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March 4, 1994     The Message
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March 4, 1994
 

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| 4, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Bishop's Forum -- Lent is well underway. We reminders of the practices that on our relation- and with our sis- Recognizing that which you al- as with Lent, repeti- be helpful. two forms. Our in daily the Father, Son Our communal central in celebrating the and liturgy of the of communal be devotional in nature. Among these of the Stations of the Cross of the Rosary. abstinence are methods of prac- which are very old traditions in heritage. They help us to e Proper focus as we walk the journey of of our personal appetites assist us the disciplines required in living the coraunity. is the practice of reaching beyond of time, talent and treasure BISHOP RALD A GETTELFINGER Almsgiving and rain with no expectation of benefit or re- turn in this life. It too is central to our faith. Jesus poured out His en- tire life for us, being obedient even to the death on the cross. It is the ultimate act of giving of self. I think almsgiving and rain are powerful images. I believe they are kin to each other. The only dif- ference I can detect is that rain is not in our control whereas almsgiv- ing is. The benefits are similar. Scientists tell us that there is no more nor less moisture on the earth than from its beginning. However, the distribution of water takes place outside our control as well as its form. Reflect for a moment on how the moisture of the earth is vaporized by the sun on one part of the earth and falls down as rain on other parts of the earth. The sacrificing of moisture in one place makes possible the benefit of moisture in another. When we give alms, freely sharing of what- ever our talent may be, someone else in our com- munity of believers benefits. For this to be effec- tive, however, we must be willing to "give it away with no strings attached." Almsgiving is not tied only to known needs of others, although the human needs of others certainly can draw atten- tion to our spiritual need to share. Jesus reminds us that we should not be plac- ing human judgments on the value or merits of our almsgiving. Such is beyond human measurement. We, nonetheless, are human. Being all too human, we do find help from time to time in noticing benchmarks, or mileposts. I am willing to take the risk in sharing with you one bit of concrete evi- dence that we, as members of a faith community, are indeed doing the Lord's bidding. During the 12 month period of September 1, 1992, through August 31, 1993, we shared the tal- ents of monetary contributions in excess of one- half million dollars. Your generous giving of money, not to mention the alms of time and talent, was in response to annual appeals and most criti- cally in those most painful crises of earthquakes, floods and tornadoes. The giving is humanly mea- surable, but the effect is immeasurable in human terms. Your goodness has rained help upon those of our sisters and brothers in need. The Lord shows us in His life, death and resurrection that He will not be outdone in generosity. %IulNo WILLIAMS lic Conference :he Indiana are taking crimes in the state that is s desk. one es of the In- 9. gang s were ngle major n, Senate Van Bayh's SB 410 at- s and gUns by chip Gun-control is priority for ICC in 1994 session dren, create gun-free school zones, and enhance penalties for crimes committed with guns. In its current form, SB 410 would: make it unlawful for a child to knowingly, inten- tionally, or recklessly possess a handgun or for an adult to permit a child to possess a handgun. transfer juveniles ages 16 and older to adult court for offenses of criminal gang ac- tivity or intimidation, carry- ing a handgun without a li- cense, or unlawfully possessing a handgun. prohibit carrying a gun without a license or possess- ing a firearm in or near a school or on a school bus. * enhance prison sentences for crimes committed with as- sault weapons and for certain third-time felony convictions. prohibit all local gun or- dinances, except for existing ones in Gary and East Chicago. Several exceptions for legal use of guns such as in hunter's safety courses and organized competition, and for law enforcement officers, are present in the bill. The Board of the Indiana Catholic Conference had se- lected gun control as a top priority for the ICC in the 1994 session. Expressing the concerns of the ICC Board, Bishop Dale J. Melczek of the Diocese of Gary urged legisla- tors to find some solutions to protect innocent citizens. "In the cities of Gary, East Chicago, Hammond, as well as many other, cities within our state, handguns are a cause of tragic deaths of all too many innocent victims," said Bishop Melczek. "We death penalty for crimes of criminal gang activity and drive-by shootings. Bobby Small, representing the Governor's Office, said in a previous committee hearing that HB 1063 is also part of Governor Bayh's crime pack- can point to too many exam- ples of peo-le whose lives age The bill was introduced p have been ended all tOo pre- separately, he said that ..... maturely or who have boon those who may want to vote maimed for life by the reck- less use of firearms," he said. The views of the ICC Board were further expressed to the legislature in an ICC position paper distributed to House members prior to debate on SB 410. Another bill approved by the House and Senate takes action against criminal gang activity. HB 1063 would allow a court to impose the for gang control but are morally opposed to capital punishment would not be put into a "squeeze play" of de- ciding between the two. The legislature quickly moved bills into conference committees between the Sen- ate and House. The final bang of the gavel closing the ses- sion may come as early as this week. rvlee from Wade Funeral Home: to Our American Pre-Need Plans', for a funeral, we now have Living Will to you at NO CHARGE. friends and professionals caring about LivlngWill Funeral Home 119 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt Wade 768-6151 Alan J. 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