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March 6, 1998     The Message
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March 6, 1998

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. The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I I was tempted, ! have to admit. But when I over- came the temptation, I received a greater gift than the possible pride and pleasure which had first attracted me. It happened on a recent weekend. I had the good fortune to attend a meeting of people involved in the Families Against Violence Advocacy Network, FAVAN for short. A special part of the day-long session was the appearance of Arun and Sunanda Gandhi. Arun is the grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi, the great spiritual leader of India who inspired the world with his stand on non-violence. The husband and wife team, Arun and Sunanda, have encouraged people in the United States and throughout the world to observe a "Season of Non- Violence," The time period chosen for this observance began with the fiftieth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in New Delhi, Jan. 30 in 1948. It is to continue until April 4, the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, in 1968. I was eager to hear what Arun Gandhi and his III I I II I I1  r11' I I L" I I  lir Ill II]11 [1 PI  ,P , A sign of disturbing peace w!fe had?osay,, andlwas no ! dlsap.pomte.dThesto-" " What are the signs of [ 'L, ranclather-were Inspiring, and the Talk with family or friends about nfd, OILI dDDUt By PAUL R. LEINGANG fact that a Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence had ences of peace -- or the lack of it -- at t Editor been established in Memphis was hopeful, school or at work. This was my temptation: I wanted to shake hands with Arun Gandhi. And I knew that my reason was a selfish one. I wanted to be able to brag, to boast, that I had shaken hands with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. I could add that connection to my list, which already included shaking hands with Johnny Cash and having lunch with President Reagan. I finally settled the struggle within, and I reluc- tantly decided to forego this notch on the staff of per- sonal pride. So I sat on my hands until the prayer service that afternoon. It concluded with the suggestion that we all exchange a "sign of peace." Instead of a handshake sought for personal pride, I gave and received the sign of peace -- an embrace first with Sunanda and then with Arun Gandhi. It was disturbing. This sign of peace, somehow connecting me with an assassinated prophet of peace, is a gift which insists on being given to others. This is not the peace that comes with the knowledge of a job well done. This isthe peace that comes only with the struggle to convince others to stand together against violence. Read the papers, watch the news -- about the people who work for courageous and personal stand a I heard from a friend every school should have a "diplomat dren to play with. Along with the actior the dress-up dolls should be a dren could play at the What are toys in your home teach? ' Take the time today to within your own household. You might pattern or a ritual for sharing peace, the end of the day. Take the time to stand a neighborhood. Help calm a child's can to work toward the safety of your community. Pray for peace, but be careful of may receive. Comments about this column are or the Christian FarM, Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. By NJANCY HARTNAGEL Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Catholic social ministers attend- ing an annual gathering in Washington heard children's health advocates stress the impor- tance of finding and enrolling as many as possible of an estimated 10 million US,children who have no health coverage. At two panels, advocates reviewed federal legislation, enacted last August, that was intended to make the task easier. New Medicaid provisions streamline the enrollment process and a new Title XXI in the Social Security Act -- known as the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP gives states federal block grants to expand Medicaid coverage, create their own programs or take a combined approach. The funding for SCHIP is $24 billion over five years. 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Pubest week/y except /ast week tn December t)y Ue Ca#o Press of Evanavi#e Paaaw .......... pGeraU EaU ................................. JJR.Le Produc TcheCm ............. J0m0, Da:h ................................. Paa SW ........................... UmkeH.O Address all communications to P.O. Box 41(, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per year Single Copy Price: $,50 Fjt= m I=ca  at  post ofrce m E+mz+Je. W4 TIO+.  rx,'r',t+," , Pulldk:allOl+ Lisa Atchison Smith, a health policy advocate for Catholic Charities USA, addressed a Feb. 23 .seminar on children's health care. "Of those 10 million (unin- sured children)," she said, "over 3 million of them are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled." Cumbersome state application procedures and lack of awareness about eligibility requirements, especially among low-income workers, have contributed to the problem, she said. One new Medicaid provision, "presumptive eligibility," allows state-authorized medical providers to enroll and begin treating any children who appear to be eligi- ble based on age and family income. "It really enhances the ability to get children in and get them services immediately," said Smith. The eligibility lasts one to two months, while the Medicaid application is being processed, she said. A second provision gives states a "12-month continuous enroll- ment" option, allowing them to eliminate redeterminations of eli- gibility whenever a family's income changes. Previously, said Smith, one extrh payday in a month could remove a family's eligibility and force them to reap- ply the next month. She said this provision encour- ages families to enroll their chil- dren and encourages managed care companies to accept them as clients. It "provides very good continuity of care for children," she added. Another new provision gives states enhanced federal match- ing dollars to accelerate cover- age for all poverty-level chil- dren under the age of 19. Before, said Smith, they were to be cov- ered by Oct. 1, 2002, under an annual phase-in by age. In examining connections between the environment and children's health, Dr. Philip Landrigan noted the vulnerabil- ity of all developing children. But, he said, "There's no question that virtually all of these envi- ronmental health problems are most concentrated in poor chil- dren... (and) children of colon" Landrigan, a pediatrics pro- fessor and chair of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said children today are "surrounded by chemicals." And behavior such as crawling and chewing on everything increases their risks, he added. Exposure to old chemicals has resulted in a million children today with elevated blood-lead levels, he said. Children also are Letter to the editor Thanks for Euchadst at hospital To the editor:. I want to thank the three young men, Eucharistic Ministers of Evansville, for bringing me com- munion Feb. 12, 13 and 14 at Wellborn Hospital. They don't know how they blessed me. I see in our young people a remnant that has a true devotion to the Eucharist. Our faith will not fail but we must tap into that true vein that runs in our church. Thanks again for b .ringing our Lord to me. Gloria Paul Cynthiana exposed to new chemicals, such as agricultural pesticides and the neurotoxins in cockroach sprays. An estimated 5 million chil- dren suffer from asthma, with 200,000 hospitalized annually, he continued. And though the death rate from childhood can- cer is down, the incidence of childhood cancer, especially brain cancer, is up. Of 75,f00 synthetic chemicals reg- istewed with the US. Envimnmefltal Protection Agency, said Landrigan, "fewer than half have ever been tested for their toxicity." He said he favors a comple- mentary approach to the prob- lem: making "good, basic med- ical care available to all children" and "preventing envi- ronmental health threats." Patricia King, who monitors health and welfare issues for the U.S. Catholic Conference Office of Domestic Social Development, said several states have made genuine efforts "to address the problem of kids in working fam- ilies whose families can't afford to provide them insurance and who make just too much to be eligible for Medicaid." King said social ministers attending the gathering from around the country could help sfich children and families by helping plans. The state more shoulders," she At a forum i tunities in the ,' children's Fenton, im[ U.S. 18 state To merit, a plan by that the law "fairly eaay plans. Doris Health Human stressed care" She, too, isters to help ! sible state managed she that are not, try See Boy Scout Retreat Mass, St. March 8, 10 a.m. EST. Confirmation at St. Joseph, Jasper, EST. St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, March 10. Bishops' Support Grotip, Chicago, .... 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. Bishop's staff meeting, Catholic 12, 9 a.m. CST. in children's health, issue is finding, enrolling the