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Evansville, Indiana
May 12, 1995     The Message
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May 12, 1995
 

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2 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery By DAVID M, THOMAS AND MARY JOYCE CALNAN A Moment from Life The anniversary was coming again, and the kids always did something for their parents on this special day. Only this year it would be on the right date, because Gall remembered the date this time -- in time. "How are we going to get more money?" Mary Jo asked Dave; her brother. "And how will we get Morn and Dad out of the house?" Dave was the oldest, and the three girls looked to him for answers. "Well," he said, "we can do it! Let me think." The girls gladly went out to play. "So how am I gonna solve this one?" Dave said to himself. "I know!" We'll make the food ourselves. We've watched Morn do it for years. It can't be that hard." His sisters loved the idea. But there was still a problem m the gift. He counted what they had -- four dollars and thirtytwo cents. Suddenly he knew! Now that they would be eating at home, the money could be used for a gift! "Bril- liant!" he said to himself. "I'm brilliant!" Their father announced he was going to the golf course, and their mother, to the beauty parlor. They would be leaving together. "Perfect!" Dave thought. The night finally arrived! The house smelled wonderful Family meals, and the special family memo- ries that go with them, have a deeper mean- ing than meets the eye. with all the food on the stove. Suddenly the door opened, and everybody yelled, "SUR- PRISE!" The parents just stood there -- shock and bewilder- ment covered their faces. "Happy Anniversary!" the children screamed. "We got the right day -- right?" "How did you know?" Mom asked. "Gall found out," Dave an- swered. "We finally got it right!" "Oh, oh... yes.., you got it right, all right!" their father answered as he gently nudged his wife's arm. "What's for din- ner?" Kathy jumped in. "Hot dogs," she exclaimed, "maca- roni and cheese, and pickled beets. Doesn't that sound good?" A Connection with the Catechism Family meals, and the spe- cial family memories that go with them, have a deeper meaning than meets the eye. Family meals are filled with the "stuff' that makes a family what it is. To try to have a family cele- bration without food and drink would be like trying to swim outside of water. Something very important (necessary) would be missing! And so, it was most appro- priate that as Jesus ap- proached those dramatic events that were to take place at the end of his earthly life, he 'gathered his closest friends (who were like family) to cele- brate a final meal, a final "cele- bration," a last supper. And, as happens at other family celebrations, more hap- pened than met the eye. : Jesus broke bread with his friends, symbolizing his shar- ing of the substance of his life with them. Then he told them that the bread was his body, given up for them. (They didn't understand this until later.) Similarly, Jesus shared the wine of celebration with his friends and told them it was his blood, the blood of the New Covenant. (They didn't under- stand this either, until later.) That last meal forged their relationship with one another for eternity. Jesus asked that this meal become their primary gathering ritual after he left their presence. "(They later realized, in faith, that cel- ebrating that meal was Jesus' way of remaining with them.) All these years, the church community has continued the sacred tradition of celebrating this last meal. It is the central celebration of our faith. In gratitude (the word eu- The Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Eucharist charist comes from a Greek word meaning "to give thanks") we gather to unite ourselves with Jesus. And we join our own thoughts, words and deeds with him as we continue to build the kingdom of God with God's Spirit, who is present to US. The Family Meal of the Church The Eucharist is our Chris- tian family celebration. And it takes on an even deeper mean- ing when we gather on the an- niversary of Jesus' resurrec- tion, Easter Sunday. On that day, according to Saint Paul (see Hebrews 4:1- 11), the Lord God created a new day, an eighth day of cre- ation -- the Christian Sab- bath. It was a day to be set aside, a day for giving thanks. Throughout the centuries, the Catholic faith has main- tained that the food and drink of the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Through the church, and specifically the actions of the priest, the Holy Spirit trans- forms ordinary bread and wine into Jesus Christ, the One sent for our salvation. The reality of Christ's saving action is then made present to the gathered community of Christians. The Food that Trans- forms Us In partaking of the Eu- charist, the church community is more and more transformed into the body )f Christ. The old saying "You are what you eat" can also be applied to receiving Holy Communion. More and more, the Christian is able to echo the words of Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me" (Gala- tians 2:20). Finally, it is not enough to "ust Have you ever thought about the fact that after commu- nion the priest "does the dishes ?" at- tend the eucharistic feast. We participate in the Eucharist so that we, the assembled faith- ful, can receive and carry out our marching orders: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord." The action of becoming church community, the body of Christ in the world, is joined with the action of going out with the purpose of living Christian lives and inviting others to join with us. In its current understanding of its own life, the church combines the ideas of community and mission. The wedding anniversary celebrated by the family in the opening story presents many parallels to the celebration of the Eucharist. And in al the family tion is the family's celebrating church of the home! There is, for memory of the riage, which the family's stories told of both its past as well as dreaas ture. There is There are honest sharing. all, the gathered especially to have made possible. How niversarY gathering of the Christian ,family eucharistic Consider this. Think back for the last time gathered in your brate food? Drink? something occasion? ries? Maybe yo (Even a song grandpa gifts? do the dishes? Have the fact that the priest "does i ht 1994 Tabor Copyr g,,.n TeXaS' lishing, A ' with permission" Book traces role of women religious role of women religious in the life of the Catholic Church in the United States. Blessed Mother Theodore -- whose cause is now being ad- vanced'toward sainthood -- battled the second Bishop of Vincennes for seven years. During that time, Stewart writes, Bishop Celestine de la Hailandiere "opposed, repri- manded, and falsely accused her." Among events noted by Stew- art was the time in 1843 when Mother Theodore returned from Indiana to France to seek funds and more sisters for her commu- nity. While she was gone, the Bishop of Vincennes had called for an election in her commu- nity. Her sisters When went to bishop dE dered her not return. " It was Bis resigned, was ,restore' rice," During rior, 18 nOW and the ana state of 1856. Her c numbers By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Mother Theodore Guerin, the Sister of Providence who founded St. Mary-of-the-Woods, "endured trials of the most painful and unexpected nature" in Indiana, according to George C. Stewart Jr., uthor of Marvels of Charity: History of American Sisters and Nuns. The book, recently published by Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., of Huntington, Ind., traces the Divinity game provides fun while teaching facts from the Catechism of the CatholiC By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor They call it "the only Catholic Catechism Learn- ing System that plays like a game." That's be- cause it is a game -- and a learning system, too. "Divinity" is the game, produced by Divinity Re- ligious Products, Inc., and available in English or Spanish (as in the publicity photo, at left). The game board features a stained-glass win- dow design in four parts, labeled Believe, Cele- brate, Live and Pray. Players start at the Alpha square and win when they get to Omega. Along the way, they answer questions taken from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. They also may be called upon' to tell a story from Scripture or to praY The game is recommended for up, independently; younger interaction, may also enjoy it. are cross referenced to the Catechism" A recent test of the game with a children at St. Benedict Church, the game living up to its billing. eagerly; adults felt a tinge of whether they knew "right answerS. RCIA and religious education enjoy playing an occasional round Available at religious goods Divinity Religious Products, Inc., Encinas, Suite B, Car[sbad, C (619) 929-1090.