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February 14, 1992     The Message
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February 14, 1992

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14 14 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Renewal process weekend held in D By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message Editor A team formation weekend for the renewal process, "Christ Renews His Parish," was held for members of St. John Church, Daylight, and Holy Family Church, Jasper, Feb. 7-10. The parish in Day- light hosted the weekend gathering Attending were nine men from Holy Family Church, in- cluding F'ather John Schipp, the pastor, and 16 men from St. John Church, including Father James Brnne, the pas- tor. A weekend for women is, planned Feb. 28 through March 1. Frank Wardega of Cleve- land, Ohio, was the lay direc- tor of the weekend. Assisting him were five men from Cleveland and three from Indianapolis. Wardega heads Christian Life Services in Cleveland, and travels to about 20 parishes a year. Wardega said Christ Renews His Parish is now active in 470 parishes in the country, in 35 dioceses. The goal of the weekend is to provide participants with an opportunity for personal transformation, Wardega said. Each participant is encour- aged to take the next step in his or her own spirituality. Wardega said another goal of tim recent weekend was to begin to form a team in each parish. Parish teams, in turn, lead weekends for other members of their parishes. Wardega said Christ Re- news His Parish began in Clew.qand in 1969. He said one of the original parishes is still having weekends. The typical results of the process, according to Wardega, is that participants have a greater connection and identity with their parish. Papal trip aims at turning world attention to Africa By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II has two trips to Africa planned for 1992, hoping that the pilgrim- ages will remind the world's richest nations of their obliga- tion to the globe's poor. Visiting three West African countries in February and re- turning to the continent in June, the pope will stress how the campaign for univer- sal freedom and human rights is threatened by poverty in the developing world. As a pastor in Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Feb. 19- 26, the pope will encourage the tiny Catholic communi- ties in their faith and ordain some of their new priests. And as a teacher he will ex- plain Catholic social doctrine and its ethical implications for international and internal political and economic order. "The world, above all Eu- rope and North America, seem fascinated by the changes in Central and East- ern Europe," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Vatican spokesman. They are right to be interested, "but we cannot forget the situation in many parts of the Third World where, because of anger, hunger, poor health and a lack of jobs, freedom is still hampered." "The pope, with an enor- mous amount of stubborn- ness, continues to travel to bring the attention of the world" to developing nations, he said. The pope will spend much of his time in the three mostly Muslim countries fo- cusing on building a more peaceful society: from pro- moting interreligious dia- logue to urging a peaceful set- tlement of demands for independence in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. At a time when Algeria is being rocked by the demands of fundamentalist Muslims for control of national life and Sudan is involved in a civil war pitting Muslims against Christians and ani- mists, Catholic-Muslim rela- tions in Senegal, Gambia and Guinea are marked mostly by tolerance. In Senegal, Muslims make up about 92 percent of the population and Catholics about 5.1 percent. In Gambia, about 90 percent of the peo- ple are Muslim and 2 percent Catholic. Guinea's Catholics also make up about 2 percent of the population, while Mus- lims are 85 percent. The large number of mar- riages between Muslims and Christians -- including that of Senegal's president and first lady -- is often cited as a contributing factor to friendly relations. Another is the fa- miliarity with Catholics many Muslims develop after attend- ing Catholic schools. Conversions to Christianity from Islam are rare; adult converts generally have been followers of traditional African religions. Pope John Paul plans to en- courage more formal dia- logues and increased cooper- ation in social projects to guarantee mutual respect be- tween Catholics and Muslims and full participation by members of both communi- ties in national life. Pope John Paul's usual de- light in encountering young people around the globe will take on added importance in the three West African na- tions, where those under age 20 make up some 60 percent of the population. The economies of the three countries are mostly agricul- tural, but as family farms are repeatedly divided, many young feel forced to the cities. Most finish their for- mal education by the time they are 14 years old, and vo- cational training is hard to come by. Tom Brewer, a member of St. Simon Church, Indianapolis, shares the story of his conversion with participants of a "Christ Renews His Parish" weekend-at St. John .... Daylight. Montgomery, Indiana 47558 The church in Senegal, Gambia and Guinea is young, too. Although Catholic mis- sionaries visited the area more than 500 years ago, the first permanent missions to that part of Africa began in the early 1800s. Islam had al- ready taken root. Yellow fever, malaria and other dis- eases did not help: According to a history of the church in Gambia, until 1902 the aver- age life expectancy for a mis- sionary arriving on Africa's west coast was 2 years, 10 months. As it has throughout the continent, the Catholic Church in the three countries has flourished during Pope John Paul's pontificate. At the end of 1978, the year he was elected, Gambia had 12,000 Catholics and no diocesan priests -- the stan- dard indicator of the maturity of a local church. Although the number of Catholics has not grown at the same per- centage as the general popu- lation, Gambian Catholics now number 17,000 and they are served by five diocesan priests. The percentage of increase in the number of Catholics in Senegal and Guinea has ex- ceeded that of the general population growth. And from 1978 to 1990, the number of Catholics in Guinea grew by 150 percent, according to Vat- ican statistics. The six dioceses of Sene- gal, which had a combined total of 42 diocesan priests at the end of 1978, had 137 by the end of 1990. In the same 12 years, the number of diocesan priests in Guinea in- creased from 18 to 42. In Senegal and Gambia, the number of religious-order priests, mainly missionaries, has decreased. While the drop is due in part to fewer available religious in Europe, it is also a sign that the local churches are moving toward self-sufficiency. Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486" "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" f Miller & Miller ' 424-9274 Best Pizza in ToWn Pizza Pasta. Salad Bar Sandwiches Nachos ilk Free Delivery after 4:00 p.m. mmmmmnmmmmmmm me 864 S. Green River Rd. 1780 Scottsvlle Rd Lawndale Shopping Center Bowling Green, KY Evansville, IN 842-1200 474-1200 Hwy 66 & 261 US 231 North 1700 Carter d., Newburgh, IN Jasper, IN Owe nsbr'='l 853-9200 634-1844 648.4500