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

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Change: Material, temporal and spiritual By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER change. But the tQ have come about aL a glacial pace )fi.6n of iL''f c0urse history there for us to visit• All too )se the life span of those living into simple sums without regard collective experiences• certainty today. Its pace seems to the internet and even the speed of ,ged to sum our daily experi- busy simply coping with the next the church has clearly accelerated of the Second Vatican Council. uld have been wisdom in retarding some of the changes to allow time for the human psyche to adjust. There was a definite shock wrought by drastic changes to the many practices within the church that seemed to have been unchang- ing for over 300 years. Many of our number have had very great difficulty with the enormity of that change. We look to a new millennium. We are confronted with the need to change even more within our experi- ence oLchLm:h. : " . • It i.hat We are more able to adjust:to mater: ial or temporal changes than we are to those of a spir- itual nature. Or, is it more a question of willingness to accept such change as distinct from the ability to change? It is no secret that we have experienced and con- tinue to experience a change in the number of priests available to serve our people. The change is a nega- tive one; numbers continue to decline while the age of present clergy increases. We must do things differently. We must change our patterns of service so as to both conserve human resources and maximize pastoral care to our people. Flowing from the Diocesan Synod of 1993, we are facing squarely the issue of future staffing of our parishes. In doing so, a study of staffing patterns within our diocese was conducted. The number of priests available to serve our parishes was projected out to the year 2005. Using those numbers as a start- ing point, recommendations were made for each of our deaneries as to hobo the lesser number of priests be allocated. Another significan item of ch1'. mightused in the recommendations was  the liturgies ned ed to provide the Eucharist to everyone within a rea- sonable distance. Subsequently, I invited two deaneries to serve as pilots in the planning process for their deaneries. Washington Deanery was first. It completed its plan last spring. Implementation of the plan began imme- diately: The East Deanery of Evansville is now com- pleting its planning process. In September 1998, the other five deaneries in our diocese will begin this same intense planning process. Next week: What changes will be required? Catholic home missions appeal this weekend the Church at for the first for Satur- and 26. RYAN Otis missions" are relatively Lnd parishes are The goal of the States and its that Catholics living in these areas can contin- ue to hear the Gospel message. The appeal is sponsored by the Bishops' Committee on the Home Missions, successor to the American Board of Catholic Missions (ABCM). For more than 70 years, grants to the home missions were made by the ABCM from its portion of the Mission Sunday collection, established in 1924, but the ABCM share of that collection is being steadily reduced in order t6 provide more help in Latin America, Asia and Africa• The U.S. Bishops authorized the Catholic Home Missions Appeal last year. Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa is Chairman of the Committee On the Home Missions. "The needs of the home mis- sions are not new, nor is our involvement," Bishop Slattery said. "But through the aplSeal, individual Catholics can show their concern for those who live in areas where the Church is struggling. It is an opportunity for Catholics in-the United States to take care of their own." The Catholic Home Missions Appeal will help fund diocesan evangelization efforts, parish religious education programs, education of seminarians, lay ministry training, and the pas- toral care of growing migrant and ethnic communities on both diocesan and national levels. "We seek to support the mis- sions in the United States and its dependencies so that Catholics living in those areas can contin- ue to hear the Gospel message and live it out," Bishop Slatterv said in a letter to bishops. "Contributions to the CHMA will continue to support the mission dioceses, organizations and religious institutes the American Board of Catholic Missions has funded through- out the past 70 years," Bishop Slattery wrote. "Time and again we have heard from our grantees that they depend on our financial support. " In a letter to pastors, Bishop Slattery noted that the ABCM distributed more than $5 mil- lion to the home missions in 1997. "If the bishops' Commit- tee on the Home Missions can- not replace this funding, the Catholics of Texas and remote Alaska, ! tiny villages in the dioceses of the Pacific, will suffer in the prac- tice of the faith," he said. plies to all gave us the Ten Corn- of them was "You shall we be expected to fol- "the death penalty is / to set an exam- r people, but how can we when they copy our is so wrong, then capital punishment? to end their life just like victim's, but some don't SOme want to die. Are eater to these criminal's live with his "cruel and unusu- said that blacks, the represented by COunsel are more likely punishment. There is that the innocent might to death; and of course a corpse. r has not been shown states to have a higher those that don't. France and Canada don't have capital punish- ment and have lower crime rates than those of the United States, As a Roman Catholic, I believe that capital punishment is wrong no matter how heinous the crime. I feel someday the facts will be seriously considered and someone will have enough guts to stand up and show the world• Janelle Donahue Good Shepherd School Christians should help homeless To the editor:. I am writing this letter to express my concerns with the homeless in our com- munity and country. I see the figures ris- ing each year due to several reasons. Some in the United States believe the number to be between 2 to 3 million homeless while others have a more con- servative count of 300,000. The reason for the difference in numbers could be the definition of homeless. Some families are only homeless for a short time while they look for a new job. Still others may be homeless because of cutbacks in the assistance programs. Some may have to leave their homes because of abusive sit- uations. Whatever the reason for their unfortunate situations, I feel it is our duty as citizens and Christians to help the homeless out. Recently in our parish bulletin I noticed a plea for volunteers to help with Habitat for Humanity. They are wanting us to build a home for a needy family. There are many areas that can use help. Anyone can assist in a variety of ways. I encourage others to call and offer their help in the construction or support jobs that are needed to make this project a success. I believe, we as Catholics and Chris- tians have the responsibility to help all others in need. We need to volunteer our time and talents to make someone else's life more pleasurable. We can work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, or even donate items that are needed. I would like to see the American gov- ernment pass some legislation that requires local authorities to house the homeless. Nicholas Vogt Good Shepherd School God makes the ultimate decision To the editor:. Euthanasia is a controversial topic in the United States today. Is it okay for people to help with the death of others? Or is it God's duty to decide when it is time for someone to end his earthly life? "Mercy killing" occurs around the world, sometimes legally, as in Australia, or illegally, as in the .Netherlands. Euthanasia activists describe it as "Death with Dignity" and a way to be sur- rounded by loved ones when you die. Personally, I do not think of dignity when hearing of someone being gassed to death by carbon monoxide and hav- ing his body dumped in a vehicle left in a parking lot. As for being surrounded by loved ones, when Australia legalized euthanasia, they recommended that fam- ily and friends leave the room when the person is given the lethal injection. Lethal injtions will usually cause vio- lent convulsions and muscle spasms for the recipient. •.. With all of the. advancements in medicine, no one should ever have to feel excruciating pain. If someone does, this means that his doctor may not have had a course in pain management, and he should probably go to a different doc- tor. There is no reason why anyone should resort to euthanasia. As a comrnunity, we have the respon- sibility of helping those who have suici- dal impulses work, their way through problems without having to resort to assisted suicide. First of all, we should be a good neighbor and help people who have a terminal illness or psychological problems. ... Candy-striping at the hospital is a way even young people can help people with serious illnesses feel loved and cared for. If anyone is really interested in ways to prevent euthanasia from becom- ing legal, he can contact the Internation- al Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, in Steubenville, Ohio. As Christians, we believe that makes the ultimate, we die. Having Kevorkian decide for us is the Catholic religion ways we can ing to their problems. Hopefully, in the near future all thoughts of euthanasia will be banished from peoples" minds. Megan Gribbins Good Shepherd School Ote: Following are the first editor written by eighth under the guidance of Matthew Carey, at Good Evansville. Additional Published in future issues Shepherd students face social injustice with hope and solutions