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May 10, 1996     The Message
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May 10, 1996

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference--- Reader remembers neighborhood in sum "When the crickets chirp and the locusts sing in unison, my mind snaps, and I return to the neigh- borhood where I grew up." This is the experience of Mar- garet Paskins, who writes from At- lanta, Ga., with a reflection on the neighborhood of her youth. "This northern Indiana sub- urb, 30 miles east of Chicago, was made up of people who had varied ethnic backgrounds. You could say that each house represented a dif- ferent country, but we all had one great thing in common- God. The people worshipped in many differ- ent kinds of churches, but we all had a strong belief in God, our Father. Warm feelings and security ex- isted as tangible things there, and those people made my childhood neighborhood home. "On those warm, dark evenings when the soft whoosh of sprinklers cushioned the sounds heard from the stoops and porches, it didn't matter if you could distinguish a particular voice, for the all sounded familiar. These people had known each other in their native countries of Italy, Poland, Aus- tria-Hungary, and Ukraine. We children knew each other's parents and grand-parents. I'd watched from our living room window as Debbie's new baby sis- ters, visible only as bundles in their mother's arms, came home from the hospital. By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR "These people worked hard. Children never knocked on front doors because that could disturb a preoccupied adult. We whispered I plans to meet through kitchen I screens and back doors. "On hot afternoons Debbie's morn would leave glasses of Kool- Aid on the outside window sill next to the back door. The tall, metallic glasses shimmered in shades of hot pink, emerald green and peacock blue. The frosted glasses would sweat round dew-drops of moisture. After the cool drink we rode our bikes for hours, except on Sunday, of course. Sunday was church and family day. "Debbie and I played most days in the summer, but playing outside after dinner was extra special. At 9 p.m., the neighbors came out to sit on the front stoop. All the houses had them. Each house looked different, but they all had front stoops. Every ce- ment stoop had three or four rough steps about eight inches high. Even though they lacked comfort, those steps served as the householder's favorite spot at this time in the evening. The stoop provided the connecting link in the chain of house, and when neighbors sat there, they received the blessing of each other's presence. "Darkness propelled Debbie and me toward our homes at 9 p.m. My mother would be walking down our front walk and yell, 'PeggY!' offensive way. Contributing to and I would echo back, 'We're homer' i "Deb's morn would would talk and gesture in ways we the day when they were busy bother them, they would visit stay out late, too, all of us presence, and safe in this night that surrounded us all." :!: $ The writer of this sun love and security she felt growing with her all of her life -- and it vas than she could possibly have How is love and security your neighborhood? What will your children ing up? $ $ Members of the Christian today often provide Small groups of families get to ..... well, and care for each other. Take the time today to find ily to experience the love of God neighbor. Comments about this column mail to or mail to Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Ames':l Washington Letter Throw the book at 'em by the book: The protocol of being By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Tuesday: 8 a.m. dentist ap- pointment; 9 a.m. get arrested at White House; 4:15 p.m. pick up kids at soccer. Yes, getting arrested for civil disobedience at the White House is something one can ac- tually schedule. The U.S. Park Service Police doesn't encourage anyone to try to get arrested -- by ap- pointment or otherwise. But there clearly was a well-orga- nized plan being followed by the hundred or so people who were arrested there in late April and early May for their demonstration in support of Ursuline Sister Dianna Ortiz. And that organization is at least as much due to the Park Service's systematic approach to civil disobedience as it is to planning by the protesters. "It's a civil right, a First Amendment thing," said Lt. Jeanne O'Toole of the Park Service police, explaining that The MESS A GE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave, Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly} newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Editor ....................................... Paul R. Leingang Production Technician ................ Joseph Dietrich Advert;sing .................................... Paul Newtand Staff Wnter ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica. tion number 843600. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication CongLht 195  Pte of Ev"ansv the police are obliged to re- spect those rights while up- holding laws meant to keep protests orderly. Hence, the system that has would-be protesters calling the police ahead of time to advise them of their intentions and to get the scoop on what constitutes an "arrestable" offense. The seven-day arrest cam- paign began April 29 in con- junction with Sister Ortiz's monthlong vigil in the park across the street from the Whit House. Her vigil and hunger strike were aimed at drawing attention to efforts to obtain information on her 1989 abduction, rape and torture in Guatemala. Under the guidance of civil disobedience "pros," the nuns, priests, lay activists and a bishop arrested for demon- strating without a permit were briefed ahead of time. Their instruction covered: -- What laws they were breaking: demonstrators are not allowed to stand in one place in front of the White House; groups of more than 25 people need a permit. -- How to behave: don'tget angry, pray if you feel your temper rising. -- What to carry: a photo ID and maybe a quarter, anything else just slows the process. -- When their last chance to back out would be: they had three carefully phrased warn- ings to disperse read to them by a police officer at least a minute apart. -- What the penalty would be: a $50 fine or appearing in court in July for a trial. -- And how long it would take before they could get to their next appointments: an average of two to three hours, and organizers provided a ve- hicle to bring them back to the park where they started. Clearly, civil disobedience has come a long way from the Vietnam-era images of police in riot gear wielding night- sticks as they wrestled with belligerent, rock-throwing stu- dents who had blocked public buildings. In fact, it's come a long way since Franciscan Father Joseph Nangle was first ar- rested for praying in the ro- tunda of the Capitol in 1987 in a protest over U.S. involve- ment in Central America. "My first time they kept us at the jail overnight and they were very stern," said Father Nangle, who was part of the group arrested at the White House April 29. He returned each day to carry a large white cross at the lead of the proces- sion from the park to the White House fence. There's some evidence that the daily arrests may have helped Sister Ortiz's cause. Message policy regarding political activity The Message is the official newspaper of the Catholic Dio- cese of Evansville. The policy of the Message is to observe the rules forbidding 501 (c) (3) organizations from engaging in partisan political activity. The Message continues its long-standing policy of publish- ing news reports and commentary about political candidates and issues, and about their relationship to morality and Catholic social teaching. Political advertising is accepted at the Message from all bona fide candidates on an equal basis. i i i,, i She had already met with first lady Hillary Rodham Clin- Despite ton to plead her case, and 103 pro members of Congress had writ- ten to President Clinton urging the release of records on human rights abuses in Guatemala. But little had hap- "I was pened until the week of the ar- my rests, when the State Depart- ingt ment provided her with some documents reportedly related sistant to her case. tice On the fifth day of the ar- ington.: rests, when the group seemed to have the process down to a having science, Father Nangle and a "I police commander were spotted huddling briefly to work out or details before the demonstra- that one tion began. All the congenial picture lacked was a couple wasa doughnuts and cups of coffee, tial Compared to the lengthy went process he went through in the next to 1980s, "it's much simpler now," See of anY anxious Bishop's s The following activities and schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Priests' Waahin Confirmation: