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Evansville, Indiana
May 19, 1995     The Message
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May 19, 1995

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MESSAGE The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana VOLUME 32 . NUMBER 38 May 19, 1995 YdEST OF.ANERY EAST Of.ANERY rrow's Work Force' seeks business pledges for Catholic Schools LEINGANG editor native William 1 Mater Dei high schools as assets" in He told a group of and civic leaders that and Memorial are one in five high school pop- this job su- graduate of Memo- is president Operating officer of Cincinnati, He speaker for a 80 business and at the Catholic Cen- The luncheon gath- of an effort called Workforce," spon- EVansville Catholic told the luncheon that parochial a unique contri- e betterment.of and that "part- these schools of- a unique in- an exec- Koch Sons, Uded the session that business give to schools an amount to five percent of pay in property taxes. Muehlbauer said public education receives about 50 percent of the property taxes paid by businesses. A document handed out at the luncheon stated that Catholic schools serve the com- munity by educating sttidents, providing a competitive envi- ronment which improves the quality of all schools, and cre- ating a substantial tax sav- ings. The tax savings is com- puted at nearly $7 million annually -- the money taxpay- ers would have to come up with if students in Catholic schools went to public schools. In his speech, Burleigh cited a story often told by Brad But- ler, the retired vice-chairman of Procter and Gamble. Accord- ing to that story, settlers mov- ing west came to rely on the full wood box they found at shelters set up across the prairie. There was only one rule -- before leaving, the set- tlers had to be sure to refill the wood box for th next arrivals. Burleigh said that Evansville businessman Fran- cis Joseph Reitz understood the lesson of the wood box and played the critical role in es- tablishing Memorial High School. He called that a "wise investment" and said that it is "hard to calculate the impact that this school has had on the life of Evansville over the years in terms of preparing fu- ture leaders, seeding the work force with skilled talent, un- derscoring life' nccd fir piri- tual values and -- you will pardon my parochialism providing high athletic drama." Burleigh said he was sure his "West Side friends would be eager to make similar claims about Mater Dei." Burleigh pointed out that 95 percent of the students at the two schools graduate, eight in 10 go to college, and their aver- age SAT scores exceed both state and national averages. The two schools are "models Of penny pinching manage- ment," Burleigh said, citing per-pupil costs of $2,975 or less than half the national average. Burleigh said educational re- searchers agree on the reasons for Catholic school success: parental involvement, uncom- mon dedication of faculty, a student body eager to learn, and the religious dianension. "Parochial education is built on a foundation of moral princi- pies that seems to offer a mor- tar that makes the other sub- ject matter adhere into a dy- namic whole," : :: ': :: i :: *' Burleigh said society faces a crisis with moral dimensions and practical ones as well -- a job training crunch. "If they [members of the business com- munity] don't pitch in, they will not have the human re- sources needed to compete in the Twenty-first Century. It's that simple, and that scary." tant impor- important ewhat impor- tant Very impor- ' "" Not important at all where Hendricks affirmed the value of family stories and the centrality of family life. Hendricks is an author, speaker, DRE, teacher and vol- unteer -- and currently serves as the Catechetical Advisor for Silver Burdett Ginn Religion Division. She and her husband and two children live in Col- orado Springs, Colo. the files Diocese of Evansville is actively working to help the poor? Statewide Catholics 14% I Extremely impor- tant 35% -- Very important 42% -- Somewhat impor- tant 6% -- Not very important 2%-- Not important at all Hendricks spoke to several hundred parish and school cate- chists and spouses, at the Van- derburgh County Auditorium in Evansville, May 8, and at the Holiday Inn, Jasper, May 9. "Families are taking a beat- ing from all sides," Hendricks said, encouraging her audience to look for some good news amid all the bad news being re- ported about families. She told her listeners to be like miners who search for a little bit of gold amidst piles of rock, to find the good news. "If we don't look carefully, we might just miss it," she said. She stressed the importance of family stories, and gave some examples. Hendricks said the Bible is full of family stories -- even some that could be the object of contemporary television talk shows. A topic for Geraldo or Jenny Jones could be, "Brothers who sold their brothers into slavery," she suggested, refer- ring to the story of Joseph being sold into Egyptian slavery. Sustained laughter came from a quoted line about the Holy Family: "Mary and Joseph were the first parents who forgot to pick up their kid after religious education.  Among the kinds of stories she described in contemporary family life are the "memory stories" -- such as, "Remember the year the turkey slid off the platter" at Thanksgiving. Other stories she classified as "roots stories"  about family origins, and "ghost stories" the kind that come back to haunt you over and over again. To make a point about how valuable stories can be, she de- scribed "universal stories" such as the kind portrayed on Roseanne or Bill Cosby televi- sion programs. I come from Colorado, but I can mention a TV show and [here in Indiana] you all can understand" Family stories teach people lessons about life, Hendricks said to her audience. They also connect us with something larger than ourselves, such as, the Church. Stories give us a sense of belonging, and illus- trate what is valuable to us. Hendricks said the role of re- ligious education was to strengthen and support par- ents and families. Borrowing a line from the movie, "Parenthood," Hen- dricks said parents have to re- alize that there are no guaran- tees: "These are kids, not appliances." Hendricks described family life as an up and down roller coaster ride  "a ride that is ultinmtely worth it." See Page 10 for photos who work have a special aven, said Kathy Her comment !apPreciative round at the Recog- May 8 and 9, R. LEINGANG editor r reinforces family values at Catechist Recognition Dinners