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January 31, 1997     The Message
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January 31, 1997

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Bishop's Forum- New millennium, here we come! been fascinating to read press the fact that e will be cele- ag its sesquicentennial this . One hundred-fifty years of Impressive -- and of us it is a larger we can compre- it helpful to note story that capture e.g. the Wabash Coal Mine Hill, uake that River to run hack- that the history and arch -- the Roman Catholic "predates the foundation of the City of Since this area was served from the first Francis Xavier. The Diocese of Vin- assed the entire northwest at the Old Cathedral of St. By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER a long time. We intend to as long as the Lord allows. For this , we must adjust to changing times just as did before us. Consider all that has our area since the arrival of the faith s and the foundation of the Dio- from Bardstown, Ky., in 1834. and Wabash Rivers are about the only for Fort Sackville, now known as rest have all come to be since then. c schooling is also as old as our history boost when the bishops of the the Third Council of Baltimore set of having a Catholic school alongside in the country. We have seen There are more to come. So, what is in store for us in the Catholic Church as we enter a new millennium of "years of our Lord?" Those of my era have con- cerns. Children of the present era -- those who cannot remember Vat- ican Council II -- are used to living with change, and rapid change at that. They are not uncomfortable with it since they have little or no memory of stability. Even stability in family life has been shaken. However, the Church can and does bring stability to all ages in that the truth of the Gospel is unchanging. Truth has not changed, but much about the Church has changed and continues to change. We are challenged to walk "heads high" into the next millennium of our Lord. As those of the past did, so must we adapt to the circumstances of our time. We are preparing to meet that challenge in our diocese. We are addressing the issue of fewer priests than in more recent times -- a return to our earlier history. We are acknowledging in a realistic way the call to laity to be involved in the day-to-day life of parish communities and the larger Church at the regional and national levels. We are not a missionary territory, hence we have no right to look to others to provide for our pastoral needs. We, the Church of the Diocese of Evansville, have an obligation to provide from with- in our own membership the priests that are neces- sary to provide the Eucharist for all our members. To do otherwise is a failure of faith. Our young people are no less generous than those of previous times. To date, the need for more priests has not been felt, since we have continued to provide the same services with fewer priests that we did with a greater number. This is changing and must change. No longer do we have travel difficul- ties nor rigid fasting rules. We are no longer a sim- ple agrarian society. We must think and act differ- ently. The Church has empowered the laity to live out more fully the baptismal responsibility unique to each of us. It is now up to us, the local church, to provide the proper education and training neces- sary for laity to fill the roles of pastoral life coordi- nators, pastoral associates, directors of religious education and principals of Catholic schools. Happily, we are addressing these needs of our times -- the needs are both the same and different from those of the past. Currently, Washington Deanery and Evansville East Deanery are engaged in planning to provide necessary and appropriate pastoral leaders for the parishes within their respective deaneries. The other five deaneries will follow in time. The benchmarks they are challenged to use are: 1) planning is for the parishes identified in the geographic area of the deanery and 2) the projected number of priests available to them by the year 2005, as reported by the Future Parish Staffing Task Force. Benedictine Sister Geraldine Hedinger is the Director of the Office of Adult Formation. Her pri- mary responsibility is to develop and implement programs of training for adult professional lay lead- ers to meet the emerging needs of our diocese. We need, immediately, additional pastoral life coordina- tors, pastoral associates, directors of religious edu- cation, and principals of Catholic schools. We are indeed looking to the future. We recog- nize that God is with us through it all. We also accept our baptismal call to do our part to enable God's action to be realized in our midst and in our time. from the editor: TCI you want Odyssey to return a cable station Wholesome, daily Mass. a Sunday "C hristopher Father John focuses on who express Special pro- times of the and Jewish tra- guidance l ngton i took the hotel, able to deter- got on the they felt to the explode or from a consortium of 64 Protes- tant, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faith groups and evangelical tradi- tions. Odyssey programs are reli- gious, without fund raising. Odyssey programs are family- oriented, with something for teens and children as well as adults. Odyssey programs do not seek to convert people from their cur- rent religion, nor do they criticize or slander persons of other faiths. The only item ofbad news, sad news to report in this long list is this: Odyssey has been dropped by TCI Cable of Evansville, as of Jan. 1. TCI subscribers in Vander- burgh County may express their concern: Contact Ms. Dolores Gatlin, TCI Cable, 1900 North Fares Avenue, Box 4658, Evans- ville, IN 47711. Or call Ms. Gatlin at (812) 428-2462. Outside Vanderburgh County, please consider asking your cable company to add Odyssey. -- Paul ll. Leingang Message editor abortion clinic workers are shot, however, many see a connection to the psychological wounds inflicted by abortion, especially on fathers and grandfathers who have no say about the abortion. "I'm convinced that John Salvi must have been an abort- ed father," said Vicki Thorn, founder and executive director kful for the pope .: gelizers themselves, especially , call to some Father given us 2000. He World- Youth to become :ing. He objects to other youth. Young people, the Church asks you to go; in the power of the t[oly Spirit, to those near and far. (The pope) urges them, "Do not be afraid." We are living in a spiritual warfare. Let us be thankful to Almighty God that we have Pope John Paul II. Viola Weaver ....................... Jasper of Project Rachel, which Zreats post-abortion trauma. She was referring to the New Hampshire man who killed two people at Boston- area abortion clinics in 1994 and later killed himself in prison. "There's such a rage and frus- tration and unresolved emotion" in some men whose children have been aborted, that unless attempts are made to heal the wounds, the number ofsuch inci- dents could increase, said Thorn, whose undergraduate degree is in psychology. "If we don't defuse the anger, it's going to happen again and again," she added, Scott D. Churchill, chairman of the psychology department at the Catholic-run University of Dallas, sees the roots of"aggres- sive and destructive behavior," such as actions against abortion clinics, in an early moral train- ing that tends to be punitive and stern rather than loving and for- Bishop encourages participation in Society for the Propagation of the Faith Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul January 25, 1997 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Today as I write this letter, we celebrate the moment in which Saul was able to transform his life from being a persecutor of Jesus to one who proclaimed the same Jesus as Lord and Savior. He bore witness to that truth even to death. How would St. Paul have come to know of Jesus if it had not been for others? Remember it was St. Stephen the deacon who died at Saurs feet for his public witness to his faith in Jesus. How did we come to know of Jesus except for others who told us of him, passed on his teaching and bore witness daily to their faith in him? Happily for most of us, our parents taught us first. They shared the mystery of God's love for us in a simple way that children could grasp. They demonstrated by example how we are to keep in touch with God daily through prayer. We learned too that the family of believers is larger than our home, yet we are "at home" as we wor- ship together around the table of the Lord as one. It is our turn to consciously witness to Jesus as indi- viduals and families. We can do it in so many ways. This year, I urge families, as families, to become members of the Propagation of the Faith. Membership in the Propagation of the Faith is clear and concrete. Parents and children together can learn about missionary efforts throughout the world. Pope John Paul II invites us to look to the new millen- nium as a moment for evangelization. Rather than look for something new to do in addition, let us use the avenue available to us in meeting our baptismal and confirmation commitments to bear witness to Jesus to peoples who have never heard of him. Let us daily pray for missionaries. Let us participate in their work as members of the Propagation of the Faith. Also, let us pray for each other that each one of us may be worthy witness to Jesus. Faithfully yom-s in Christ, Most Rev. Gerald A. Gettelflnger Bishop of Evansville