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Evansville, Indiana
January 31, 1997     The Message
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January 31, 1997
 

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? The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana of the Diocese VII Council , is a list of the cur- i sville Evansville 1 Franklin, Evansville Petersburg ll Boonville Hedinger, O.S.B., St., Jasper anta Claus Sullivan Evans- file  Schroering, Haub- A, Gettelfinger Knapp, Evans- Borkowski, the DPC SUpporting bodies, both and schools, as well as m the civic community. devotional and support multiple areas of lay .SOme are formal as is the and some are less for- tic and h'ospital innumerable vol- nerable services COaching grade-school serve the Church 0fens parish. We 1 the interparochial ven- m our educational Vincennes, and Side Consolidated are tile fbrmal diocesan Consider again the 1 the .... vcrson-hours School up in diocese f Evansville, there elementary schools -- relic Consoli- has classrooms at three Evans- r. mterparochial high Mater Dei and Washington and Rivet in Catholic Schools two parishes operated as ele- serve the and surrounding one for pre- grade five and the 12. in the diocese Acade- by the at Ferdinand. reports )el enrollment at 5,577 the year spent in service of our diocese through the following groups alone: The Dioce- san Pastoral Council; the Diocesan Priests' Council; the Diocesan Finance Council; the Diocesan Priests' Personnel Board; the Diocesan Building Commis- sion; the Catholic Foundation of South- western Indiana; the Deans of our seven deaneries; the Board of Trustees of the Diocese of Evansville Retirement Trust Agreement and Plan for Priests. Notice that these do not touch the myriad other volunteer bodies within our diocese. There are more parochial, interparochial, civic and community groups whose members share of them- selves for the good of the church than we can enumerate here. There are those who serve beyond our boundaries who represent us to the larg- er church. These include the members of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Catholic Conference and the members of its Advisory Council. We are also members in the Indiana Non-Public Education Association as well as the Indiana Federation of Catholic School Families. We also have the honor of having one of our members serving as President of the National Advisory Council to the National Conference of Catholic Bish- ops. Helen Boettcher of St. Mary's Parish, Evansville, is a representative of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for Region VII, which encom- passes Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. We should be most proud of her gift to the larger church. There is no question that you have your own list of most faith- ful stewards ef God's gifts. Evangelization I don't know about you, but I have great trouble with this word. I have to Donald Braden Jr. and Kelly Deweese were catechumens called forward to be among the "Elect" at diocesan ceremonies held last February at St. Benedict Church, Evansville. place it with "motherhood" and "the flag." Yet, we must acknowledge that there is an enormous effort in our dio- cese to share the Gospel with others, a mandate Jesus gave to each of us. Consider all that is done in our formal education programs, be they in out-of- school or in-school programs. There is no way to quantify this endeavor except through the numbers which are annual- ly reported in the Diocesan Yearbook. Last year alone there were 10,071 chil- dren and young people enrolled in parish religious education programs. There were also 7,568 children and young peo- ple enrolled in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in our Catholic schools. We do know that there has been a gradual, but significant, increase in the number of our children attending Catholic elementary and secondary schools in our diocese. There has been a 13.06 percent increase in enrollment in pro-kindergarten through twelfth grade since 1992. In this past year, through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, there re 122 baptized into the faith: We ha also . ?., . Campus Ministry. AIIow=ng students to achieve a deep understanding of their faith By JOE COOK AND CHRIS HOEHN Newman Center Directors In our last article, we addressed the first aspect of campus ministry: creat- ing a Christian community on campus. In the U.S. Bishops' pastoral letter, "Empowered by the Spirit: Campus Ministry Faces the Future," the second aspect of campus ministry is to appro- priate the Catholic faith to its believers. Campus ministers are called to form the best possible learning community in which members of the university can achieve a deep understanding of their faith. For many young Catholics, the first real "challenge" to their faith comes when they leave home for college. Chal- lenges hit the students in the classroom where they are taught to question tra- ditional assumptions and to tolerate diverse opinions, Some professors may present a world view that is devoid of faith and religion. Some professors might even suppose that "higher educa- tion" necessarily implies leaving behind the "naivete" of childhood religious beliefs. Challenges hit students outside of the classroom as well. Catholic students may be drawn to other Christian denominations, which attract them away from their religious heritage. They experience a new freedom that living away from their home and family pro- vides. Some Catholics simply drift away from their faith, Many students talk about their frustration with not being able to explain or defend their faith, If a students does not know and understand the tenets of her faith, she will miss out on an important aspect of her'lifo. A tory.about my,friend learn ing to play cards illustrates this point. The other day I was teaching a friend how to play euchre. Although he has knowledge of many things, he was neglected his education in this particu- lar card game. Now in college, my friend is experiencing a painful separation from his peers because he can't share in his fi-iends' favorite pastime, His igno- rance concerning euchre effects his abil- ity to share in his fi'iends' fun. This is very similar to our faith lives. If we are unable to explain our beliefs as Catholics, we are unable to add much to the conversations going on around us, Those conversations are taking place in the ccllege residence halls, the class- rooms, and the workplaces of students. People are continually discussing vari- ous facets of what it means to be Chris- tian. Many are curious about the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, many Catholics know very little about their beliefs and their history. One way in which campus ministry at the University of Evansville addresses this area is to offer discussion groups on Church history and theology at a time in the student's curriculum that deals with the Reformation. A topic like this can be presented in many different ways based upon the direction of the professor. Campus ministry offers an approach that tries to deal with the subject hon- estly while presenting another point of view. In such an instance, campus min- istry works to find the best way to be faithful to the teachings of the Church while addressing and applying those teachings to the contemporary situation. At the University of Southern Indi- ana. in addition to discussion opportu- nities that are provided for students to tion on issues that are current to their class work. Many students come to question their assumptions on Catholic teachings through a variety of class room situations. Our office has provided nmterials to more than one student researching a topic for a speech or class concerned with current issues where the Catholic church has taken a stand. We are also veD' fortunate at Catholic Campus Min- istry to have Father Don Dilger as a weekly Sunday homilist and educator on the scripture. Our Catholic faith is not faith in a vacuum, it grows and is developed through the scripture and tradition. V are very blessed to have Father Dilger break open the word and share of our rich tradition. Throughout the year we invite Catholic faculty, staff and students to come together in prayer and play. Through cookouts, Masses, and shared times ofreflection and renewal, students see modeled a live and active Catholic faith. These encounters enrich all and provide ongoing mentoring for students. For the college student, owning one's faith is crucial to living out that faith. Becoming a good accountant requires a student to understand and apply the principles of that particular field. Grow- ing into a mature Christian requires a young adult to understand and apply the principles of the Catholic faith to his or her life and its particular circum. stances. This is the third article in a Campus Ministry ries written by Joe Cook and Chris H('hn, University of Etnsville grow in knowledge and awareness of and University of Southern Indiana , ,thi faith we,offer, cesotarca infarcts,-,,  l=au,Cecttr D;/ tara, :,, + ., + +, +  ,,