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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
April 8, 1994     The Message
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April 8, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern indiana 5 00p's Forum-- TWO most asked questions in five years fall Father Joseph Swartz, Matthew Church invited me to cel- liturgy with the school a daily Mass. The Vestments was green. I miter to match. The s. Everyone closing prayer and be- I gave the young- to ask me questions, They agreed them of the jolly a funny looking not long until the first question: "How do you like a question: "What do you he came back with: "You ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER I do,  said I. years, I cannot number the young asked that. What is a bit scary question is that they know the answer see, they have this uncanny of naming without too many words in us "old people.  There is no it  for very long in the presence Before very long they of the matter, especially 'with them. question by adults and alike follows from the first. "How do ) of Evansville?  if they are expecting a different an- a look of self-satisfaction when I tion that I enjoy being the That reaction is most reas- as well. Reminiscing about the highlights of five years can be self-serving. Lest that happen, moments of great celebration have been with and for others who are celebrating accom- plishments of their own. In five years three parishes have successfully built beautiful new churches, sacred places of worship. St. Nicholas became a parish and the community has taken its place with the other faith communities in our diocese. Several of our parishes have already or are in the process of expanding their parish schools. Others who were struggling throughout the five years to maintain their Catholic school, in doing so have made Catholic school possible for parents and children. Catholic families in the Vincennes area have cel- ebrated 200 years of Catholic education and perma- nent pastors at the Old Cathedral. Many other parishes have celebrated centennials within the past five years, all of them rejoicing in their record of passing on the faith. There are so many other moments that merit acknowledgment, however, space does not allow it. I must say, however, the most memorable mo- ments for me are "people" moments. Just yesterday I visited Msgr. James Hill, beloved pastor of Sacred Heart in Evansville for so many years. He is now retired and is in the hospital suffering from the ef- fects of a stroke of five years ago. I recall that our first meeting was in the same hospital just after he had the severe stroke.  His spirit has not dimmed. As I was about to leave, I gave him a blessing and then asked for his. With his left hand, he imparted God's blessing on those of us gathered at his bed- side. What an inspiration! Except for the formal confirmation letters, I usu- ally jot a note back to individual children who write. One such relationship sprang up between a young girl from Sacred Heart in Schnellville and me in my first year as bishop. She wrote saying that soon she would be receiving her first Holy Communion. She also tbld me about a heart condi- tion she had which was to be corrected with surgery when she got a little older. We corresponded sev- eral times and I finally met her when the parish celebrated its quasquicentennial. I will never forget the courage of this happy youngster. Then there was the chance to meet Mr. Alvin Ruxer. For those who knew him, he did not like crowds. He did not stay at the ordination reception because of the crowd. I did meet him the following day. There was a luncheon for those who had made the televising of the ordination possible. Though he had helped, he came to meet me after the meal In making comment on the remarks following the or- dination he remarked: "Bishop, I like you, You are 'for' things. Folks who are for things get much more done than those who are 'agin era!" Where are those who were first graders in April 1989? The), and I got our special "T  Shirts at a  wonderful celebration of rhe Tradition," shortly after my ordination. I remember the excitement in their eyes as I gave each one of them a shirt as I wore mine with the inscription "Chief Teacher." I am not so sure who was the most excited. The ordinations of priests and deacons are al- - ways special moments of joy for a bishop. In each of the five years I ordained one priest. I also was priv- ileged to ordain six deacons for our diocese in the same period Such is only a sampling of my fondest mera0ries of fiveyears. In return I have nothing to give but: myself as I am with whatever talents and flaws I have. Most assuredly, my pledge given you at my ordination is unwavering: I pledge