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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 31, 1992     The Message
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January 31, 1992

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective January (  By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor I half-expected my morn to walk through the door into tile church. That sudden, impossible, ex- pectation vanished as swiftly as it came. My mother died five years ago. I was "home" for the funeral of an uncle, tile last of my mother's family. I had arrived in town too late to go to the funeral parlor, but in time to spend a few quiet minues in church before Mass. I stood in the back of church, waiting to see someone I might know -- a brother or a sister or a cousin, or perhaps someone from my grade school days in my home town. Those who entered were strangers, mainly, friends of my uncle and his family from the com- munity. Each time the door swung open, I expected to see the face of someone I knew. More than not, the face was not familiar to me, nor mine to the newcomer. That is when it happenned. I glimpsed grey hair and thought, "Oh, there's Mom." It was, of course, a stranger, not my mother, who took a slow step into the church. Dad was not with her. He had died three years earlier. Yet here in church is where I would have met them. Here we had worshipped as a family. Here had been my first communion. Here had been my A family fur,,eral: A sign of faith and of family sisters' weddings. Here had been baptisms. Hem 1 moetwaan u I had not seen since high school had heen my parents' funerals, days, piest in the Diocese of Belleville. The moments before Mass were filled. Then family members did appear, and soon that irrational and impossible instant of expec- tation was temporarily forgotten. My brother and my sisters came into the church, and soon we joined our cousins and other relatives in the procession behind the casket My uncle had farmed land in southern Illi- nois. Scripture seems particularly appropriate to such a one who knew that grains of wheat had to be planted before they could flourish in new life. Scripture seemed appropriate to my uncle's family, who knew the truth of life and death and believed in the truth of eternal life.. So appropriate, too, were the moments spent after the liturgy and before we once again went back to our jobs and homes. These were moments with the larger family -- with my aunt and her children, my brother, my sisters, and some cousins. I learned that a nephew of mine was about to become a father. I met, for the first time, the grown daughter of a cousin, who with her husband, had lived in Evansville for several years. We had filled tile church for the funeral. It was both a sign of faith and a sign of family. We came from several states and a range of lifestyles and occupations. Amid our diversity we ac- . knowledged our common family, our faith, and the finality of life. As I drove away from my home town to re- turn to Indiana, the experience of a family fu- neral forced all other thoughts away for a m o ment. In unusual consciousness and clarity, c notions of "mystical body" and "communion 0 saints" made sense. I had experienced a sense of membership i a family of the living and the dead. Uncle Leo is there, he who had died, Aunt Sally, too, who survives. And their son who lead been killed in a farm accident, and all of their j sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters, ariu nephews d nieces. anthere, too -- and Dad -- almost as iiI' Mom is they are just coming into church in time for ace t ebration. They always liked to come at least a few minutes early. Washington Letter Putting a spin on abortion opinion surveys By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service sion legalizing abortion. -- A survey by Hickman- Brown Public Opinion Re- search for the National Abor- tion Rights Action League says 63 percent of Americans believe the government should not interfere in the right to have an abortion. -- A poll conducted for the National Right to Life Com- mittee by the Wirthlin Group says 53 percent of those sur- veyed oppose the overwhelm- ing majority of abortions. -- And a Gallup Poll con- cludes that 31 percent of Americans favor unlimited access to abortion in all cases, while 53 percent believe it should be legal only in cer- tain circumstances and 14 percent favor an outright ban on abortions. So who's right? Assuming the polling tech- niques are comparable, they all could be accurate reflec- tions of national opinion, de- pending upon how the ques- tions were asked, according to Frank M. Newport, editor in chief for the Gallup Poll. "Polling literature is full of WASHINGTON (CNS) Pick a poll on abortion, any poll. The different conclu- sions that various public opinion surveys draw might make them all seem about as scientific as a card trick. The results of three opinion polls on abortion with seem- ingly contradictory conclu- sions were released the week of Jan. 22, the 19th anniver- sary of the Roe vs. Wade deci- Our parochial schools are worth the money The following letter was written to Phyllis Beshears, director of schools for the Diocese of Evansville: Dear Phyllis: The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville As you are aware there are people, both within and out- side of the Catholic Church who believe our Catholic schools are luxuries that we can no longer afford. I would like to share an experience that my son had at Holy Re- deemer School that was very touching and a good example as to why ohr parochial schools are worth the money it takes to operate them. Recently my son Noah, who is a first grader at Holy Redeemer School, lost his maternal grandmother through cancer. This was and is an emotional issue for him as she helped care for him during his earlier years. The day after he was told of his grandmother's death he at- tended class where his teacher, Marianne Webster, handled the event in a most Christian, touching and thera- peutic manner. Marianne commented to the class during their prayer time that someone had some- very im mrtant happen the prior evening. She then asked my son if he wanted to say anything. That is when Noah tearfully told his class- mates that his "ga ga" died. His classmates were equally touched by his revelation whereupon they had discus- sion and prayer. It is my be- lief that the sensitive manner in which this was handled and the fact that Marianne could bring in Jesus and God was beneficial to Noah. This parent is most thank- ful that we have our parochial schools and the dedicated Christian teachers and staff that give freely of themselves. Is it worth the cost that it takes to operate our schools? You bet, as tile help my son received is priceless. Our Catholic schools truly are support sys- tems for the families they serve. A most grateful parent. Gary W. Eltzroth Evansville. In. Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Associate Pubhsher ............... Rev, Joseph Ziliak Editor ........................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager .......................... Phil eager Circulalon ................................. Susan Wmiger Advertising .................................. Paul Newland Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169. Evansville. IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office cn Evansville IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Copyright 1992 Catholic Press of Evansville examples of how wording can affect the outcome of a sur- vey," Newport said. Of the thousands of opinion polls conducted around the coun- try every day, those on abor- tion are among the most eas- ily manipulated, he said. For instance, someone who answers "yes" to the ques- tion, "Do you personally op- pose abortion?" might also re- spond "yes" to the question, "Should abortion be legal?" Depending upon who com- missioned the poll, the first answer might be construed as supporting a ban on abortion while the second response could be interpreted as back- ing an unrestricted right to abortion. After nearly 20 years of in- tense battling over tile issue, overall public opinion about the basic legality of abortion has actually changed verY li!' tle. s# to Since 1975, respOL htte Ga]lup's annual surVeY  4g llJ" shown that no less t .58 percent and no more a,0l t percent of Americans u, al i abortion should be 1 511e certain circumstance, ',#' percentage who thin _1 / " be los 1 tion should always r#g now 31 percent  haS dce from 33 to 21 percent,vi 1975. The it should always be me now 14 percent  has  from 12 to 22 percent, k0 Further question, ingso  most Americans alSO n y "   ally oppose abortion a h a: port restrictions si0r parental consent for .si01 .and a mandated disC fflt# with a physician abU..,,,0l natives to abortion, Ne"rel: See WASHINGTO Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Priests' Council, 1:30 p.m. CST. Confirmation Evansville Deans 5, 10 a,m. CST, Bishop's staff, Catholic Center 10:15 a.m. Confirmation Evansville p.m. CST. Evansville, tour, Friday 7, 10:30 a.m. CST. Weekend liturgies at Good Sheph Evansville, Saturday, Feb. 8, 5:30 9, 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. CST. Confirmation at Sts. Peter and Paul ChUl Haubstadt, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m. CST.