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February 18, 1994     The Message
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February 18, 1994

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The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana The world around us Commentary by DEACON JIM CAVERA "Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return!" With these words and the sign of ashes we start a season of Lent. It is a season that encourages us to remember things but not what I would call pleasant things. On the contrary we are to remember that we are mortal and that we will all return to the dust of this earth. As human beings we are re- sistive to this kind of thinking and would rather fill our imag- inations with the "bright side" of life. Lent calls us to remem- ber our sinfulness and the suf- ferings of those around us. Like the readings of this past Sunday regarding lepers, we prefer to put some distance between ourselves and this ugly side of life. Yet when we look around us today we see all kinds of suffering, all kinds of leprosy. Did you see the recent pic- tures on the television news of the abandoned children found living in filthy conditions in Chicago? It was a graphic illus- tration of the ugly side of our welfare system and the rav- ages of drug abuse. Many of the commentaries on this sub- ject point the finger to our wel- fare system as a modern day leprosy. Indeed as you read this members of the Indiana Legislature along with elected officials all over the country are taking a hard look at wel- fare reform. We in the Indiana Catholic Conference are also concerned about the suffering of the inno- cent children, the separation of families, and the many victims of this system as it exists today. But just as Jesus in last Sunday's gospel approached and touched the leper to heal him, we believe that we as a society need to approach and touch the welfare problem rather than trying to "fix" it from a distance with so called "get tough" attitudes and mandatory cut off dates. Elec- tion year rhetoric has no place here. The ICC has backed two work oriented proposals: HB 1092 - The Working Family Tax Credit Bill, and HB 1142 - A Phase In of Public Assis- tance Benefits. We believe in a system that invests in families and not one that leads to the breakup of families as a way of survival and punishes innocent children. We encourage you to contact your state representatives about this key issue of welfare reform. It is not the time to distance ourselves from suffer- ing as our ancestors did in the days of the leper but rather to heed the Lenten call to "Re- member." You can call your state rep- resentative at 1-800-382-9841 (Republican) or 1-800-382-9842 (.Democrat) and state senator at 1-800-382-9467. Be sure to give them your name and ad- dress and the bill number and name in addition to your mes- sage of support or opposition. These calls are counted and do make a difference when it gets down to a vote! Because the lines are often busy it is best to call early in the morning. You can write your legislator at the Indiana Statehouse, In- dianapolis, IN 46204. St. Mary, Washington begins capital campaign "Funding the Final Phase" -- a capital campaign to fund the interior renovation of St. Mary Church, Washington, was officially presented to parish members Feb. 5 and 6 by their pastor, Father Ronald Zgunda. "We owe it to those who founded St. Mary's, and to the generations who have gone be- fore us here in faith, to pre- serve and sustain this sacred place," said Father Zgunda. "I think our parishioners are very ready and willing to do so." The goal of the 10-month capital campaign is to raise $76,000 by Dec. 8. That date was chosen because it is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Vir- gin Mary, to whom the church was dedicated 120 years ago (March 25, 1874). Work on the church interior is the third and final phase of a renovation project that began in the summer of 1992 with re- pairs to the exterior of the church building. Phase Two entailed repairs and upgrading of the struc- tural and operational compo- nents of the church interior during 1993. Phase Three will complete the renovation project by refur- bishing the worship space and replacing worn carpeting and fixtures. Support Catholic schools by using the Tradition Card. A percentage of each purchase you make using the Tradition Card goes to support Catholic education. Call 464-3322 or 1-800-777.3949 extension 3322 for details. Issued by Citizens Bank. i How yOU can make a The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores are experi- encing some cash flow problems, according to O.T. Jones, vice president and acting director of store operations. He suggests that spring cleaning is a time to think about the needs of others. You can make a difference. The Thrift Stores in Evansville have been in con- stant operation since June 1950. Their main pur- pose is to provide the parish conferences with fur- niture and clothing for the poor families or individuals they are helping, according to Jones. He said the stores in Evansville do not have enough volunteers to pick up donated merchan- dise, or to sort and sell it. To cover the costs of hir- ing people to do the necessary work, some' articles are sold to the general public at modest prices. "Families and individuals on fixed or near poverty level income are able to shop the Thrift Stores and maintain their dignity of providing for themselves and their families," Jones said. Following are suggestions from various sources on how you can make a difference e at home, in Angel Romero stands your parish or community, and in the world, home in Juticalpa, 1. Save good, usable clothing and items from your among the Honduran spring cleaning and take them to the Thrift Stores fitting from a Catholic of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Contact (812) vices program, fundeC 425-3148 in Evansville, or stores in Jasper, Wash- through Operation ington or Vincennes. (Ask about volunteering your -- Photo by Catholic time, too.) 2. Give financial support to the pro-life efforts of the New Life Home and the sis Pregnancy Center. The New Life Home is a residential program for teens, who receive counseling, support and unconditional love. The Crisis has provided free pregnancy tests and prenatal screening to more than opened in October 1992. Find out more from Ann Gries, (812) 423-9222. 3. Volunteer your time in the kitchens of the Ozanam Shelters. Cook lunch meal once a week or once a month. Clean kitchens and cabinets once a month. frost freezers once a month. Have a cooking or baking session once a month. Make a home and bring it in once a week or once a month. Donate spices. 4. Contribute to relief efforts for victims of the Jan. 17 earthquake in damage will cost the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from $50 to $100 million, nal Roger Mahoney. Contributions may be sent to the Diocese of Evansville California, or to the Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund, 1531 West 9th Street, Los, 90015. 5. Use your Operation Rice Bowl during Lent. Help Angel Romero and ers -- and people throughout the world -- to learn better methods to raise food. i ! J 50 attend 'Dinner with the Serrans served the dinner. Talks were given by a seminar- ian, a postulant and a campus minister. The bishop hosted the gathering. About 50 young people attended, along with the priests, religious, and parish staff members who in- vited them. It was the "Dinner with the Diocese ther Mark called it an people in pay some att! people who looking at a religious Bishop Gera welcomed th! the dinner, the Catholic ville. Members of ! cations team 1 Kurzendoerfer Fleck and Rose Mary dinated the traditional Dan Sullivan, Father John Breidenbach and Matt Weber enjoy a moment of conversation during the "Dinner with the Bishop" held at the Catholic Center Jan. 6. Where customers send their friends" Open nightly til 9 p.m. hop & Son OLD US 231 SOUTH - JASPER, IN - 482-2222 ,,. Gr-- TOYOTA Did You Know: 1-800-937-USA1 OLDS CIERA is most trouble free car made in America ,, J.D. Powers give to theme of the ing to Father Talks were Durchholz, a nary School Corners, Preiser, a dinand Bet nity, and Catholic Vincc Father thanked the rans, those up the who attend, ant came to the The thil with the for f