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May 13, 1994     The Message
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May 13, 1994

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective Reflections on an eclipse and the Gospel of John I watched the eclipse this week. I To be completely accurate and I honest, I probably should say that I did not actually watch the moon cross in front of the sun. I watched an image projected on a piece of white cardboard. On Tuesday, the moon blocked out a large portion of the sun, as viewed from southwestern Indiana. Persons to the north of us had a more complete view of the eclipse. Those who lived in the direct path of it could have seen the moon move directly in front of the sun like a penny on top of a quarter, some one said. In the middle of that perfect path, the eclipse would have looked like a bright, shining ring around a dark center. I have never seen such a thing  directly or indirectly. Perhaps it looks like a white hot wedding band, or a ring of fire. I have seen a partial eclipse -, at least, the By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR i image of an eclipse. I used the sim- ple device experts in news feature stories always say we should use. I punched a pin hole in one piece of cardboard, then let the sun focus on another piece of clean white card- board. It was amazing. The bright light of the sun some how shone through the pin hole and shaped an image of itself on the white card. Clearly, there was the larger, bright circle of the sun. Clearly, a smaller circle was cut from it -- leaving a crescent shape of light on my white cardboard screen. Even though most of the sun was covered, the light of day was still strong and warm. And even though I did not look at the sun, I could see the eclipse clearly. Jesus told us that he was the light of the world, I thought. As Christians, our responsibility is to share the image of Jesus with the rest of the world -- a world full of people who will rectly at the light. Although they Jesus, they will look at us. In our humanity, perhaps, we light. Because of our flaws, we block out brilliance. But the light of Jesus is so all of our flaws together -- even if we rise very center of the sun -- will cover the source of our goodness and light It is an awe-full the fact is that it is our very solid our refusal to let light pass through us, it possible for others to see the image we try to block. All that is needed is the tiny pin point opening, through which.all ( brilliance of the sun can be focused. John, will testify to the light. We, like John, will not ourselves the light even as in the real light of the world -- so the world may come to believe.. . Washington '80's sanctuary network looks to counter '90's anti-immigrant By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) The church-based network that offered sanctuary to Central American refugees a decade ago is gearing up again to help a new wave of people fleeing their homelands and fighting a tide of anti-immigrant back- lash. In the 10 years since parishes and religious congre- gations around the country began sheltering people who fled wars in Nicaragua, E1 Sal- vador and Guatemala, the sanctuary movement had all but faded away. The political turmoil in those countries eased and the U.S. government changed some im- migration policies, enabling many of sanctuary beneficia- ries to move out of the shadows and legalize their status. As the last legal battles be- tween sanctuary workers and the federal government wound through appeals courts in the late 1980s, the network of up to 500 communities around the country took a breather. But a surge in anti-immi- grant politics and rhetoric has jump- started some of the sanc- tuary activists, especially in California. The San Francisco-based ii The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville P uDlished weeMy except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansvi/la Pubsher .............. Bop Gerald A. Gettetfinger Edtor ............................................ Pal I.ngang M,w, Oer ........................... l Boger C,ai, ar ................................ Amy Houman Sta Wer ............................. U Hcgs Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post offce in Evansville, IN 47701. Publca- ton number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of PubJcatio Copyngl 1994  Press o( Ew'le ii i ] i i ii ii i ii iiii i National Sanctuary Defense Fund has turned its attention and resources toward a new generation of political asylum claims. The organization estab- lished in 1983 to finance the legal expenses of religious workers arrested for helping Central Americans entei, the country illegally now is raising funds to defend asylum claims of Haitians and Chinese who fear retribution for their politi- cal actions. And the fund's staff and board members are spearhead- ing a campaign to counter anti- immigrant rhetoric that has become a centerpiece of Cali- fornia's politics. The Rev. Gus H. Sehultz, president of the defense fund and pastor of University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, Calif., said that two years ago the organization's board con- sidered whether the Sanctuary Defense Fund should continue to exist. But the plight of Haitians who tried to enter the United States on ramshackle boats only to be turned back by the Coast Guard" struck a chord with board members and with the fund's longtime sup- porters. "We received a lot of letters that asked why we were not doing something for the Haitians," Mr. Schultz said. Seeing "a vacuum of Coordi- nation" among various groups involved in helping immigrants and refugees, the defense fund hired Tessa Rouverol from her longtime job handling immi- grant issues for Catholic Social Services. Among her charges is to pull together information to respond to claims that immi- grants are responsible for high rates of crime and unemploy- ment and to help develop a model others could follow to fight hostility toward immi- grants. In February, the defense fund helped organize a rally in Sacramento urging legislators to protect the rights and dig- nity of immigrants. Among the dozens of organi- zations that brought hundreds of people to the state capitol as the Interfaith Witness for Jus- tice were Jewish, Buddhist, Lutheran and Quaker groups. But Catholic organizations out- numbered them all. Sponsors included the California Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities of California, the Oakland Diocese's Hispanic Pastoral Center and Viet- namese Pastoral Center, the regional Leadership Confer- ence of Women Religious, the Oakland Catholic Worker group and sisters from half a dozen religious orders. Some participants came from religious congregations that began their immigration- related social activism as part of the 1980s sanctuary net- work. The California province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, for instance, had con- tinued to work among immi- grants, teaching English and helping people legalize their status. St. Teresa Parish was one of 16 San Francisco congrega- tions to get involved in sanctu- ary in 1984, a time when the entire city was declared a sanc- tuary. Father Peter Sammon led the parish through a year- long process of studying the is- sues and ramifications in pro- viding sanctuary, leading up to an overwhelming affirmative vote. Ever since, the parish has raised funds, written letters, organized protests and other- wise worked on behalf of refugees, nearly always Cen- tral Americans. After exiled Haitian President Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide spoke recently with Bay Area ac- tivists about the problems fac- ing people from his country, Father Sammon predicted St. Teresa would soon be working on helping Haitians as well. Of the 16 parishes, syna- gogues and religious communi- ties that were Bay Area sanc- tuaries in the '80s, Father Sammon estimated 11 or 12 are still active. The San Fran- cisco Sanctuary Covenant, rep- resenting the area's sanctuary congregations, has held board meetings at least once a month for a decade, with 90 percent of the members attending, he said. If a sanctuary vote were taken today, Father Sammon expects the vote would be even stronger because the experi- ence has been so good for the parish. "We certainly do some things for refugees but it does far more for us," he said. Father Sammon finds it dis- couraging that anti-immigrant sentiments are so widespread in Ca: efforts by at calming grants and defend many said," he said. But at immigrant little footing, he cause "we weren't just Bishop's sc The following activities and events schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger :i Celestine Boonville; Sunday, May 22, 3