to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health; ! will love you and honor you all the days of my life';' n6tatew=de study of Cathol0000 ....... in diocese participating i " I, WILLIAMS MESSAGE in the DiD- are partici- study of believe about church. The ROsary and Churches in Church, St. Philip; St. Peter Celestine Church, Celestine; St. Mary Church, Huntingburg; Holy Cross Church, Fort Branch; and St. Thomas Church, Vin- cennes. The research team conduct- ing the study has randomly chosen 148 adult Catholics from each parish's membership list. These individuals repre- sent a cross-section of each parish and the total Catholic population in the diocese. Each person will receive a booklet of questions at some time in the next two to three weeks. They are asked to answer the ques- tions and mail the booklet back Washington nucd fl'ompage 4 tanm program. Baraneik of the Earned In- omo Credit Campaign esti- mates that professional tax .... i m I Monuments, Inc. { DALE, INDIANA | 937-4921 I III ] I Miller & Miller Colonial Chapel K Supports the nights of St. John ERS * Gerald Miller er Greg Betz to the research team as quickly as possible. Participants are asked to in- dicate what they personally be- lieve about the topics included in the booklet. All answers will be absolutely confidential. The research team will never re- veal any individual's personal identity or responses. Parish and diocesan results will be re- ported in percentage terms, not in individual terms. Re- sults will be sent to each parish and diocese by fall. The project has been autho- rized by the bishops in all five Indiana dioceses. It is being di- rected by Dr. James D. David- preparers last year cost low-in- come families receiving the earned income credit at least $345 million in fees. "It's regrettable that so much in EIC benefits is being diverted to tax preparers when the IRS has high-quality, free help available in most cities and suburbs," he said. There are approximately 8,000 vrrA clinics nationwide, located in shopping malls, com- munity colleges, churches, li- braries and other easily acces- sible sites. Each volunteer tax preparer undergoes 40 hours of IRS training. Information about the near- est VITA clinic is available by calling the toll-free IRS num- ber, (800) 829-1040. But be pa- tient, campaign officials say the IRS phone lines are often busy. son, a sociologist of religion at Purdue University. Other members of the team include Jan Stenftenagel, the coordina- tor for the Diocese of Evans- ville, and Father Michael Mad- den, who is the diocesan advisor. The research team also includes coordinators and advisors from each of the other four dioceses, along with five other persons vith expertise in theology and data analysis. According to Dr. Davidson, "This is the most comprehen- sive survey ever done among Indiana Catholics. It will give Catholic lay people a wonder- ful opportunity to express their religious beliefs and their atti- tudes about important issues facing the Church in our state. It will also answer a number of questions about the 0cial characteristics of the state's Catholic population. This infor- mation will be of enormous help to church leaders who are trying to meet Catholics' spiri- tual and social needs." Pope celebrates Easter, warns about attacks on faith, family VATICAN CITY (CNS) Leading four days of Easter ceremonies, Pope John Paul II celebrated the joy of the resur- rection but warned that rood. ern society is trying to "empt)  Christian salvation of meaning through insidious attacks on the faith and the family. On Easter Sunday, the pope announced he was sending a letter to the world's heads of state, asking them to better de- fertd the sacred nature of life and the "precious treasure" of the family. It was one of sev- eral strong initiatives the pope has taken during the Interna- tional Year of the Family. During the March 30-April 3 weekend, the 73-year-old pon- tiff presided over his usual heavy schedule of Easter events in Rome and at the Vat- ican. tie washed the feet of priests on Holy Thursday, heard confessions and led the Way of the Cross on Good Fri- day, celebrated an Easter vigil on Holy Saturday and cele- brated Mass in a rainstorm on Easter. - The pope's blessing =urbi At orbi  (to the city of Rome and the world} aRer Easter Mass reflected his mixed tone of hap- piness and concern. On this day of joy and light, he said, "may the culture of death re- coil .) The culture of death, he said, humiliates the individ- ual, not respecting the weskit and frailest cre atures and try- ing even to undermine the sa- cred dignity of the family, the heart of society and of the church." He said he was troubled by these threats and was there- fore writing to world leaders to insist that eyery effort he V made" to protect the alue of life and the family.