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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 10, 1995     The Message
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February 10, 1995

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference-- - Good news: A happy story from a young, family I kept looking for a twist in the story. I kept wondering when the "real story" would be told. The story was written by a woman in Saugerties, New York, and it was entitled, "The Presence of God." It began, "When I first met my husband I realized he was different from most males I'd known. He was handsome and strong but the thing that made him stand out was that he had a direction and a plan for his life." The story had me hooked. "He was brought up with strong family values that were instilled by his par- ents, hence his goal was to be the father that his father was to him. His relationship with his par- ents was unique, I'd never seen such a close bond. It was quite obvious where he obtained his Christ- ian morals and work ethic." That work ethic included living at home with his parents, working at a good job, and saving money to build a house. "We decided that once w4were married we would live with his parents so we could continue to save. At the time I was pretty apprehensive about this, I never dreamt I'd ever move in with my in- laws! Our wedding was not extravagant, especially by today's standards. It may not have been fancy, By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR but love radiated from everyone that was involved. I'll never forget that day for that reason, I have to think it was a glimpse of what heaven will be like!" (As a regular reader of news items, I have to admit that I was ex- pecting some trouble at this part of the story. It was not so.) For two years, the couple lived with his parents. They made plans for a simple house. "We started building and did a majority of the work ourselves -- my husband, myself, and his father. It took a yea r from start until we could move in. We feel very blessed by God that we were able to do this, that we had the health, sup- port and opportunity. The project though formida- ble, did not consume us but only drew us closer." A child was on the way, "a smooth nine months which I attribute to exercise, healthy eat- ing, low stress levels and God's blessings." When the baby was two weeks overdue, there was some anxiety, but "Once he arrived I was over- whelmed with joy and love, I cried with happiness. Having and loving this child opened a new dimen- sion of love for me, it also helped me understand a little more how God loves us as his children." The new parents realized "we couldn't have re- ceived a more perfect match for us had we been able to fill out an order form and send i The baby was baptized, with a pries ing the ceremony and the father's parents as Godparents. Some months later, the preside at Mass in the living room and to new family's home. "In a society where family values are ing and being attacked I feel truly blessed: I God everyday for the family he has given That was it. The end. There was no bad ! no twist, no scandal. That was the "real and that is unusual. And that is What was your reaction in reading Talk about it with family or friends. How do the early years of the story compare with yours? Or with with your children's families? What values are being lived out by family? Here is a way to make a big C lives of your children and your friends. record the story of your family. Take the time to express your thanks your spouse or parents, to your friends, to 3 laws -- to whomever should receive your gratitude. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Iowa 50010. Washington Lobbying 101: Catholic school students learn firsthand le By CAROL ZIMMERMANN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The old adage that children should be seen and not heard did not apply to more than 100 Catholic school students who descended on Capitol Hill Feb. 1. The students, taking part in National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools, were meant to be heard as they lobbied senators and representatives on behalf of their Catholic schools. Girls in plaid skirts and white blouses and boys with blazers, ties and khaki pants stood out from the usual lobby- ists in the halls of Congress and frequently caused a head or two to turn. "So many people that we've bumped into have said, 'I went to Catholic school too,"' said Kate Keffer, a mother of two who accompanied a Pennsylva- nia school delegation to Wash- The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weeldy except last week in December by the Caol Press of Evansville  ..............   A. Cr, Ex ............................................ Pa LwanO Product Manager .......................... Phil Bog Circulation ................................... Amy Housman AdveeJsi .................................... Paul Ne#iand Stafff wnter ........................... Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 (812) 424-5536 Fax: (812) 421-1334 Subscription rate: $15,00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evanswlle. IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Off..e of Publication  1995  Press o( Evansvi(Ce ii I in,on. Such recognition, she said, shows that Catholic schools are doing a good job and turning out qualified graduates dedi- cated to public service. "If this doesn't speak to the worth of Catholic schools, I don't know what does," she told Catholic News Service. Mrs. Keffer was one of many parents, principals and other Catholic school officials who joined the students in the fifth year of lobbying efforts as part of Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29-Feb. 4. This year's event, sponsored annually by the National Catholic Educational Associa- tion, had the most participants and involved more personal contacts than previous years. School delegations spoke with 17 Congress members and 25 legislative aides. They also hand-delivered packets with information on Catholic schools to 225 members of Con- gress. Most students joining in the lobbying efforts were from five schools in the metro Washing- ton area. But they were joined by a group of 80 from Wilming- ton, Def., and seven from Har- risburg, Pa. Their day began with an un- intended lesson in government operations when they tried to get a picture taken of everyone on the U.S. Capitol steps. Be- cause of construction on the House side, they decided to pose for their annual photo on the Senate side. First they had to wait be- cause the area was sealed off while the Bosnian prime min- ister addressed the Senate. Then they were told they could not hold signs for the photo be- cause that would make it a demonstration. Finally, when the photographer had all 148 pairs of eyes on him, a security guard said the picture could not be taken  a House mem- ber had sponsored the group, not a senator. So the students and school officials ended up smiling in a neutral zone -- a grassy area next to the Capitol. Luckily, they had the chance to warm up their smiling mus- cles; they would need them throughout the day. When the Harrisburg delegation posed in front of the desk of Rep. George Gekas, R-Pa., the NCEA photographer did not say "cheese" but "tax credits." Those words had been on most of the delegates' lips dur- ing their meetings. After singing the praises of Catholic schools, they hoped to encour- age school choice initiatives. "There will always be Catholic schools, but why should we just have them for small numbers? Let's give the same opportunity to everyone," Anthony DeCaprio, assistant superintendent of secondary schools and special programs in the Harrisburg Diocese, told the Gekas' legislative aide. "We don't want to become academies," he added. Mrs. Keffer chimed in that Catholic schools operate "on a shoestring budget educating children for less than $2,000 a year. We're here to ask for sup- port. The two students in on this meeting steered clear of the school choice issue, but did say Catholic schools were giving them a good education and preparing them for the future. The principal had chosen the two to travel to Washington and made the trip with them. Eighth grader Maureen Kel- ler of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in McSherrystown, Pa., was a lit- tle disappointed that by mid- afternoon her group still had not actually met any congres- sional representatives, who had been voting on legislation. But she felt it was still worth- while to "get our message across." The Delaware group had a little more success, spending at least 35 minutes with Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. Students asked the senator questions ranging from if he ever wanted to become president -- he said "No"  to how many years after the death of his first wife did he wait before remarrying he answered five. Biden, a Catholic, told the group he had initially wanted to be a priest, but then chose public service. Although he said he did not want to become president, he quickly added that "nuns never forget," re- calling the sister who has kept his seventh-grade essay about wanting to be president. Just the senators and made the day cording to Sister McNamee, a Joseph of NCEA president. "It's an educationSl the students to of how the she said. Andrew o,Brier eighth grader ciation school i: rystown, said his day was ,seeing tance con e ssen gr e' "how busy they ar. Classmate day's efforts could ference. "We wo come if it didn't. counts." AndreW, had said en ough day, didn't expm'/d ments, but Bishop's sch The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger" Confirmation at St. Thomas cennes, Sunday, Feb. 12, 10 an, Youth Day Mass, Holy Sunday, Feb. 12, 4 p.m. Conference, Tuesday and New Harmony.