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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 14, 1992     The Message
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February 14, 1992

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sacrifi or you ati# '4 T E S S i CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 22 NUMBER 24 E February 14, 1992 Prayers, support for families follow crast IIY MARY ANN HUGHES The crash occured just be- evening hours with family Remembering tile crash The bishop, quoting from Message staff writer eb. 6 airplane (:rash, 1 killed 16 persons, at prayers and support SCene of the crash, at where families had ed to find out about ones, at church day and even on a station. 200 people attended which was offered for of the Feb. 6 air disas- e Bishop Gerald er was the chief tt of the Mass which Feb. 7 at the Pro- ral of tile Most Holy in downtown ille. Oil tile day betbre, had spent much of at the (:rash site. morning of Feb. 6, a C-130 transl)ort into the side Inn and into the Restaurant. Six- ersons died, including crew members and 11 Who were in the and motel. At least Pie with burns and )roblems were ville hospitals. was transported Memorial Hospi- )olis and two sent to Humana in Louisville. fore 10 a.m. last Thursday. Bishop Gettelfinger was working at tile Catholic (;en- ter which is about a mile from the (:rash site. He re- members hearing a sudden change in pitch in a plane's engine noise. Then he heard the sound of a crash. Within minutes, he drove to the scene of the crash. While there, he was asked to comfort the husband of one of the victims. The bishop said he went to the scene to show "prayful support of the Catholic Church for those affected by the tragedy." He offered his personal prayers to the faini- lies who lost loved ones in lhe crash. "On hehalf of all the people of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville, I pledge our prayerful support to you at this tragic moment. "Know that we grieve with you. We too stand in awe at the mystery of life and death. We pray that God will grant strength to all who suffered loss and ask for healing to those who were injured." Following the crash, sev- eral parish priests and other members of the clergy were called to a family gathering area which was set up near a morgue in downtown Evansville. They spent the ch officials denounce the repatriation of Haitian boat people (CNS) -- Ops and other ls quickly de- adminis- ecision in early )egin repatriation of U.S.-bound eople inter- by the U.S. Y and the Catholic Says to the U.S. gov- ave us these peo- them back... people where they said Jesuit Father executive U.S. bishops' and Refugee Ser- 5 statement. with the Archdio- MRS recently an office in provide resettle- :es to Haitians ar- United States. is partially funded 'tlce Department's Community Relations Service. The first 150 of thousands being returned home by the U.S. government arrived in Haiti Feb. 3. The repatriation began less than a month after release of a new report by Amnesty In- ternational documenting human rights violations in Haiti since a military coup in Sept. toppled Haiti's presi- dent, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Fleeing Haitians have claimed they face politi- cal persecution in Haiti while the Bush administration ar- gues that the majority fled for economic reasons. Meanwhile the U.S. State Department is investigating allegations that the Haitian military has beaten and killed boat people who were re- turned to Haiti last Nov. after U.S. officials rejected their See CHURCH Page 3 inembers. Father Francis Schroering spent several hours with Brenda and John Bergwitz who were awaiting news about their youngest son, Charles. "Brenda is a nurse. She spent a lot of time trying to help other people even though she herself needed help," said Father Schroering. "Brenda has a very deep faith. I'm sure it will see her through. But that can't make it any easier." The Bergwitz family re- ceived confirmation late that night that Charles had been killed in the crash. He had been employed by Plumbing and Industrial Supply of Evansville. The bodies of nine of the victims, all em- ployee, s of the supply com- pany, were found in a confer- ence suite in the motel. They had been attending a seminar. Early in the morning the day after the crash, Joe Blair, program director and morn- ing air personality on WIKY- FM, incorporated listeners' comments into his music and news show. He featured sev- eral callers who prayed for the victims and expressed their sympathy and support for the families. Shortly after the crash, Bishop Gettelfinger an- nounced that a special memo- rial Mass for the victims and their families would be held Feb. 7 at Pro-Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. During the Mass, Bishop Gettelfinger began his homily by asking, "How dare we, after a terrible tragedy, cele- brate? In the Christian faith, we have the answer: death is not the end, death is a pas, sageway, an entryway into eternal life." scene the day before, the bishop talked about the "still- ness of death and its mo- ments that are consuming. It is the stillness that comes with death that is a mystery." He urged the families of the victims to know that "we are with you." Corinthians 8: 37'-39, re- minded those in attendence at the Mass that "none of that can separate us from God's love for us. Yes, we ache, we wonder, we suffer. Yet we can be consoled." During the Mass, the See PRAYERS Page 3