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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 5, 1993     The Message
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February 5, 1993

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of Southustem Indiana By PAUL R. LEINGANG lrh. "&apos;- Message Editor It's Saturday morning. Almost time for Mass in our large parish church. I walk carefully toward the front, trying not to break the gentle quiet. The wood of the floor creaks with each step. The lights are on, not bright but almost golden. People sit or kneel in twos and threes. They look up as I walk by and select an empty pew to- wards the front -- but not too close. The church is warm and comfortable. Famil- iar. How many people are here? Fifty? I could have counted them as I walked in, if I had wanted to. How many could kneel on this kneeler I just pulled down? Six. Maybe eight. I have it to my- self. Not too many people of my age here, I catch myself thinking. Then I wonder, where did that thought come from? I try to remember the faces of the people I saw as I walked in -- the ones who looked up as the boards of the floor announced another presence in the quiet church. Past and present are one at celebraticm of the Most of the people here are about my age, I acknowledge to myself. Where did that other thought come from? Then I knew. For a single moment on a Saturday morning, I was 15 again, and home from school. I was with my parents walking into our parish church. The boards creaked in the quiet morning, and the peo- ple -- who were scattered around the church in twos and threes -- looked up as we passed. It could have been Saturday morning, or any weekday morning. Mom and Dad went to Mass every day they could. I looked up, almost surprised to see that I was not back home. I looked around, almost ex- pecting to see my mother and father, and the peo- ple from my home town. The moment passes, but the experience lingers. It's Saturday morning. Almost time for Mass in our large parish church. And I realize that my mom and dad are with me, and so are many other people of abiding'faith. The church is filled -- not with twos and threes --but with whole families l nonetheless powerful in their presence. It is their faith that we received -- the same faith they had received from believers before them. It's Saturday morning. Prayers from of the altar come back to me. I will go to the altar of God. To God the joy of my youth. Past and present are one at thi of the Mass, I realize, and there is hope future. I believe that our faith will sustain not only you and me, but our children and who come after us. But how will we faith to them? How do we share the our tradition, the joys of our youth? The world has changed since I was 15.. has the church. I wonder what memories sift unexpectedly into the consciousness of ture believers. What does it mean to be Catholic That is a question for the Synod. The is extended to all believers in the diocese: please pray and participate. Washington LetteJ Sowing the seeds of a new farm policy lf00)r a new By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS} --  furl as documents in Wash. ington go, it's pretty short at 28 pages. And out of concern for the environment, it's printed on both sides of the paper. Compiled by the Sustain- able Agriculture Working Group -- of which the Na- tional Catholic Rural Life Conference is a member -- its title gets to the point: "Rec- ommendations to the Clinton Administration." The 30-organization work- ing group is among those eager to have the new )ccu- pant of the White House hit the ground running when it comes to agriculture policy But while Clinton transi- tion team members appeared interested in the report, ac- cording to those who helped compile the document, they're viewed as stumbling for not yet having in place a series of assistant secretaries, undersecretaries and deputy i i The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville P weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville .............. B, mhop Ger A nOer Eot ............................................ Paul Oro Manager ........................... Phil SOgr .................................... P Nar< Staff Writer ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post offce in Evansville, IN 47701, Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication C.,W 1993  Press cd Evar've secretary for new Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. The recommendations are as important to the country's metropolitan-dwelling major- ity as to its' rural residents, said Joseph K. Fitzgerald, ex- ecutive director of the Na- tional Catholic Rural Life Conference. "For Joe and Susie Suburb, food quality is important, from the Alar scare to one oisoned Chilean grape to ovine growth hormones to genetically engineered pro- duce," he said. "It gets to the heart of how America eats its food and fiber." The recommendations take in beginning farmer pro- grams, minority farmer is- sues, land-grant university re- search, genetic engineering, the impact of the North American Free Trade Agree- ment on farmers, a host of en- vironmental issues, and the always-important budget questions. In short, they center on "the dignity of the human person," said Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., the U.S. bishops' liai- son to the rural life confer- ence and the son of an apple grower. "It underlines all that we do and all that we should be as a society," said Bishop Skylstad, who with Fitzgerald addressed the U.S. Catholic Conference's Food and Agri- culture Subcommittee in a se- ries of late-January meetings. Stewardship and "access to the goods of the earth" are two other principles enumer- ated in the recommendations, he added. "We live in rapidly evolv- ing times," Bishop Skylstad said. "In living in solidarity with one another, to be able to go through change with one another, rather than let- ting (farmers) dangle and twist in the wind," is the way to go, he added. It will require sacrifice, but "it has to be done in a collab- orative way that is done across the board," Bishop Skylstad said. "There's a sacrifice already taking place," Fitzgerald said. "The biases of current farm policy ask sacrifices of {farm- ing} individuals. It asks tremendous sacrifice of the earth ... sacrifice waged upon the natural resources." Fitzgerald and others who prepared the document said it was prepared with the idea of producing the most change as soon as possible with the least cost. "Implementation of exist- ing law can be done right away," Fitzgerald said. "And it won't cost anything. In many cases, it's a matter of olicy." Much of what could e implemented right away has to do with ignored provi- sions of the 1990 farm bill. Still, nothing comes cost- free, and the ultimate price tag for reordering U.S. farm policy would cost an extra $73.8 million, according to the document. Redirecting federal subsi- dies away from the biggest farms and forgoing a planned cut next year for medium- sized family farms is a must, according to Chuck Hasse- brook of the Center for Rural Affairs in Walthill, Neb. Oth- erwise, he said, there will be "a landed aristocracy growing up within agriculture." Margaret Mellon, director of the National Wildlife Fed- eration's biotechnology pol- icy center, said the group's recomnmendation for stream- lined yet mandatory pre-test- ing for genetically engineered agriculture products will ben- efit both producers and con- sumers. That recommendation in- cludes consumer advisories on food packages that the item contains genetically al- tered ingredients. "They give us 18 choices of Kleenex. Why not a choice on the nd of food that we eat?" Mellon asked. Ferd Hoefner, who drafted much of the document, noted that for the first time in most farmers' lives, there will be new heads of both the House and Senate agriculture appro- priations subcommittees. In the House, Jamie L. Whitten, D-Miss., was forced out of the post he had held since 1949, as well as the House Agriculture Committee chairmanship. He's been re- placed by Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill. In the Senate, Quentin N. Burdick, D-N.D., who died last year, was succeeded by Dale Bumpers, D-Ark. Seeing as how President Clinton comes from Arkansas, might the Bumpers-Arkansas connec- tion be helpful? "I think it certainly could {be}," Hoefner said. Hassebrook said Vice Presi- dent AI Gore's stand on envi- ronmental issues could help push through legislation, such as the of poison" bill that ban the import of treated with cheI banned in the United "It remains to whether {Gore} takes est" in the rural sebrook said, but, think it's a good sign. he added, "has sitivity to the rural poverty." Ron Jackson, usCCi on hunger, poverty issues, said the pal "probably going to our top priorities," as assistance to smaller farms. Bishop Skylstad recommendations come policy. "One son could sink s today," he said. Might the recoml lions be the basis for farm bill? Replied "If we're worth our will be." Bishop's The following activities and events are listed out schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger - Confirmation at : St. Con: and Vocations I] Monday, Tuesday am Dmcesan Finance Council'meeting, Center, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 3:30. Presbyterate Day, Catholic Center Feb. 11. Synod Central Planning Committee, Center and Sarto Retreat p,m. t Saturday, Feb. !3, 4 p.nJ.