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Evansville, Indiana
March 1, 1996     The Message
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March 1, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Vincennes is one, but what is a 'titular. "Vincennes, established in 1832 as one of the first dioceses in America, lost its status as the "see city" in 1898. Vincennes was proclaimed a "titular see" in 1995. By BROTHER JOHN SAMAHA, S. Special to the Message From time to time we read of a titular bishop, or the bishop of a titular see. What is a titular see? First, it is helpful to recall the meaning of the science of demog- raphy, the study of human popu- lation, including size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics. Demographics concern the settlement and movement the trends and projections of population shifts. Politicians pore over such information. Marketing consultants commit such data to memory. Church leaders regard carefully demo- graphic trends. What then is a titular see of the Church? Consider an example. At one time in history the Church was thriving in North Africa. The area was a hotbed of theological discourse, and boasted several no- table bishop-theologians like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Cyprian of Carthage. Then came the Muslim invasions and the Christians were subjected to the persecutions of Islamic gov- ernments. Those faithful who were not martyred fled to other places where they could practice Christianity freely. Present-day Spain, France, and Italy were among the chief destina- tions. In today's Tunisia, Hippo and Carthage are no longer dioceses of the Church. They are sees erased by the tide of history. The bishops who emigrated with their people usually kept the "title" of their old see (dio- cese) as part of their ad- dress. Eventually it was clear that history would not allow any dramatic population shifts that would return exiled Christians to North Africa. To preserve the memory of these great places and their glory days, the "titles" or names of these dioceses were given to bishops who were not diocesan bishops or heads of their own dioceses (ordinaries). The "titles" were given to auxiliary bishops and to those who worked in the service of the Holy See. Titular bishops exercise no authority in their sees. Unlike diocesan bishops they have no direct concern for governance in their distant dioceses -- no re- sponsibility for personnel, orga- nization, finance, and related matters. However, they are asked to pray for the people who once lived and still live in that territory. Most of the titular sees listed in the directories of the Catholic Church are in North Africa, the Near East and Middle East, and the Balkans. Others are in northern Europe where the Reformation took its toil in the sixteenth century. Some are in predominantly Christian or Catholic coun- tries. In the United States there are sixteen titular sees resulting from changes in history. The first three include Allegheny, Pa., Walla Walla, Wash., and Natchez, Miss. In 1995 the Holy See, at the request of the U.S. bishops, restored the titles of several former dioceses, thirteen in number. Bardstown, Ky., was one of the four new dioceses made on the same date in 1808, along with Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. The other titular sees in the United States are Alton, Ill.; Concordia, Kan.; Grass Valley, Calif.; Jamestown, N.D.; Kear- hey, Neb.; worth, Kan.; Nesqually, Sainte Marie, cennes, Ind. These notes and geography the Church move. We Church," with versality. This for us the ing the and handing it and near. often very nion with cuts across and i tory and important to the Church's Samaha Joseph Fire &i Equip. Over 25 ! service 670 E. Worth mentioning... Mater Dei wrestlers take state, again Fans welcomed the state champion Mater Dei wrestling squad during a victory rally at the high school in Evansville, Feb. 25. State champions last year, the Wildcats won the individual championships again two weeks ago and then went on to win the first-ever dual meet Team Championship last week. Principal Herb Neighbors welcomed the team into the gymnasium during the rally Sunday afternoon. Head coach Mike Goebel thanked the fans for always giving the team their support. Fans are being invited to attend a banquet, at $6 per person, Monday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. Reservations, which are required, may be made by contacting the Mater Dei Athletic Office. 'Devoe Paint Photo caption corrected A photo caption in the Message Feb. 23 incorrectly identified a participant in the follow-up meeting of the Beijing Women's Conference. The caption should have identified Benedictine Sister Victoria Pohl. Mass attendance lower The latest figures from the Chancery show that 54 percent of registered Catholics attend Mass in the Diocese of Evansville, down from 56 percent the year before. The statistics are gathered on three weekends each October. Mass attendance is counted at each parish and compared with registration numbers. Lenten enrichment series on cable Music, prayers and the spoken word are combined in a Lenten enrichment series designed to help viewers reflect prayerfully on the events and issues that challenge them in daily life. The series, Inspire, airs Mondays in Lent from 10:30 a.m. Central Time, on the Faith and Values Channel. Inspire is funded by the Catholic Communications Campaign and pro- duced by Oblate Media. Congregational leaders from all Christian traditions are encouraged to tape the episodes of Inspire for use in Lenten enrichment groups. Outpost summer schedule posted The 1996 sessions at the Outpost, the diocesan vocations awareness camp in Spencer County, will be five days instead of three days, as it has been in recent years. * Sessions for fifth and sixth grade girls are June 2 to 6, June 9 to 13, and July 28 to Aug. 1. o Sessions for seventh and eighth grade girls are scheduled June 16 to 20, July 21 to 25 and Aug. 4 to 8. o Sessions for fifth and sixth grade boys are scheduled June 23 to 27, June 30 to July 4, and July 14 to 18. e One session for seventh and eighth grade boys is July 7 to 11. Change of date for fiftieth wedding anniversary reception Raymond and Anna Louise (Greenwell) Thomas plan to celebrate their fiftieth wedding an- niversary with a reception, to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. March 2 at Good Shepherd Church, Evansville. FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. 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