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March 22, 1991     The Message
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March 22, 1991
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Magic of Words March 22, 1991 By FATHER JOSEPH L. ZILIAK Associate Publisher Touching the deepest core of your faith Over the next days ancient rituals will be repeated. Will we find them meaningful? Will we simply endure them? Or will we find them devoid of elements that touch our personal lives? There is only one person who is able to answer those questions adequately. And that per- son is big number one. How will I react to these next few days? Will I be energized and filled once again with the marvelous and mysterious ways of God in the history of the world and my life? Will I half- heartedly go along with the extra time in church? Or will I find myself in early April no different than I am right now? It was once said that the only true tragedy in life was not to become a saint. We might just as well way that it would be tragic to experience a Holy Week and be unaffected by the memories evoked. In these days we will touch the deepest core of faith that we live as Catholics. Time and events from the creation of the world to the ways Christ's followers reacted in the early years after the com- ing of the Holy Spirit will be reviewed. Evidence of God's protective and guiding hand in history will be found in the various readings. Creation, the fall through sin, the cleansing and purifying terror of the great flood, the call to faith through Abraham and the transfer of the Israelites to Egypt to make God's name known and revered. God's chosen people will be miraculously led from the land of slavery in Egypt to begin their lengthy journey back to the promised land. They will be fed daily during the desert sojourn. They will re-affirm their covenant with Jahweh through the great commandments. Great leaders will be named. Their task was to lead their people, keep God's Word and will ever before them, call them back to faithfulness, and serve as foreshadowings of the Messiah, the redeemer who was to come -- Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel. Major prophets, such as Isaiah, would weave visions of a suffering servant into his writings. That suffering servant, who was silently to go before his torturers, would take the burden of many onto his shoulders. Thus, the entrance of the vicarious redemptive work of the Messiah -- link- i U.S. priests in their 30s say they are happy in their chosen work WASHINGTON (CNS) -- -- Most felt their seminaries ty of America. Most U.S. priests in their 30s had done an excellent job Published with the study teaching Scripture, moral were five commentaries, say they are happy in their work and encourage others to become, priests, according to a nation- wide study of Catholic clergy who have been ordained five to nine years. They generally thought seminaries had prepared them well for their work in most areas, especially in theology, Scripture and pastoral care. Few considered themselves well prepared to work with minority groups such as Hispanics and blacks, however. Most reported taking post- ordination training to compen- sate for the lack of seminary for- mation in that area. They also said seminaries did not prepare them well for ad- ministrative duties or for con- ducting the church's program for adult converts. "The overall findings are in sharp contrast with many reports of low morale among Catholic priests," said Father Robert Wister, executive direc- tor of the National Catholic Educational Association's Seminary Department, which conducted the study. Other highlights of the study include: -- Most priests surveyed felt they had been prepared well for collaborative ministry and for working with women. -- Assigned rectory living was one of the chief sources of dissatisfaction. Most would prefer to choose their own liv- ing arrangements. -- They cited evangelization, working more closely with lay people and responding to the priest shortage as the most im- portant challenges in their ministry. -- They were most com- fortable in celebrating the sacramenL,;, least comfortable with the governance of the church and with its moral teachings. theology and pastoral counsel- analyzing various aspects of the ing. results, by bishops and priests -- They expressed moderate- specializing in various areas of ly high satisfaction with their priestly formation or priestly personal health, spiritual life, life. psychological well-being and Father Hemrick said the living a celibate life. But they study was "significant because felt there should be fuller, more it calls into question numerous open and more realistic discus- claims that the morale of the sion of celibacy in the priesthood is extremely low." seminary. Ninety percent of. the -- They thought seminaries respondents said they were should do more to encourage happy. The same percentage creativity and strengthen col- said they had no problems laborative skills and should working side by side with give seminarians more ex- sisters and lay leaders. posure to the real world. Eighty percent expressed -- Most had supervised field satisfaction with their work and work as part of their seminary said that if they had it to do over formation and found it again, they would enter the somewhat to very helpful, priesthood. -- After ordination, however, Among diocesan priests, less than one-third had a formal those working in education ex- mentoring program on their pressed a higher degree of job first assignment. Those who satisfaction than those in parish had such a program felt much work. more prepared for priestly Those who were older when challenges, they were ordained reported The study was based on a higher job satisfaction and were survey sent in 1989 to U.S. more definite about entering priests ordained between 1980 the priesthood if they had to and 1984. Of 2,442 priests choose again. surveyed, 1,519, or 62 percent, responded. Sixty-five percent Most of the respondents were of the respondents were aged 34-40, but the range of diocesan priests and 35 percent ages went from 30 to 81. Older belonged to religious orders, vocations have accounted for an Chief researchers were Father increasing percentage of or- Eugene Hemrick, research dinations in recent years, rais- director of the U.S. Catholic ing the average age at ordina- Conference, and Dean Hoge, a tion from about 27 in the 1960s sociologist at the Life Cycle In- to 31 or more since the stituteofTheCatholic Universi- mid-1980s. I THANK YOU "The staff and students of St. Joseph School (Vand. Co.) thank the West Side Nut Club for its most generous donation to our school. We appreciate your kind thoughtfulness to us." ing with the first promise of a redeemer from the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden -- re-appears in the history of salvation. And finally, we receognize Jesus, the promised one of ages. He comes to serve and not be served. He is obedient to his Father. Obedient unto death. He is the one to whom every knee in the heavens and on the earth will bend. He is the one who gives "my body to eat and my blood to drink" for the forgiveness of sins -- a new covenant. He is the one who is slain for our offenses. He is the one who empties himself, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." He is the one who teaches us to move beyond hate or vengeance, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He is the one who completes the pro- mises of the ages, "It is finished." He is the one who seeks our hearts, "I thirst." These days are rich, extremely rich in the beauty of our living faith. May we be deeply mov- ed as we re-live the nobility of human life nurtured and redeemed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" Miller & Miller 424-9274 DIRECTOR: LAY MINISTRY PERSONNEL A full-time position open in Archdiocese of Indianapolis within the Ministry Personnel Secretariat teamed with Priest Personnel, Ministry to MiniSters, and Vocations Departments. Functions as full team member; handles con- cerns relating to Parish Life Coordinators and Pastoral Associates; develops and directs discernment programs for potential ministry candidates; develops and directs screen- ing processes; assists Exec. Director in planning efforts. Minimum of a master's degree in appropriate field required or equivalent training and experience. Applicants must have 3-5 years experience in parish/pastoral ministry. 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