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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
May 10, 1996     The Message
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May 10, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana op ba , R. LEINGANG e editor pmade the with oil on my a cap that was inside." was describing ngs after his baptism, and First Commu- at Mass April 29 at the Offender Set- Wabash Valley tl Institute, near 9, originally from . He started going to Mass three-and-a-half to four years ago. Joe DeRado, who came at the same time as Brown did, was his godfather and sponsor, and other "offenders" attending the ceremony are serving sentences of at least Gettelfinger baptizes Bryan Brown, pouring water on his forehead. Father Ken- neth Graehler and Joe DeRado as- sist. Left, Joe DeRado, sponsor, puts his hand on Brown's shoulder as Bishop Gettelfinger anoints the new Catholic, and, right, blesses him. Those who gathered for the cer- emony, who are not pictured, in- : :::. eluded Father Robert Nemergut, Chaplain William Hunter, and of- fenders Nicholas Chaffin, Romero Ortiz, Arnold Guajardo, Michael Barnes and James Hayes. Also at- tending were members of a Catholic bible study group from Vincennes, Ron Shafer, Helen Bennett and Kevin Edmondson. nder' n: .... rdship by the Book Who obey the commandments, Jesus says in Gospel, are the ones who really love Him. ray stewardship reveal my love for Jesus? Jubilarians d b_ "nilda (Meny) Kissel of Haubstadt will cele- 1JfJnftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of May 15. A dinner for invited guests will be May 18 at St. James School cafeteria, St. will follow from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; all relatives are invited to attend. The couple re- and best wishes. They were married May Peter and Pau Church, Haubstadt. They of six children: Maureen Ruggles, Lau- Greg Kissel, Carmen Jay, all of Haubstadt, re of Evansville, and Celeste Karcher of ey have 19 grandchildren. Church must act to help in times of need, heartland speaker says By KEVIN KELLY Catholic News Service KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CNS) -- The most immediate task facing the church today, ac- cording to Father Robert Hater, is connecting its sym- bols and rituals to real life. "We must refocus ourselves and our ministries to bring our symbol experiences into con- gruence with people's lives and needs," Father Hater told nearly 600 people on the open- ing day of the sixth biennial Heartland Conference held April 30-May 2in Kansas City. A priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and a professor of religious studies at the Univer- sity of Dayton, Father Hater said many of his university students don't believe the church is relevant to their lives. "Every day, I get from my students that so much of what is going on in the church doesn't speak to them," he said. "How do we look squarely at our organizational struc- tures and put them in con- gruity with people's needs?" One way to do that, Father Hater said, would be to design ministries around predictable "life passages." One such pas- sage for a teen-ager, he said, is getting a driver's license. "Why can't we take an expe- rience like that, hook it up to confirmation if you want t0, ritualize it and teach them what to do and what not to do with that ear?" he said. Father Hater said the church must reach out to peo- ple in pain who have lost their jobs, suffered sickness, experi- enced the death of a loved one, or gone through a divorce. "Those are traumatic mo- ments like nothing you can be- lieve," Father Hater said. "Those are the times when peo- ple need us. Even if they are not active in the church, if the church is there for them then, they'll never forget it." Sister Eva Marie Lumas, a Sister of Social Service who teaches at the Franciscan School of Theologs' at Berkeley, Calif., said that effective church ministry meets people at the point of their pain and urgent concerns. To illustrate that she told of how her own sister, then 21 years old and stricken with cancer, needed the support of a church. She was at the point of throwing herself in front of a bus when a woman pulled up in a car and said, "Honey, nothing can be that bad." That was 28 years ago, and to this day, her sister belongs to the church of her rescuer, which is led by a television evangelist. Sister Lumas said that after the rescue, people from that faith community were in her home or on the phone saying, "What can we do? What do you need?" "They paid her rent," Sister Lumas said. "They paid her children's tuition. No one in that church asked her to join them. She chose to do it." Part of the work of ministry is building community, she said, but "don't invite people to join a program," she said. "In- vite them to help you build it from scratch." The negotiations that result, she said, require people to let go of preconcep- tions. One function of ministry is outreach, Sister Lumas said, but it must be with the right motivation. "We are not about the busi- ness of making Catholics," she said, "but about helping people to see the presence, the activ- ity, the power of God in the world  whether or not they become Catholics." Bishop Raymond J. Bolan( of Kansas City-St. Joseph i his welcoming remarks said ht recently received a letter sug- gesting that he "get rid of all the sinners in the church." "Well, if I did that," he said, "there wouldn't be anyone left in the church." Bishop Boland warned against "spiritual elitism." "We have to be careful a ministers that, as we becom( well-equipped to bring th message of Christ, we don't be come victims of spiritua! elitism. I call it church racism,  he said. "That means that we beliew that the whole world would h,. wonderful if everyone though exactly as we do," he said. "W( think the world would be per feet if God would just let u create everyone in our ow image. But God created ever) one in great variety." He cautioned against the e.x tremes of "unrealistic opti raisin" and "unnecessary pes simismf "Christ never promised us ; utopia," the bishop said Christ said quite the opposite 'They will persecute you,' h, said. 'They will throw you i jail."