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Evansville, Indiana
April 29, 1994     The Message
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April 29, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 op's Forum -- Where are the first graders of five years ago? is April 26, 1994. I am a late in writing my is timely nonetheless was on this day five years over 7,000 Catholic School teachers, parents, school • religious, priests, Shea and the new bishop of ed at Roberts in Evansville. Lg together was for a purpose. We cele- of Catholic Diocese. What a joy- it was, and fitting! we cele- of the Eucharist in a public e Were Catholics praying in public• We pray as we are in our every day. Not only were we free as we believe, but we rejoiced in it. the Tradition of our Catholic the use of video tape, we heard from of our Catholic schools sharing and the value of having had the a Catholic School. We heard from Bob Griese as to how his Catholic helped him over many a diffi- pro-football career and after. He also ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER offered the reminder to our Catholic Students that it is easy to be a Catholic in the safe environ- ment of a Catholic School. He told how difficult it could be to stand up for the faith when others believe differently or make fun of what you believe. Governor Evan Bayh, the then new governor, was on hand for the occasion• He acknowledged the im- measurable value that Catholic Schools bring to our state. He com- plimented all those in our Diocese who had made Catholic Schools such an important of each commu- nity. This was a particularly mexnorable moment for me, having been bishop only 15 days. I did not have to work hard to get into the occasion, since the first 19 years of my priesthood were involved in Catholic Education. I was teacher, counselor and principal in a Catholic high school. I was Superintendent of Catholic Schools for/bur yearswhen we unified the office to an Office of Total Catholic Education. I know first hand the value of Catholic schools. I was not privileged to go to a Catholic elementary school since there was none available to our family• My Catholic high school training was at.St. Mein- rad Minor Seminary. I am committed to do all that I can not only to maintain our Catholic schools into the future but to make them available to all parents where at all possible• We indeed have a splendid Tradition here. We have such a solid foundation we assuredly will con- tinue into the future. Our parishioners go to ex- treme efforts to keep their Catholic schools. Even now some are expanding their classroom space. These signs are vel:y positive. This bodes well for the future of our Catholic schools• I am most grate- ful to each and every one who assists in these ef- forts. They will certainly not go unrewarded• Lest we forget, the primary purpose for Catholic schools is religious education• It is the best method we have to offer parents to fulfill their obligation to hand on the faith, the tradition• The anonymous $1 million gift the diocese has received will make it possible to keep a high standard of reli- gious education in our Catholic schools as well as in our out-of- school religious education programs. I hope the first graders of five years ago can find their Tradition Tee Shirts• I still have mine with "Chief Teacher" inscribed on it. It was an excit- ing moment for me to invest them with their shirts as they looked to the year 2000 when they will grad- uate from Catholic high school. a friend of cardinals; Backed church-supported ideals ZAPOR Service (CNS) -- resigning the eulogized as a statesman, was a friend '.ardinals who apported also included a on his fa- list." contradictory ate president the impres- from 35 years news stories 1960 presidential race to John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic sent to the White House• When he was elected president him- self eight years later, Nixon began hosting weekly religious services in the White House, met several times with Pope Paul VI, and had a Jesuit on his speechwriting staff. Nixon died April 22 at the age of 81. His funeral was to be held in his hometown of Yorba Linda, Calif., April 27 with full presidential honors. A national day of mourning was declared by President Clinton. "For 30 years we've been try- ing to figure out Richard Nixon's demons," said Jesuit r, lost the Weekend there is a Communication M an A.S.L. interpreter Henry uses voice and All Homilies are printed the Hard-of-Hearing and Information call: Henry Kuykendall Father Robert Drinan, who as a congressman in 1973 filed the first resolution of impeach- ment against Nixon. While noting that Nixon "had many virtues" including the way he treated his family and a relatively liberal ap- proach to social welfare poli- tics, Father Drinan acknowl- edged that even two decades after they both left elected poli- tics he had trouble separating his feelings about Nixon. "I can't be objective," said Father Drinan, now a law pro- fessor at Georgetown Univer- sity. "He put me on his ene- mies list." At the height of criticism for his handling of the Watergate break-in, Nixon compiled a list of White House enemies including journalists, members of Congress and oth- ers he believed were out to get him. Years after Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974 amid impeachment hearings in the wake of the Watergate coverup, his close friend, the Rev. Billy Graham said the real Nixon "was the one we knew before Watergate and know now." "I don't know how he got into the trap of Watergate and I don't think he knows," said Mr. Graham in 1986. When Nixon resigned, an- other friend, now-retired Car- dinal John J. Krol of Philadel- phia, was president of the U.S. Catholic Conference. The car- dinal said at the time: "His res- ignation is indeed saddening. It terminates the presidency of a man who, whatever his strengths and weaknesses were, entered office with the intention of serving the best interests of the nation." Nixon was a longtime sup- porter of Catholic education who not only backed tax cred- its for parents whose children attended parochial schools, but contributed more than $6,000 to Philadelphia's archdiocesan schools after he left office. But his address to the Knights of Columbus annual convention in 1972 in which he pledged support for parochial schools was denounced by other educators as "a crass po- litical maneuver to capture the Catholic vote•" Nixon also won the support of church leaders who lauded his opposition to legalized abortion. And shortly before his administration announced plans to expand federal birth control programs, the White House as a courtesy advised the Vatican of what was com- ing. Nixon twice went to the Vat- ican as president, having long private audiences with Pope Paul VI. As president Nixon decided not to establish full diplomatic relations with the Vatican, but named Henry Cabot Lodge as his envoy• Two prominent priests were members of Nixon's staff• John McLaughlin, then a Jesuit priest, was part of Nixon's White House speechwriting team. McLaughlin now hosts a television political commentary program. The late Sulpician Father John F. Cronin, a pro- lific writer on Catholic social thought, also served as a Nixon speechwriter in the 1950s. Another Nixon friend, Holy Cross Father Theodore Hes- burgh, was named to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. The University of Notre Dame, where Father Hesburgh was president, honored Nixon with its Patriotism Award in 1960. But 10 years later, Father Hesburgh delivered to his old friend petitions with 23,000 signatures calling for the with- drawal of American troops from Southeast Asia. And the Civil Rights Commission Fa- ther Hesburgh chaired was criticizing the administratimx for not taking a stronger stand to protect civil rights. Shortly after becoming presi- dent, Nixon started a weekly series of interdenominational religious services at the White House, presided over by such prominent clergymen as Mr. Graham and the late New York Cardinal Terence Cook. The services were criticized by, among others, Protestant the- ologian Reinhold Niebhur for undermining the separation of church and state. University gets $4 million deferred gift for scholarships DAYTON, Ohio (CNS) -- A graduate of the University of Dayton's preparatory school who never had the chance to attend the university has set up a scholarship fund that eventually will help about 80 economically disadvantaged students attend the university each year• The donor, who wishes to re- main anonymous, gave the larian!st-run" un!versity $4 million in a deferred gift, the largest such gift in the univer- sity's history. It will help build a perpetual scholarship fund to keep a Uni- versity of Dayton education ac- cessible to students of all fi- nancial means, according to Marianist Brother Raymond L. Fitz, university president• Approximately $36 million of the university's $89 million en- scholarships. The donor established a se- ries of trusts through a gift of common stock. The trusts pro- vide lifetime income for his family, 'ith the university the beneficiary of the trusts upon death. At that point, the gift will provide nearly $200,000 annu- ally in scholarship money that will he used to award mini-