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Evansville, Indiana
February 17, 1995     The Message
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February 17, 1995

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Purdue study . Some Catholics more involved than others. Part IX shows that the most important A recent study of Catholics in 49 Indiana parishes shows a wide range of religious activity. About half of Indiana's Catholics pray "daily or almost daily. ' For example, 63 percent say they "talk to God" every day; 46 percent say grace be- fore meals. 44 percent "say prayers like the Our Father and Hail Mary" every day; and 43 percent "start and end the day with a prayer." There are several other prac- tices which Catholics do on a weekly basis. A majority of Catholics attend Mass, receive Holy Communion, and read parish bulletins and newslet- ters every week. Occasional practices include reading diocesan newspapers. reading other religious maga- zines and newspapers reading the Bible, going to private con- fession with a priest, and say- ing the rosary. A majority of Catholics 'never, or almost never' attend retreats, attend Bible study or prayer groups.,watch televangelists like Pat Robertson or Robert Schuller, listen to Christian music on the radio, watch Catholic Masses or other Catholic television programs on TV, or go to group penance services. Members of the Catholic Pluralism Project are studying why some Catholics engage in these practices more than oth- ers do. So far, their research influence is the extent to which Catholics think there is some- thing special about being Catholic. The more Catholics feel being Catholic is special, the more active they are. Catholics who do not attach any special importance to being in the Church are least involved. 'Catholic identity has the strongest effect on religious practice, even after we con- trolled for other influences," said James D. Davidson, direc- tor of the Catholic Pluralism Project. Age cohort is the second most important influence. Older Catholics are more highly involved than younger Catholics. Sister Patricia Wit- tberg, a sociologist at IUPU-I and a member of the research team, says that age cohort is important because of the dif- ferent ways older and younger Catholics have been raised. Ac- cording to Sister Wittberg, "Older Catholics were taught about the importance of the Church and the need to partici- pate in the sacraments, even . when they didn't really feel like going. Being involved was an end in itself. There was a sense of duty or obligation. Being Catholic meant being ac- tive in the Church. Since Vati- can II, religious educators have stressed Catholics' need to take personal responsibility for their own 'faith journeys. ' The church and the sacraments have become means to an end, Jubilee salute to volunteers By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor "In Latin America, lay lead- ers are the foundation of the church," said Sister Benedic- tine'Sister Joan Scheller. "It is energizing to see that the church in the United States is moving in that direction." "It's been energizing for me," said Sister Scheller, who re- cently came to work at Holy Spirit Church, Evansville, after working in Latin Amer- ica. Her previous experience was the reason she volun- teered to become a member of the diocesan task force -- which was established to work toward one of the goals of Synod '93. Members of the task force include the following: Diane Fehrenbacher, Poseyville. Ken Krasavage, New- burgh. Father Henry Kuykendall, Evansville. Father Steve Lintzenich, Evansville. Joanne Resch, Evansville. Benedictine Sister Joan Scheller, Evansville. Deacon Ed Wilkerson, Evansville. Mary Ellen Ziliakz Haub- stadt. The task force has been meeting with Holy Names Sis- ter Louise Bond, diocesan chancellor. The task force has been in contact with priests and pastoral life coordinators throughout the diocese. The article above is the first of a n'ew, occasional series in the Message. It is part of the ongoing celebration of the fifti- eth anniversary of the Diocese Of Evansville. Volunteers tave made possi- ble much of the work which has been accomplished over the last 50 years in the Catholic Church of southwestern Indi- ana. Names of current volun- teers will be published throughout the remainder of this jubilee year. not ends in them'selves. When young Catholics feel the Church contributes to their faith journeys, they are active. If and when it doesn't, they do not feel obligated to partici- pate. The result is lower rates of involvement." "Experiences of the holy" also promote participation. Catholics who say they know God loves them and feel their prayers have been answered are most likely to remain ac- tive in the Church. Catholics who don't have these religious experiences are not as active. In the same vein, Catholics who say they have derived the most benefits from being Catholic tend to be the most active. For example, those who say the Church has given them a strong moral foundation or has helped them know God's love are more active than those who have not experienced such benefits. A final influence is aware- ness of Vatican II. Catholics who know the most about the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) tend to be more ac- tive that Catholics who haven t heard about it. According to another member of the project, Jan Stenftenagel, 'The more people appreciate the Council and what it tried to accom- plish, the more committed Catholics seem to be. Maybe we need to put more emphasis I IIIIIII MILLER & MILLER "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" 424-9274 II II r on the Council education, young Catholics experience it first Davidson says t sults should be ple who want Catholics' Church. "The leaders of the Ch self, Catholic ences of the holy, ing of Vatican benefits of bell Church, will want to the Church ences, or portance, it con lower levels 2% - Never 2%- 1 or 2times a Frequency for prayers like Our Father and Hail Mary 3% - Several times a year 3% - Monthly 5% - 2 or 3 times a 21% Weekb 19% - Several times a week 44% - Daily L;I 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL POSITION OUR LADY OF THE MOUNTAINS, Paintsville, KY, is a small 50 year-old school that offers a P-8 pro- gram and is the only Catholic school in three coun- ties. Accredited by the state of Kentucky. Dedicated staff and strong parent support. Applicant must be a practicing Catholic with a minimum of 5 years experience in a Catholic school. Administrative experience desirable. Diocesan salary scale. Deadline: March 15. Replies and resumes should be addressed to: Search Committee, 720 Washington Avenue, Paintsville, KY 41240. Built with to Time DEWIG PACKING FRESH MEAT BEEF AND HAUBSTADT, INDIANA