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Evansville, Indiana
May 15, 1998     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 JIM and ANN CAVERA 7 I : i!  or" of making my first corn- fifty years ago this May. It was a g and the church was classes were large in those days with for the celebration. The girls their white dresses and veils. having to wear white, they exposed our bony knees. worse, our morns made us scrub to wear white shoes too. They Act of nutrition were nothing like the cool athletic shoes that kids wear today. They were ugly and not very comfort- able. Thank God we only had to wear them once. By the time my own sons made their first communion, good sense had taken over and long pants with dark shoes had become the style. On the Friday before that special day we all lined up for our First Confession. We had been practicing and each of us had been working diligently to mem- orize the confession prayers. It was scary going into the confessional for the first time. In the dim light I could see the outline of ourpastor on the other side of the curtain and wondered if he recognized me. I remember the stuffy feeling of the small space and I was a bit overcome by the pastor's breath. Sister never warned us about that. Even though I forgot some of the prayers, the pastor was kind enough to help me. Years later I would recall these feelings when my oldest daughter was about to go to her first confession and tearfully revealed that she was afraid of forgetting her "act of nutrition." When you think about it, a seven-year-old's mis- take can have some deep theological truth. Taking the time to evaluate ourselves and share this with the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a kind of act of "nutrition," not just contrition. We are being nourished not in the traditional way by food, but rather by the grace of God. Many of the old devotions that we practiced as children, like a Nove- na or a May Crowning, were really meant to sustain us on our life journey for our faith, like our body, requires nourishment to survive. I cannot think of a better time of year, as we celebrate our new life in the risen Christ, for each of us to make an "act of nutrition." By JIM CAVERA Jim and Amz Cavera live and lrk in Evansville. Their col- umn is a regular feature of the Message. del principal: Religion is NOT just for children ;another in a weekly Parish Pre- S Message that St. pal Ann Catholic to the parish may be sur- vision of schools will Schools offer an education of high academic standards entwined with Chris- tian values, a religious educa- tion and prayer life," Friedman said. "Because of what we have to offer in the religious, acade- mic and environmental sense, our schools will continue  not only as they are, but with an expanded curriculum to include adult education." She envisions a time when "schools will be open most evenings for adult formation. This might be classes in Sacred Scripture, technology, Church history, family living and even V perhaps include the fine arts." And Friedman, principal at St. Wendel for 13 years, is excit- ed at the possibilities. "To accomplish this we need strong, dedicated Christian lead- ership in our schools and teach- ers with Christian moral values, high academic expectations and devotedness to parish/commu- nity life," she said. "Due to there being fewer priests, people will be ready for expanded adult education," she said. She thinks parishes are already looking at parish life differently. In the past, people meets with Ann Friedman, as and Lauren bring | food items for the St. Wendel PTO Fun Festival. were satisfied with basic reli- gion and prayer life. And the schools offered that successfully: But now parishes are looking at themselves more broadly. An expansion into adult formation is a natural, At St. Wendel, "we feel this is ou r communiW and we owe it to our people," Fried- man said. Friedman is well grounded in her faith and education for this expanded role. To accompany her required master's degree in school administration, she holds toral associates, they must be well educated about theChurch and its theology; she said. One of her deepest desires is to expand her role and begin teaching adult scripture classes herself at St. Wendel. She and Father David Nunning, St. Wen- del pastor, have begun dis- cussing this new service to the parish. Although she knows the move into adult formation needs to go slowly, she has other pressing ideas: Parenting classes may soon follow the a master's in theology. Her the- planned scri ology training enriches her life ...... . and "gives a foundation to everything. Maybe I don't teach theology per se, but the knowl- edge  the confidence  is there," Ms Friedman said. "With the advent of fewer priests and nuns available for the teaching of religion, a new emphasis is being placed on preparing lay persons for this role," she said. "The interest in religious education is definitely there." Friedman explained that with this renewed interest and the availabilitv of excellent training programs from the Diocesan Religious Education Office, Catholic schools will have more teachers committed and prepared for the rewarding task of developing Christian attitudes and values through prayer, liturgy and religious instruction. "I believe that religious edu- cation will become stronger than -- Message photo by Ann Ennis ever. People will take ownehip of it," she said. As more and more lay persons become active as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, catechists, members of pastoral for Formation classes. school principals may be the most educated person on a parish staff. In that role the opportunities for leadership and mentoring are great, Fried- man said. With these opportu- nities come new challenges, but challenges are also in turn opportunities. These challenges include meeting academic Standards, securing money and staffing, expanding facilities to meet the demands of space, and com- bating society's violence and the negative side of new tech- nologies. "But we have to look at it in a positive way. Catholic schools have a lot going for us. There are all kinds of things evolving that give us new hope." The key is in adult formation one example being that of training in stewardship. Fried- man strongly believes that "as the practice of stewardship of time, talent and treasure become a real innate personal practice in our parishes, more enriching and vibrant commu- of Lafayette, Indiana is seeking a full-time Director for the Pas- member of the Bishop's Cabinet, responsibilities include coot- directed to carry out the Bishop's vision of Catholic Formation. Areas of include: Worship, sacramental preparation, initiation, outreach and evange- youth ministry and schools. The director will be responsible for articulating to enhance formation opportunities along with the administration for the Pastoral Office. Qualifications include recent Masters in theology, studies; church leadership experience. Must be a practicing Catholic in Salary competitive. Detailed job description available on request. Submit r'um6 r and references by June 1, 1998 to: Formation Search Committee, Diocese o! Lafayette-In-Indiana P.O. Box 260. Lafayette, IN 47902 councils and boards, and pas- nity living will happen." A radio Bible teachin8 wita WVHI 1330 AM Mon. - FrL, l I