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May 10, 1996     The Message
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May 10, 1996
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 Activist asks officials to 'act justly' editor at the Is looked down at St. Mary and noted .w experience at judges. Kathleen ed ac- hed that she is up at judges in as she put- 'Justice. Is sponsored St. Thomas association of -rs. Judges, leaders and f all faith s are is the direc- Center She ad- at the Iass. Bishop the Bishop . the congre- plea and the measure what they did by the cases won or lost, but rather, to live a life of integrity, doing what is good and right, and walking humbly with the Lord. His plea was that they avoid cynicism and bitterness, and his promise was that he would pray for them. In her presentation after Mass, Sister Desautels also cited the prophet Micah, who said that what was required was "to act justly, to love ten- derly, and to walk humbly with your God." Sister Desautels said the operative word was "act." She said that many might disagree with her, but she be- lieved that Jesus died in a struggle against "the culture of sin" in his day. She told the members of the legal profes- sion that Jesus is an example to those who fight against the attitude that laws are more important than human beings. She said "we are called to be actors of justice" and that "We are all in the eighth day of cre- ation," but she raised the ques- tion, "Is our world better today that it was in Jesus' time?" She decried the violence of teens in street gangs, but sug- gested that people should also be outraged at the activities of "white collar gangs." She cited an automaker's decision to delay installation of airbags, which saved the manufacturer money, but which she said caused the loss of many lives. She said she believed people would be outraged if they knew about the conditions in Ameri- can prisons, comparing them to "concentration camps." Sister Desautels suggested that before making decisions, people in power should ask themselves, "How will what we do today affect the poor and the marginal?" She attributed a similar question to a Native American principle of morality: "How will what I do affect the next seven generations?" Despite the evils and injus- tices she said she found, she said there was hope. "I believe we can chip away at the sys- tems that oppress," she said. "We who believe in a provident God, who was on the side oi  justice, we can do it." !! ::i,, ) Providence Sister Kathleen Desautels speaks following the Red Mass, held May 2 at St. Mary Church, Evansville. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger was the main celebrant. The Red Mass is sponsored by the St. Thomas More Soci- ety, an association of Catholic lawyers. Sister Desautels is director of the Eighth Day Center for Justice in Chicago. -- Message photo by Paul R. Leingang ds White House vigil, still seeks information on Guatemala ce (CNS) _ Ortiz d fast in May informa. is inade- to be mo- 'resolving Ler 1989 ab- Sister nounced eral gov- of her an American Was their su- capped of civil it of the ch more nt 'as associ- Simon from taught that n Catholic SPan than 100 people including a bishop, nuns and priests were arrested. Members of Congress also spoke up on her behalf, and a protest was staged in E1 Salvador. Sister Ortiz said several thousand pages of documents released voluntarily by the State Department May 4 pro- vided no information about the American she believes was su- pervising the men who kid- napped and tortured her, but that they do reveal "a pro- nounced bias against me, from the very beginning, on the part of the U.S. embassy in Guatemala." As an example, she quoted from a report by then-ambas- sador Thomas Stroock in Guatemala suggesting that with the help of U.S. priests and nuns and the Guatemalan archbishop, she simulated her abduction as a political strat- egy timed to coincide with con- gressional debate on aid to Guatemala. Sister Ortiz, a native of New Mexico, was working as a teacher of Mayan children in 1989 when she was taken from the yard of a retreat house by armed men. She was repeat- edly raped, burned more that 100 times with cigarettes and forced to strike another pris- oner with a machete before the intervention of a man her ab- ductors called Alejandro and referred to as their boss. Speaking to her in Ameri- can-accented English, he said he was taking her to a friend at the U.S. Embassy. Fearing him, she fled from the jeep they were in while it was stopped in traffic. She reached a Maryknoll missionary resi- dence and eventually left the country with the help of the Vatican nuncio, she explained. For the more than six years since her escape, she has been seeking information about her abductors and pursuing the case in U.S. and Guatemalan courts. At the May 6 press confer- ence, Sister Ortiz's attorneys said they were suing the fed- eral government for failing to release information she has sought for more than a year. Sister Ortiz also released sketches of the mystery man called Alejandro and the three men who abducted her. The sketches were drawn by Jeanne Boylan, the forensic artist known for accurately de- picting the suspected Un- abomber and the men who bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. Sister Ortiz, rail-thin after losing 25 pounds during her vigil and fast, said she would suspend her action in the park across the street from the White House, "given the assur- ance that members of Congress will vigorously take up the struggle for declassification" of material related to her case and other cases of torture and death in Guatemala since 1954.. Sister Ortiz's case also was the subject of a protest in El Salvador April 30 by American and Salvadoran religious who demanded the U.S. govern- ment release information about human rights abuses in Guatemala over the last 40 years, including Sister Ortiz's ordeal. More than 100 religious protested outside the U.S. Em- bassy in San Salvador against what they termed as U.S. com- plicity in impunity in Guatemala. High School. Other assignments included associate pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Vincennes, in 1977; and pastor of St. Peter Church, Linton, and St. Joan of Arc Church, Jasonville, from 1977 to 1982. In 1982, Father Koressel was assigned as non-resident administrator of Holy Name Church, Bloomfield, while con- tinuing as pastor of St. Peter Church, Linton. From 1986 to 1990, Father Koressel was pastor of St. Simon Church, Washington; he also served as administrator of St. Mary Church, during a por- tion of his time of service in Washington. He was named pastor of St. Joseph Church, Princeton, in 1990. Vincennes Bicknell Sandbom Monroe City, Princeton Pat0ka Member F.D.I.C. i ii People we care about... d Following is a feature in the Message, designed to help draw together the People of God in southwestern Indiana. Readers are invited to submit information about people who may benefit by some extra prayers and attention. * Father Francis Bauer, pastor at St. Bernard Church, Fort Branch, had knee surgery May 1. His address is St. Bernard Church, R.R. 2, Fort Branch IN 47648. * Father Adolph Egloff, a retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville in residence in Vin- cennes, had gallbladder surgery in April at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes. His ad- dress is 2017 N. Second Street, Vincennes IN 47591. Msgr. Patrick Kilfoil, a retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville, had knee surgery on April 29. His address is 6161 Sunset Lane, North Crow's Nest, Indianapolis IN 46208. Birthday cards are requested for Catherine Dewig as she celebrates her 97th birthday. Cards may be addressed to: Catherine Dewig; Owensville Convalescence Center, Owensville IN. * Prayers are requested for Dennis Greulieh who had surgery for colon cancer in January, according to Mary Reine. He and his wife, Lorraine, who died in June of 1995, were members at St. Anthony Church for many years. He is now a member of Our Lady of the Lakes in Branson, Mo. Cards may be sent to Dennis Greulich, 453 U. S. Highway 160, Reeds Spring, Mo 65737. Please send information for PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT to Mary Ann Hughes, The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724.