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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
April 24, 1998     The Message
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April 24, 1998

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ,'t Churches sign covenant to be 'Marriage By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor "What God has joined togeth- er," he beganmand everyone in the audience figured they knew what was coming--but they were wrong. "Let the church hold together." The collective sound of intak- en breath murmured through the audience. It was the sound of sudden recognition of responsibility. Mike McManus -- columnist, author and prime proponent of the "Marriage Savers" move- ment -- was speaking to a group of ministers and priests and others interested in saving and strengthening marriages in southwestern Indiana. The occasion was the April 17 sign- ing of a pledge to work togeth- er on the part of the churches, to follow community-wide stan- dards of marriage preparation, held at the Old Post Office, Evansville. Representatives of 55 church- es of various Christian denomi- nation signed the document, along with Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger and several of the priests of the Diocese of Evans- ville--representing .all 70 parishes in the diocese. "The Southwestern Indiana Community Marriage Covenant" expresses the common concern of the faith community regarding the need to strengthen marriages. The covenant document states four areas of belief: God has established the sanctity and companionshi p of marriage in Scripture. God intends the marriage bond of husband and wife to last a lifetime. As religious leaders we have a responsibility to participate in and to provide preparation to improve the understanding and mutual commitment of those couples being married. As religious leaders we have a responsibility to provide ongoing support to strengthen and nourish existing marriages. The covenant document lists what the signers will do, as a result of their beliefs. Among the actions are encouraging a courtship of at least one year, promoting sexual abstinence outside of marriage and affirm- ing fidelity in marriage. Another action involves pre- marital preparation of at least four months, including coun- seling, spiritual guidance, a pre-marital inventory and intensive education. The priests and ministers also promised to provide opportuni- ties to strengthen marriage, such as a Marriage Encounter and a Marriage Mentoring pro- gram; and to help couples in stressed marriages by providing a Retrouvaille program. A Marriage Encounter is often described as a program to make good marriages better. A Retrouvaille weekend is for ,{, (":  2 ,ii, il !'ii Father Bill Schwenk, pastor of St. Boniface Church, Evansville , signs the community mar- couples considering separation or divorce. The mentoring program would involve married couples with various life-experiences who could share their knowl- edge and their friendship with engaged or newly married cou- ples. McManus quoted his wife, Harriet, who tells people, "Before you tie the knot, let me show you the ropes." The covenant signers also promise to cooperate with Other congregations and orga- riage covenant, during ceremonies Post Office, Evansville, April 17 --Message photo by nizations to share family resources and to work together to strengthen marriage. McManus told them several community success stories. He said Peoria, Ill:, had had 906 divorces in 1991, the year the community adopted common marriage standards. In 1992, the number of divorces dropped to 722, and by 1997, to 651. McManus said that New Cas- tle, Ind., had a nine percent drop in the number of divorces during the first year after Nativity youth attendSeder Supper Nineteen young members of Nativity Church, Father Henry Kuykendall, pastor, and Francis- Evansville, attend a Seder Supper, along with can Sister Jane McConnell, DRE. i ;i lit t COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 i t,lt ,t i tl i i "A Family Serving Families" BRADLEY'S COLONIAL CHAPEL, INC. 1005 E. Main Street Boonville, Indiana 4760 l 812-897-1459 Wm. L. Bradley Ann M. Bradley-Holland Funeral Director Funeral Director 24-hour Funeral News number" 897-6805 / adopting a riage policy. The c SOU support of the of Cat A training w persons mentoring xs Mulberry on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to more infc 426-8269. Nineteen youth at Nativity Church, Evansville, recently accepted an invitation to attend a Seder Supper, according to Ellen Hedges, a parishioner. When they arrived, they found tables set with. place cards, wine glasses, soup bowls and a menorah. After being seated, Youth Minister Kelly Hodges explained the meaning of the items on the table. They were reminded that Jesus shaft this same type of Passover Seder with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. The evening ended with a short video which showed the Christian symbolism present in the ceremony. The supper was attended by Father Henry Kuykendall, pas- tor, and Franciscan Sister Jane McConnell, DRE. Hodges and Debbie Oliver were in charge of the supper. LinCo MUENSTERMAN'S FIRESTONE SERVICE, INC. 14oo w. Franktin Evansville, IN 424-5000 I i i Main Street Pharmacy 217 E. Main St. Downtown Washington Phone: 254-5141 == "J irl= =;J ...n o] i I Ill -"lllICl k""ll I[',;= 4 Complete DIE FREE''- TY-WIDE I LIVERY -J (812) 1 Bob 1000 West Hi-Tech Sheet Met Residential, Industrial & Commercial Installation Sales & SerW [ 422- Operated byMichael and Patricia Koch 15 Family and Business Insurance Needs Home Fire and Theft Auto Product Liability Contractors C, ommercial AutO OfficeStores Workers Comp ONB/HELFRICH INSURANCE 2121 W. Franklin StreeL Evansville, Indiana 47712 (812) 423-40,t6 GEORG