent say that goal is impor- tant to them. Seventy-seven percent say that "working to end racism, sexism, and other injustices" is important. Yet, 69 percent are not in- volved in any parish-sponsored social outreach, poverty, or peace programs. Twenty-four percent say they are somewhat active in such programs. Only eight percent report that they are "quite active" or "very ac- tive." When asked how often they "actively work to help the poor," 35 percent say never; 21 percent say once or twice a year; 20 percent say several times a year; 13 percent say 1 -- 3 times a month; and 12 percent say at least once a week. These findings are from the Catholic Pluralism Project, a recent study of Catholics in all five Indiana dioceses Accord- ing to project director, James D. Davidson, "The good news is that the Church has suc- ceeded in making peace and justice legitimate religious goals. Most Catholics fee the Church ought to be a force for justice, and they give their Church permission to be in- volved in social concerns. The bad news is that relatively few parishioners are personally in- volved in pursuing these goals." When asked how to account for this gap between Catholics' beliefs and behavior, Kathleen that many parishes don't have social concerns committees or programs. Weigert is a member of the research team and the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. She said that a recent Notre Dame study showed that only about half of Catholic parishes have such programs. "For many people," she said, "their hearts are in the right place, but their parishes don't provide opportu- nities to participate." Thomas Reichert, social con- cerns coordinator at St. Thomas Aquinas Center at Purdue University, agrees. "St. Tom's is one of the very few parishes with a full-time social concerns coordinator," said Re- ichert. "Having someone on a parish staff to plan social out- reach certainly increases parishioners' involvement in that area. If more parishes had staff people working full time in social ministry, more Catholics would have chances to act on their concern for other people." Leaders of the Catholic Plu- ralism Project also have ana- lyzed which Catholics are most actively involved in social min- istries. While beliefs about so- cial justice do not guarantee social action, they seem to help. Catholics who say "build- ing a just and equal world" is important are two to three times more likely to participate in social outreach than people who don't share that belief. Conversely, people who say that "ending racism, sexism, and other injustices" is not a high priority are two to three times less likely to be active in parish social ministries. David- son says "These findings indi- cate the importance of includ- ing Catholic 'social teachings' grams. They are important bases of social action." / Race and age also have some Catholics are more actively in- volved in social concerns than white Catholics. Also, middle- aged and older Catholics are I actively work to help the poor / 45% 4096 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% ,/ ,/ ,/ ,/ ,/ ,/ ,/ / / At least weekly At least monthly At least yearly I actively work to help the poor 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% / / / / / / / / / / Extremely important Very Somewhat important important more involved Catholics. could not fin any differences gender, or Never Not important Jubilee committee planning celebration at Roberts MILLER & MILLER By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor A ceremony with a crowd big enough to fill Roberts Stadium is expected as the culminating celebration of the diocesan ju- bilee. That is the expectation of the members of a planning committee. The final public event of the fiftieth anniversary of the Dio- cese of Evansville will be held at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, on Sunday after- noon, Oct. 22. Details of the celebration are being mapped out by the planning committee. Justin Clements, diocesan director of stewardship and de- velopment, is the committee chair. Committee members in- clude the following: m Phyllis Beshears, dioce- san director of Catholic schools. Father John Boeglin, pastor of Holy Family Church, Jasper, and author of the parish history book, "A Sesqui- centennial History of Celes- tine, Indiana 1993." -- James Corr, diocesan di- rector of religious education. -- Father William Deering, diocesan director of worship. of Rainbow Productions, a pro- duction company in Evansville. Michael Eppler, diocesan director of youth and young adult ministry. -- Gregory A. Folz, presi- dent of Folz and Associates, a strategic marketing and devel- opment company in Newburgh. -- Benedictine Sister Joella Kidwell, special projects coor- dinator in the Development of- fice of Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand. -- Paul R. Leingang, dioce- san director of communications and editor of the Message. -- Father David Nunning, pastor of St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. Rosemary O'Daniel, Evansville native and long- time community volunteer. The jubilee celebration began with a Vespers Service at the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, the Old Cathedral, in Vincennes, on Nov. 11, 1994 fifty years to the day of the es- tablishment of the diocese by Pope Pius XII. Activities and events of the Jubilee Year include a com- memorative book, an attractive and colorful map of the diocese, tributed thro cese, and a col articles in the People at tutions are diocese, ple of God, on Prayer DayS." Edt will be preS year on the notion o which is bilee theme. The year is re-founded ov strengths, The includes a dation of the which ture. The Jub thanks to who make Ev family be Life and The request diocese maY your love at .,. "A family name you can trust" 424-9274