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

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Jndiana Seminary numbers down: Biggest drop is in theo By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The total number of U.S. Catholic seminarians dropped by 2.2 percent last fall, from 6,383 in 1992 to 6,244 in 1993. The decline stemmed from a sharp drop in the most signifi- cant group -- theology stu- dents, who are seminarians in their final years of study before ordination. Their numbers de- clined from 3,178 to 2,915, for a one-year loss of 263, or 8.3 percent. That was the largest loss of ;eology students since 1981, when theology enrollment dropped 8.8 percent from the previous year. The new figures showed slight increases in the total numbers of seminarians at high school, college and pre- theology levels of study. It was the first time since 1984 that the number of col- lege seminarians increased and the first time since 1975 that the number of high school seminarians grew. "This is a complete reversal of last year's situation," said Father C. Joseph O'Hara, re- search associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, an independent Catholic agency at Georgetown University in Washington that has collected yearly data on seminaries and seminary en- rollments at the start of every school year since 1968. "In the fall of 1992," he said, "the number of theologians and total seminarians was up, while the number of college and high school seminarians decreased." According to the latest fig- ures, which were released Jan. 25 with the publication of The 1994 CARA Seminary Direc- tory: -- The number of high school seminarians rose by 36, or 3.1 percent, from 1,150 in 1992 to 1,186 in 1993. -- The total of college semi- narians rose by 60, or 3.8 per- cent, from 1,582 in 1992 to 1,642 in 1993. -- The number in pre-theol- ogy went up 28, or 5.9 percent, from 473 in 1992 to 501 in 1993. For the first time since 1980, when it began to document fig- ures for pre-theology students, CARA put them in a com- pletely separate category from theology students. Those in pre-theology are generally men who graduated from a nonseminary college -- and in many cases spent a few years working -- before decid- ing to enter a seminary. They may need a year or more of preparatory courses in areas such as philosophy and reli- gious studies to meet prerequi- sites for entering theology studies. In earlier CARA studies such pre-theology students were included in the total count of theology students be- cause generally they were in academic programs run by a theological seminary. For purposes of comparison with previous CARA reports, the combination of pre-theol- ogy and theology students last fall was 3,416, down 6.4 per- cent from the combined total of 3,651 registered in the fall of 1992. In 1980 the number of stu- dents in pre-theology was 157. In 1992 it was triple that and, for the first time, higher than the number of seniors in col- lege seminaries. Last fall there were 307 seminarians in fourth-year col- lege and 501 in pre-theology, suggesting that pre-theology programs have begun to sur- pass college seminaries as the Seminarians in diocese Six seminarians in theology studies are currently prepar- ing for the priesthood for the Diocese of Evansville. They include Jack Durchholz, Joseph Dung Van Hoang and Brian Holtz from Evansville: Derrick Koch, Poseyville; Kenneth Steckler, Huntingburg, and Anthony Ernst of Celes- tine. Three theology students are on leaves of absence: Joseph Cook, Evansville; Jerrell Harville, Jasper, and Thomas Zint, Chrisney. College seminarians include Danny Lutz, Boonville; David Rudisill, Evansville, and Eric Weidenbenner, Ireland. Court asked to throw out church- state precedents in school case By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a potentially significant New York school case, the Supreme Court is being asked to reject several of its previous church- state separation rulings. The U.S. Catholic Confer- ence and the Knights of Columbus have filed briefs urging the court to reverse the New York Court of Appeals in a case involving a public school district created to provide spe- cial education in a small Jew- ish community. The New York Legislature in 1989 established a district in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel in order to offer a separate school for about 150 children with physical or de- velopmental defects that could not be adequately accommo- dated in the private religious schools their peers attend. Claiming the Legislature's action was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state, the director and president of the New York State School Boards Associa- tion sued. Lower courts said the Legislature violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution and created an impermissible "symbolic union of church and state," the pri- mary effect of which is "to ad- vance religious beliefs." Due to be heard by the court this spring, Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District vs. Louis Grumet and Albert W. Hawk should be used by the court to reject two 1985 rulings on which the New York courts relied, said the USCC brief. The rulings, Aguilar vs. Felton and Grand Rapids vs. Ball, removed state remedial education programs from private school premises. Their application, "unaffected by any consideration of the so- cial good to be achieved, has led to the crippling of signifi- cant and effective social pro- grams," said the USCC. "So long as Aguilar and Grand Rapids continue to be followed, interpreted and mis- interpreted by lower courts, situations such as the one pre- sented by this case will be cre- ated and recreated," continued the brief, written by USCC general counsel Mark E. Chopko and solicitor Phillip H. Harris. Kiryas Joel residents almost exclusively are Satmar Hasidic Jews, whose children are taught at private religious schools. Students in need of special help because of deaf- ness, mental retardation, emo- tional disorders or other im- pairments are entitled to attend state-operated schools but had to leave their commu- nity to do so. SINCE 1888 Schum Monuments, Inc. DALE, INDIANA 937-4921 AUTO TOPS, SEAT COVERS, BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY JASPER 482-1200 primary resource pool for new entrants into theology schools. The total number of semi- narians studying for diocesan priesthood last fall was 4,477, down 2.2 percent from the 4,576 diocesan students the year before. The total studying for reli- gious orders was down 5 per- cent, from 1,407 to 1,337. The number of novices -- men in a nonacademic period of spiritual formation for reli- gious life -- declined from 594 to 536. The information on novices, included as a footnote and not part of the seminary figures, did not distinguish be- tween those planning to be- come priests and those prepar- ing to become religious brothers. The number of seminarians not yet affiliated with a reli- gious order'or slightly, from 400 About t unaffiliated in high school rest in college or where the sible vocation to often is not yet to a particular gious order. In addition to it statistical data' CARA Seminary I tains individual U.S. seminary, narian enrollme makeup and priesthood stitution. - - The 1994 Directory is from CARA, versity, 20057-1033. Wrapping Up Members of the Junior High Youth GroUP! Church, Loogootee, wrapped gifts for needy signed 140 Christmas cards for shut-ins, nursing home residents. Helping out are Kathy Stoll, Shana Anderson, Jennifer iT/!ii Michelle Divine. Give Your the College of Her Lhil Uniiy I, A dr M I,'.ruv BDlamme ( ollg yole U ,%bul. in,vc,s,/ Kcm$1llcUnin/ly ",mlth(llqle BaylotU 4 qP Marian Heights Academy OPEN HOUSE FEBRUARY 12  0  . Martan t /eilchts .4,adem  ' , ollee., p pre arat rT P. riC . offers quality Catholic education at an affordaowe ['ort, flr both daand boarding students, lb find out cMll(ad, r Kostelic at 812-367-1431 or DUBOIS COUNTY BANK O!. ]131OP IIiIP Memb FDIC YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK 1.800-467-4MttA. kPJAN I t EIG! rl:+ A{ )F.MY