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Evansville, Indiana
February 24, 1995     The Message
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February 24, 1995
 

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Taking the time to make a difference-- Death and life, sorrow and joy for a family .. : By PAUL It. LEINGANG EDITOR Jan is able to talk about it now, without starting to cry. The story she tells is about life and death within a family. Jan's father died in September of 1993. Jan is the oldest of four chil- dren, and the only one who lives far away from the family home. The parents and children were, however, very close -- if not in miles, then in spirit. And certainly in their shared family values. When Jan's father died, there was great sorrow, even though his death was not at all unexpected. Disease had announced its pres- ence, and the death of the body only confirmed what was certain to happen. Death was inevitable, unavoidable, and unrelenting. Jan's mother was very proud of her children dur- ing this time of need. They came to visit and to be with their father at the hospice. They cared for him, moved him, bathed him, gave him their time and their affection during the days of his dying and at the hour of his death. It was the first death for this family. Certainly, they had experienced a loss before -- the death of neighbors, of distant relatives, even of friends but this was the first for the family of six. And the family would never again be the same. Mother and children survive, sharing their sor- row but strong in their love for each other. The story goes forward six months or so. Jan's sister and her husband announce good news to the larger family. A child has been con- ceived. Time passes, and as months go by, Jan and her sister and the rest of the family begin to plan for the birth. They think -- at first only to themselves -- about what might happen. They won't ask the ques- tion out loud, this question that each member of the family hears from deep inside: When will this baby be born? When, exactly when? Days go by, and the first anniversary of death draws nearer. The question is asked and the an- swer is awaited. It is possible, they know, and so it happens. It is a boy, a baby boy who is born on the an- niversary of his grandfather's death. A day of death becomes a day of life. God, who has welcomed home a husband and fa- ther, gives life to a newborn son. The day of sorrow becomes a day of joy. * * * St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, that Christ "died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him sakes died and was raised up." (II Cor 5:15) : St. Paul also says that "The old order away; now all is new! All this has been who has reconciled us to (II Cor 5:18) A death in the family brings about a new relationships, a connection between this the next. A birth in the family also new order, a connection between the present I ! tion and the one that is to come. * * What was happening in the on the were born? What was happening How did your family observe saries? How does a death in the family ing members of the family? How does a .... family relationships. , * * : If you have children, tell them (or tell the story of their births. Take the time to strengthen the within your family -- to reconcile necessary. Take the time to commemorate celebrate life. Questions and comments are welcome tian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, 50010. : : -.--.- Washington Funding of public broadcasting: Latest flashpoint in values By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS)w With all the talk about an up- coming information superhigh- way, public broadcasting seems like a narrow country road by comparison. But federal funding to sup- port the Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio and their affiliate stations has become the latest battleground in the ongoing debate over val- ues. House Speaker Newt Gin- grich, R-Ga., told current and former Capitol Hill Republican staffers Feb. 16 he would block any legislation that included money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, adding the latest percussion to a months-long drumbeat against public broadcasting. The corpo- ration is the umbrella organi- zation for public radio and tele- vision. "We've got a fundaniental de- The MESSAGE -4200 N. Kentucky Ave: Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pulsher .............. shop Gerald A. Gettetfir,,ger Edito ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger C)rcut)or ................ , .................. Amy Housman .................................... Paul Newland Stafff wnter ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 (812) 424-5536 Fax: (812) 421-1334 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post off.me in Evansville, IN 47701, Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster:. Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1995  Press of E III bate about values" such as "public support, lifelong learn- ing," said PBS chief operating officer Robert Ottenhoff. Public broadcasting is "as fundamental as a public li- brary or a public school," he said. "In my mind, how do you have a public library in a com- munity with no public support? A public school? A public park?" To that end, PBS commis- sioned a poll which showed large majorities wanted PBS to continue. While Gingrich's views may sway a majority in a Republi- can Congress, those views seem to be in the minority to Catholic observers of the de- bate. Even William Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Reli- gious and Civil Rights, who has called for the abolition of National Endowment for the Arts funding, will not go so far as to demand that public broadcasting's federal funds be axed. "We're still mad about what they did a few years ago," Donohue said, referring to a 1991 documentary, "Stop the Church," about AIDS activists who disrupted a Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. "But because we haven't seen the egregious kind of anti- Catholicism (as elsewhere)," Donohue continued, "we're not calling for defunding of PBS." Privatization of PBS "raises questions about whether the services that PBS provides will in fact continue," said Miriam Crawford, U.S. Catholic Con- ference director of communica- tions policy. The Bell Atlafitic phone company has already in- dicated interest in parts of PBS should it be dismantled. "We also have to ask whether the PBS concept of noncommercial programming will not become more impor- tant as we move to a commer- cial multichannel environ- ment," she added. Henry Herx, director of the USCC Office for Film and Broadcasting, has to watch TV for a living. He spoke of federal money for public broadcasting as if it were a thing of the past. "There's no question it could've bee.n better managed over the years. They were making efforts; they should have been given the chance to clean house," Herx said. Less of the $285 million the Corporation for Public Broad- casting gets from Congress should have gone to bureau- cracy and more to program- ming, which received 10 per- cent, he said. Gingrich's charge that public broadcasting is "elitist" is "a terrible misuse of the word,"' Herx said. "It's not elitist. Its mission is basically minority," he said What PBS carries, Herx added, are "the things that commer- cial television doesn't carry: ethnic, minority, children's -- they're a minority -- women's interests." Sister Elizabeth Thoman, di- rector of the Center for Media Literacy in Los Angeles, de- cried the move to "zero out" public broadcasting, as it's known in budget language. "I don't see it. Ideas are ideas. All kinds of ideas, liberal and conservative, get their voice" on PBS, said Sister Thoman, a member of the Con- gregation of the Mary. The notion' funding "just ideas that don't view is "If we're going waves that pie -- and this i left that belongs -- it should all ideas, including don't pay their Thoman said. And what homes without all they have," said. Bishop's sched The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. The Message: A way to keep in touch To the editor, I enjoy reading the Message so much. Evansville was my home for 75 years. My hus- band, Bernard, died last March -- so it's my only way of keeping up. Thank you so much. Dorothy Kneer Delaware, Ohio