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Evansville, Indiana
February 4, 1994     The Message
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February 4, 1994

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1994 The Message -- for Catholics Of Southwestern Indiana 5 " Bishop's Forum -- Past... future: We are in transition  We are in transition. So, I ask F, "What is new?" First I had ; oa the past and then look for the future Five wi- ,ers ago while I was priest of the Archdiocese of et two of our at Ski Paoli Peaks. As I re- separate ski out- on Zgunda was pas- in Linton. As we at Paoli, he told that I was going to of Evansville. He ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER he did like it very Jokingly, I told him not to get too I met Father Ken Betz from Ireland. the rumor in similar fashion. He :sa idea. Laughingly, I sag- nOuld be careful of rumors, they true. Story: Be careful of what you we are in transition. We have just finished the Synod of 1993, the Fourth Synod in the history of our diocese. It had more to it than legislative ac- tions which are the hallmark of most diocesan synods. It was truly an effort to makes plans for the fu- ture of our diocese as we approach the next century, indeed the next millenium. The Synod was not the end of something, but rather the renewal of many works of the past and some new ventures as we look ahead. We must not allow our- selves to become victims of history, but to be active in forming it. We are renewing the bright challenge follow- ing Vatican Council II, namely the work of parish and diocesan pastoral councils. Much work was done under the leadership of Bishop Francis R. Shea. We are challenged to learn from those pio- neering efforts and to develop to the fullest the ideals of the principles of subsidiarity and collabo- ration in carrying out the mission of the Church. The role of the laity in the life of the Church is critical for proclaiming the Gospel in our time. The post-synodal activities will continue and will intensify as we strive to meet the challenges given to all of us in November 1993. There is also the excitement that comes with family reunions. As the year 1994 begins, we are also beginning to call to mind our fiftieth year as a diocese. On November 11, 1994, our diocese will be fifty years old. In history we are still young, but in familial terms, we are already two generations and more. Father John Boeglin has agreed to serve as leader of our Golden Jubilee Celebration Commit- tee. He is noted for his ability to celebrate the life of the past with the excitement of the present. I am most grateful for his willingness to lead us in this significant celebration of our history. He and his committee, staffed by Sister Louise Bond, our Chancellor, will certainly keep us in touch with our roots and help to celebrate with the joy the ac- complishments of fifty years of Catholic presence to this local Church. The year of our Lord 1994 gives us much for which to be grateful to all those who have led us to this moment on our pilgrimage of faith! What form should welfare reform take? WILLIAMS bated is what form the change a committee hearing one of the cautioned legislators against off welfare," said Judith Hailer Conference should take. bills. In the statement, the ICC developing policies, such as the of the Legal Services Organiza- zgis- country are Is welfare re- General As- Almost that welfare question de- Several complex bills intro- duced in the Indiana legisla- ture this session map out vari- ous plans for changing Indiana's welfare system. The Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC) presented a statement of principles on welfare reform to the WOrldwide 00ission Yer and in sacrifice, respond to Christ's call to ' Continue his mission. JOIN with missionaries News and love of Christ to people JOIN the Propagation of tlw Faith. of 15,000 Masses offered for mission priests. affirmed efforts to reform the public welfare system and also supported policies that "go be- yond public assistance by im- proving access to education, housing, health care, and em- ployment for all Hoosiers." Positive reform efforts the ICC supported in the state- ment include seeking to help people leave poverty behind by allowing them to keep more of their earnings; helping fami- lies move from welfare to work without losing health coverage, satisfactory day care and an income support essential for their well-being; and offering public assistance beneficiaries education and job training that lead to real jobs. Strong child support enforcement is also emphasized: "No one should contribute to creating a child and then walk away from one's responsibility for supporting the child." Not all reform efforts pro- posed this session are positive, though, said M. Desmond Ryan, ICC's executive director and lobbyist. "We c0nnot sup- port proposals that aim at the behavior of parents but his de- fenseless children, such as cut- ting assistance for an addi- tional child," said Ryan. "The state should not force a woman to choose between her unborn child and greater poverty." In a news conference last week, human service advocates family benefit cap and the two- year benefit line, based on false assumptions of welfare recipients. Some of the welfare proposals recommended are based on myths that most women do not want to work, stay on welfare for long time periods, and have more babies while on welfare, according to the Indiana Coalition-for Human Services (ICHS), of which the ICC is a member. The facts presented by mem- bers of the ICttS dispute those myths. The average family has two children, and 75 percent of those on Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) have one or two children, said Jo Johansen, with Indiana Welfare Watch. "A study in Wisconsin concluded that fer- tility rates among AFDC moth- ers were lower than the rates for the general population, and that the longer a woman re- mains on welfare, the less likely she is to give birth," she said. "Our problem in Indiana is not longevity on welfare but the need for longevity staying tion. "We cut families off AFDC at a lower income that any other state," she said, re- ferring to the $288 per month wage limit AFDC recipients are able to retain. Many wel- fare mothers get back on wel- fare because their jobs were temporary or their pay was in- suiticient to support their fam- ily, Said HalleE: The coalition supports a bill which would allow beneficiaries to keep their earnings and receive ben- efits until they reach federal poverty level. The bottom line of much of the welfare reform debate is getting recipients off welfare and into jobs. The ICC sup- ports this consensus as long as there are jobs and support available, said Ryan. "Mean- ingful reform of the welfare system will depend to a great degree on a strong economy, so that all who are able and will- ing to work can, and on public policies that assist working parents by assuring adequate health care, child care, and child support. Parishes contribute to Monastery drive Parish contributions to For- ward in Faith, the capital cam- paign of the Sisters of St. Benedict at Ferdinand, have helped the religious commu- nity reach the $3.5 million do! lar mark, according to Benedic- tine Sister Anita Louise Lowe. St. Mary Church, ttunting- burg, has pledged $7,500; St. Anthony Church, St. Anthony, THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH s conTpnitted to the uvrldu,ide mission of ]esus 169 IN 47724.0169 Erilaents (living & deceased may be enrolled) 1 $50 Individual Annual $10 Family Y total offering of $ State lik I -.,e to be a monthly donor to the Missions! I I ""Ur gi/t is tax dductibh., ,t I : Nt00ISHE00, I ! ^ ^, , ! ! ZIP I of Southwestern Indiana Your pledge touches thousands of lives throughout our diocese has pledged $5,000, and St. Clement Church, Boonville, has made a gift of $1,000. The Benedictine Sisters are seeking a total of $5.1 million to fund the renovation of St, Benedict Hall  a six floor complex which forrrierly housed three floors of bed- rooms, the infirmary, the kitchen and dining area, the monastery and Marian Heights Academy libraries, the baker)." and the print shop. Electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems will be up- graded.