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February 14, 1997     The Message
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February 14, 1997
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Indiana Catholic Conference continues to work on life issu Medicaid hospice for the terminally ill, partial-birth a By BRIGID CURTIS Indiana Catholic Conference INDIANAPOLIS -- In light of Pope John Paul II's description of the American culture as "the cul- ture of death" the Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC) con- tinues to promote the Church's consistent ethic of life in the leg- islative arena which includes many issues as well as the tradi- tional anti-abortion message. "Respecting life in the womb is as important as respecting the life of those who are near death," said the executive director of the ICC, Desmond M. Ryan, Ph.D. "As Catholics, it is important that we recognize the full range of life issues." One life issue the ICC is sup- porting this session deals with the payment rate for Medicaid Hospice. Meeting the needs of the terminally ill who qualify for Medicaid could be made possible under Senate Bill 112, authored by State Senator David C. Ford (R-Hartford City). That legisla- tive proposal passed the Senate Planning and Public Services Committee recently. The measure would establish a payment rate to a hospice pro- gram that provides care for the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and the special needs of a hospice patient during the final stages of the patient's ter- minal illness. In addition, a pay- ment rate would be set up for the special needs of the patient's family both during the final stages of the patient's life and during the months following the patient's death. "In this day and age when newspapers are full of debate over doctor-assisted suicide, hos- pice care provides a humane and compassionate alternative which would allow dying patients to spend their final days at home with their families," said Ford. In addition, Ryan noted that CEF volunteers begin 1997 campaign Cathy Drake, CEF campaign coordina- tor, encourages volunteers to make calls early for the 1997 fund raising campaign. By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Officers and volunteers for the Catholic Education Foundation kicked off their 1997 contribution campaign, at a breakfast meet- ing held at Sarto Retreat House, Evansville, Feb. 6. The group is seeking to raise $155,000 in the coming year, to provide tuition grants- in-aid for Mater Dei and Memorial high school students next year. That goal is com- posed of pledges from contributors and income to be earned by investments. Cathy Drake is the campaign chairperson. Last year, CEF helped 121 students at the two Catholic high schools in Evansville. CEF also provides assistance for the Mari- an Day program for learning disadvantaged students, located at St. Theresa School, Evansville. CEF officers include John Michael O'Leary, president; Tom Corcoran, vice-pres- ident; Tricia Hollander Pendley, secretary, and Dr. Maurice Keller, treasurer. Mark Schiff is the chair of the committee which responds to grant requests. Linda Monte- jane is executive director. Volunteers from the community each year make personal calls and visits with prospec- tive donors. Tricia Hollander Pendley pauses to check for questions following her pre- sentation of the minutes of the Catholic Education Foundation, at the cam- paign kick-off breakfast, Feb. 6. efforts to humanity, death are which sistent er Medicaid Bill 1582, resentative Bloomington) is the House. abortion the full Despite the measure, Senate. SB 611 Indiana House c where it will scrutiny. 1185, sentative anapolis), (88-12). With in both house a partial-birth  ICC is hopeful will sign his desk. " The ICC partial-birth ing four the necessary; infanticide a ban has support. The work to ethic of islative session Catholics action. ' More positions at http:/ ICC web site. 'Making Welfare Reform Work' presentation to be held at St. Mary church, ville. He said that Legal Ser- vices, the Vanderburgh Division of Family and Children (former- ly known as the Welfare Depart- ment), and the Evansville Met- ropolitan Chamber of Commerce are cooperating in the presenta- tion, scheduled Feb. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. What makes the planned pre- sentation unusual, according to Schneider, is that welfare admin- istrators and welfare recipients will join together, along with members of the business com- munity and the faith communi- ty, to try to work to improve the path from "welfare to work." Invited to attend the presen- tation are business and commu- nity leaders, service recipients, members of the faith communi- ty, social service providers and concerned citizens. Speakers will include local employers, welfare recipients, employment and training pro- viders, school personnel and representatives from state agen- cies. Schneider pointed out that the half-day session will be suc- cessful if people from various viewpoints hear and learn from each other. Some from the busi- ness community say that some workers may be lacking in nec- essary work qualities such as punctuality, commitment to excellence, resolve conflict Some nesses may portation problems expel income dent citizenS. Schneider a! that the views will how local system ness i welfare legislation does mark a step forward in certain areas. "The law requiring people to work is a good thing," Benestad said. "Eventually these people should come to see that working will help them." Carr also emphasized the need to take advantage of the act's positive aspects. "We should seize the opportunities created by the act," he said, *while at the same time working to overcome its inadequacies." He suggested a four-step process for carrying out welfare reform. According to Carr, fami- lies need to make responsible i choices; the market needs to pro- vide opportunities for families to earn a living; churches and com- munities need to assume a greater role in caring for the poor; and the government needs to enact legislation that will allow needy families to attain a healthy standard of living. Benestad called for more accommodation in church-state laws and more government funding for charitable Catholic institutions. "We should really try to per- suade the country to accept the religiously-affiliated schools that are serving our communities," M&S Fire & Safety Equip. Co. Inc. Over 25 years sales and service in the Tri-state 670 E. Franklin 424.3863 By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor he said. Many at the conference also highlighted the importance of putting aside partisan agendas and biases in the attempt to aid the nation's poor. "We have to beware of using our teachings and principles to advance partisan ideologies and agendas," Carr said. Health care services for the enffre family, conveniently close to home. ii mmmmnHoSPITAL 1314 Grand Avenue Washington, Ind/ana 47501 (82) S4-270 the present made by Legal Custom I PoST 81 TRI over 4 II11. BI: FaX: Raber Hall at St. Mary Church, Evansville, will be the scene of a concerted effort to "make welfare reform work for Evansville," according to Art Schneider. Schneider is a member of St. Mary Church and a volunteer with Legal Services Organiza- tion of Indiana, Inc., in Evans- Welfare i i Continued from page I in order to remain eligible for benefits. Father Hehir, whose presen- tation opened the panel discus- sion, said the new welfare legis- lation has done little to improve the effectiveness of welfare pol- icy in the United States. "While no one wanted to sup- port the old system,  he said, "I think many of us are asking if the cure might be worse than the cause." Similarly, Carr said families may now have less to fall back on following the new legisla- tion's passage. "The bill served the interest of politicians, but not poor fam- ilies," he said. "It failed to pre- serve the safety net." | A handful of those in atten- I dance, however, said that, despite its drawbacks, the new FOR COMPLETE [ ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 ii i i %: