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

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10 e Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Magic of Words 4" By FATHER {. IOSEPH ZILIAK What issues did your parish see as the most important for the present and future? In preparation for the Synod '93 for the Dio- cese of Evansville, parishes were to gather in as- sembly this past month to discuss pastoral issues that had been identified from a number of differ- ent sources. Parish staff persons, diocesan staff members, health care providers and other groups have iden- tified issues of concern over the past year. These were put together by a central planning commit- tee under the heading of ten major areas for discussion. I don't know what kind of numbers were ex- pected to attend these parish sessions. The num- bers that I have heard from a variety of parishes has not been very high. In fact 30-35 per parish has been a frequently mentioned number. Several parishes beat that number significantly, but they were more the exception than the rule. When we consider that the Gallup organiza- tion may poll only 1200 to 1500 to give a national reaction to an issue, the numbers we had come to the assembly gatherings are pretty good. What we end up recognizing is that those who were pre- sent did form a representative group and voice for the whole parish. What do parishes see as most important issues? I haven't heard yet what issues were empha- sized by all the parishes. I do know that several focused on "living the faith" and "family." Is that surprising when you have a gathering of parents? The Message defined the topic of "living the faith" as "encompassing total Catholic education and spirituality. Total Catholic education focuses upon both learning and passing on the faith in all age groups. We accomplish these goals through our Catholic schools, our religious edu- cation programs, youth and adult education pro- gramming and through valid spiritual formation. The focus of spirituality is living the faith day-to- day." That's what we work on all the time in our parishes. It is no wonder that this topic would be of great concern for our people. The family is where people live out their spirituality. Each of the topics identified by the central planning committee are immportant. The parish assemblies were to concentrate on the two issues that received the highest interest. The only prob- lem is that some of the other issues that are dropped, subsequently, from the assembly con- centration are necessary for the whole to work. If we do not have well trained, spiritually motivated clergy, we will have parishes that look quite different. We do have parishes than priests at their head. What do say to us? How will that reality of few alistically impact on many parishes by this century? Does not living the faith also include a reaching out to the non-baptized, or to tized in another faith who seek membership the Catholic church? Does living the faith not also include seeking out the lost, or are no longer regularly active in tile the Catholic faith? Does living the faith include on-going attempts to energize those are regular church goers, but who are rarely involved? Does not living the faith include a the works of our Lord through time, talent resources? How can we truly live the faith then ignore the needs in justice of the less nate, the powerless or those who are in our world? Does not living the faith include dained women and men at a variety of levels our parish and diocesan life? Let's all the very special and beautiful challenge people of faith. Golden Jubilarians Jerry and Aurelia Eickhoff will celebrate their fiftieth wed- ding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. Sat- urday, Feb. 6, at St. Agnes Church, Evansville. A reception will follow in the school cafeteria. The couple has four chil- dren and 10 grandchildren. They invite all their friends to celebrate with them. 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