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March 4, 1994     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana - Perspective Lent and Olympics: Events on tape delayed basis We were sitting at a table at the parish fish fry, but the talk was all about the Olympics. Well, not all about the Olympics. We made one big exception. The parish fish fry drew a good crowd. It is a Friday night event during Lent. It is probably very similar to events held in other parishes. It provides income -- and a whole lot more. My wife and I stood in line, bought our plates of fish and baked potatoes, and found a place to sit at one of the long tables. We enjoyed the dinner -- but even more so, we enjoyed the opportunity to get to know another cou- ple in the parish a little better. The conversation was pleasant -- ranging from the weather to family to jobs and travels, and to the events of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. It was a typical church dinner conversation -- you may recognize it immediately -- where talk goes on through the meal, through interruptions to say hello to others who stop by, through side trips to the desert table and so on. By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR We talked in general about the Olympics. About Nancy and Tonya and the other people who have come to be known throughout a large part of the world by just their first names. We talked about medal winners and performances -- but we did not talk about the winners of that particular Friday. We talked" only about the days before -- with good reason. The man we were speaking with wanted to watch the Olympic television coverage that night. Partly because of the time differ- ence, and mainly to provide prime- time coverage, CBS presented events in the evening -- long after they had already been de- cided. Our dinner partner wanted to maintain the suspense, of not knowing exactly how the various Olympic events would turn out. The evening televi- sion coverage would be much more involving with the outcome uncertain. Next Sunday, as a lector at Mass, I read the story o'Abraham -- the one where God tells him to ,i  kill his only son and offer him up on When I read stories like that, I wish more could somehow listen with the kind they would have if they didn't know what the! come would be. Even the central stories of our could have much greater impact on us could all get out of the rut of not ! because we already know what will happen As Lent continues, and the lead us up to the agony and death of our offer a suggestion. Even if you have counts for all of your life, try to listen to for the first time. . Take the days of Lent one day at the days of the Easter Triduum one day at What happens on Holy Thursday is enough to fill a day's worth ot prayers. So it is with the days that day happen, all the way up to that final surprise on the morning Washington Letter Homeless in America: Seeking new solutions By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The unusually harsh winter of 1994 has left everyone from church leaders in Anchorage, Alaska, to government officials in Washington scrambling for new solutions to the problems of the homeless. As the federal government was convening its first-ever na- tional summit on homeless vet- erans in Washington, the Arch- diocese of Anchorage was opening the doors of its chancery conference rooms to house the homeless overnight. Three homeless men had al- ready died of exposure this winter in Anchorage's subzero temperatures. But Catholic Charities offi- cials from two Midwest dioce- ses don't want people to see homelessness as a winter-only problem or as a problem affect- ing only single men. =A disproportionate number of the people staying at our shelters are families," said Michael Coty, an administra- tor with Catholic Charities in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Arch- diocese. "There are kids who have grown up moving from one emergency shelter to another, and now some of them are grown up and have their own kids," Coty added. "I'm afraid we have a lost generation of people who are Seriously af- fected by years of homeless- ness, and who will have a very, very difficult time getting to the point of self-sufficiency." Father Rick Quirk, associate director of Catholic Charities in the St. Louis Archdiocese and chairman of the city's Housing Authority, says the problems of the homeless must be addressed through a "con- tinuum of concerns" that in- cludes jobs, housing, health care and child care. "The central issue is the lack of affordable housing and the lack of jobs," he said. The Speaker's Task Force on Homelessness, in its recent recommendations to the Clin- ton administration, seems to agree. It recommended increasing the minimum wage to a "liv- able" level, providing greater health services for the home- less and expanding such pro- grams as Social Security, food stamps, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Head Start to accommodate more homeless people. It also said federal job train- ing programs aimed at the homeless should include cloth- ing, child care, transportation and bathing and laundry facili- ties for them, and urged that if welfare reforms require "able: bodied" people to work after two years, mentally ill home- less people be excluded from the requirement. - Experts disagree on how many homeless people there are and how they ended up on the streets. During the 1980s, successive Republican administrations contended that there were only about 600,000 homeless people in the United States and that most owed their situation to problems with mental health or drug and alcohol abuse. A draft report by the Clinton administration says, however, that as many as 7 million Americans were homeless at some point in the late 1980s, and that poverty, racism and budget cuts have forced many into homelessness. The Partnership for a Drug- Free America contended in a report released Feb. 22 that up l! Where is money coming from?. To the EcHtor, I am writing in regard to the new insurance program and my job. Being associated with the budget and the mainte- nance of the schools system, I would like to know where all this money is coming from. It is all we can do to keep our schools open now. Now you are putting this load on us for just a few people in this school system; In my" opinion, this money would benefit the Catholic edu- cation of our students more than an insurance program. If it is kept this way there will be less schools to get the money from. Therefore, who is the insurance going to benefit? Would you please explain to the employees and myself how this will work. Thomas D. Norton Maintenance Washington Catholic School System The future of our schools To the Editor, Catholic Education! What do these two words mean to you? See LETTERS, page 13 to 85 percent of homeless peo- ple were suffering from some type of substance abuse, al though fewer than one-third of all shelters for the homeless have programs to fight drugs and alcohol abuse: Looking at a specific aspect of the problem, the first na- tional summit on homelessness among veteransppened in Washington Feb. 24 with Vet- erans Affairs Secretary Jesse Brown estimating that home- less veterans number about 250,000 -- one-third of the cur- rent U.S. homeless population. "This is an American tragedy, and it must not be al- lowed to Another r ec0 from the on HomelessneSS application negotiations be allow for federal prop for the homelesS-:i Title V McKinney Hq tance Act buildings and available at government ganizations to job training See Bishop's sch The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger : S00vin, r, ne :: The MESSAGE 4200 N, Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville ............. ,hop Gera k r Editor ....................... : .................... Paul Le Manager ........................... Phil Boger CiroJlaf ................................. Amy Housman Amrng .................................... Paul Newiand Stf Writer ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Public..ation Copyc, ght 1994  Press of Evansville