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Evansville, Indiana
April 5, 1996     The Message
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April 5, 1996

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' 4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference-- Easter -- time for oy, foolishness". I guess you could say we fooled them, but no one seemed to mind. Not when it was so much fun. We used to get together, the members of our family, on Easter Sunday afternoon. We sons and daughters -- the five of us, along with our spouses and children -- would celebrate with morn and dad at their house. Our celebrations at Easter did not have as many ritual compo- nents as Christmas time, but there were some memorable moments we tried to re-capture, at least for sev- eral years. As I recall it, Easter was a much more casual celebration than Christmas. Our five families were in various stages of development. The ages of our children, the obligations to "the other side" of the relationship, and the distances we had to travel were so varied, that a single one-time gathering was often not possible. What developed, then, was a sequence of visits, one after another. Some of the visits overlapped, so we children got to see each other, too. The system allowed each of the sons and daughters to have a more focused visit with morn and dad. Grandchil- dren also could receive individual attention. The individual attention also extended to the Easter egg hunt that we often would arrange for the small children. The eggs that the first family of chil- By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR dren would find could be collected and then hidden again for the next family to arrive, later that after- noon. The finding, hiding and finding again sequence proved to be so suc- cessful that we frequently did not wait for new children to arrive. I would take some of the eggs that the toddlers found, wait until they were searching in some other part of the back yard, and hide the same eggs over again. One year, I recall, the same children must have found at least 30 or 35 eggs. That was pretty good, since we had only a dozen to work with, and one of them had been stepped on and could be found only once. It was a pleasant bit of fooling. The fun was in the finding, not in the possessing. A group known as the Fellowship of Merry Christians encourages believers to celebrate some foolishness every year, on or after Easter. According to the Fellowship, the Christian tradition of joyful celebration is traced back to the greatest trick ever played -- the trick God played on Satan by raising Jesus Christ from death. The resurrection -- his and ours -- is the rea- son for all of our Christian joy. And it ought to be the occasion for our own celebration of fun and fool- ishness. . , What do you do as an individual at Easter time? If you have children, ask their best memories of Easter. (i vorite memories, you may want to changes in what you do at this Christian joy.) .... Outdoor decorations seem to have in recent years, at least in my ners and lights spring up at Christmas loween, flags sprout on the Fourth How is your home decorated neighborhood? Extravagance need of your celebration, but certainly an your joy would bear witness of .... ple who live near you. Take note of those who have littk their lives. As an Easter people, we that food is more than what we starving, and that shelter is avoiding the cold and dark. Easter is our tables and our homes -- and with more than the survival needs. Take the time today to have ily or friends. Risk a little foolish up to the risen Lord. Questions and comments Christian Family Movement, P.O. Iowa 50010. Washingto n Letter Contract with America back on the ta By PATP, J[CIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The words "Contract With America" had all but faded from the lexicon of Washing- ton, when it seemed as though someone suddenly remembered it's an election year -- time to ante up whatever successful promises politicians could muster. And the spring revival of the contract meant a returning emphasis on welfare reform and other issues that lave kept lobbyists for Catholic m'- ganizations hard at work try- ing to protect the interests of the poor. The Contract With Amer- ica's reform plans, signed by 300 Republican candidates in September 1994, had been the much-touted agenda of the first GOP-controlled Congress in a generation. A few components were passed and became law early on: a requirement that The MESS A GE 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 Putisher .............. Bshop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Editor ....................................... Paul R. I.eingang Production Technician ................ Jose Dietrich Adverng .................................... Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication 1995 Presso  Congress comply with federal employment laws, curbs on un- funded federal mandates, and increases in defense spending. Other parts were passed by the House, but stalled in the Senate or were vetoed by Pres- ident Clinton. That was the fate of several welfare reform proposals and a Medicare over- haul that were attached to budget bills Clinton vetoed be- cause he thought them too harsh'on the poor. But as the impasse between Congress and the White House turned into weeks of federal government shut-down, and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole's attention was diverted to his race for the presidential nomination, by late 1995 the Contract With America was rarely mentioned. The president even joked re- cently that as far as he was concerned, the contract was "doing just great," because it had apparently faded away. Then, like the capital's gar- den cf spring crocuses and daf- fodils, discussion of the Con- tract With America resurfaced on the Hill. First it was a few isolated references in conversation. Be- fore long, newspapers, televi- sion commentary shows and congressional press releases were again dotted with charts showing where the "contract" stood. As members of Congress stayed at work long and late to refresh stagnant legislation be- fore their spring recess, pieces of the contract reappeared. At the end of March, bills were passed authorizing a line- item veto, reducing the income penalty on Social Security, and guaranteeing access to health insurance coverage for people who change or lose their jobs. Jesuit Father Fred Kammer, president of Catholic Charities USA, was among those warily watching the revived commit- ment to some parts of the Con- tract With America. "The major plank we're con- cerned with is welfare reform," said Father Kammer. He testi- fied to the Senate Labor sub- committee on children and families March 26 that federal budget cuts made in the last few years already are starting to affect the stability of poor people's lives. As an example, Father Kam- mer cited a recent Housing and Urban Development study that showed 5.3 million households spend more than half their in- come for rent or living in sub- standard housing. "Between 1978 and 1991, the number of families with these worst-case housing needs had increased by 1.1 million and between 1991 and 1993, they had increased by another Message policy regarding political activity The Message is the official newspaper of the Catholic Dio- cese of Evansville. The policy of the Message is to observe the rules forbidding 501 (c) (3} organizations from engaging in partisan political activity. The Message continues its long-standing policy of publish- ing news reports and commentary about political candidates and issues, and about their relationship to morality and Catholic social teaching. Political advertising is accepted at the Message from all bona fide candidates on an equal basis. 400,000," Father Kammer told the subcommittee. "This is happening at a time when Congress has targeted HUD programs for large-scale spending reductions." He noted the HUD budget fell from $36 billion in 1980 to $20.1 billion in 1995 and that a House-Sen- ate conference proposal would appropriate only $19.1 billion for 1996, while the amount of available housing has declined and demand has increased. Proposals to cap the benefits of families that receive federal help and otherwise undermine the "safety net" of Aid to Fami- lies with Dependent Children and food assistance are ex- pected to surface again before the end of the 104th Congress, said Nancy Wisdo, director of domestic social development for the U.S. Catholic Confer- ence. The USCC never focused at- tention on the America as a cal promises, But the cutting programs or up to states they are efforts to wage this c tying the 10th a; U.S. bishoPS Ms. wisdo mer both the succe welfare believe to attemPt witha or by Earned See Bishop's sc The following activities and events schedule of Bishop Gerald A.