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May 19, 1995     The Message
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r 19,1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 i'i, 00p's Forum-- ./ Summer time is a time to test 'fam- Althohgh the school to vacation for have to of the day that are in their immediate t concern. external discipline that demands is one that a faro- not have to decide. It is ira- with the bus schedule, school activities, there is little pro- the family. time changes that. and children need to es- discipline. Even though summer relaxed, there needs to be clear expecta- family in maintaining ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER expectations is the practice of self- learned through obedience. Not only each of us obey God's law and the laws of the nust obey the rules of family life. y learn self-control through obe- authority. To make good decisions attractive, but hurtful ones, re- will to do good. Such practice comes learned at home. family should have assignments for the common good They need not be complicated but there should be a daily everyone. may include the making of per- ing, carrying out the trash, doing on a rotating basis, mowing the lawn, trimming around the sidewalks, pulling weeds from the flower beds, cooking, shop- ping, laundry, ironing, hanging up wet swim suits to dry, leading the family in prayer. All these activities are part of daily living. By sharing these responsibili- ties, young people may begin to rec- ognize that service to the family is for the common good. Only then will service to the larger commu- nity make any sense at all espe- cially when they do service projects in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. For Catholic families, common family prayer is a 'must'!' But, oh how much discipline it requires! Un- less parents and children pray together in the small community we call the domestic church, coming together with the parish community on Sunday will make no sense at all. Summer is a special test of that. Parents and children praying together, whether it be around the table or at family rosary, or bible reading, is a discipline that must be prac- ticed daily Invariably, a time will come when only the learned practice of prayer will carry family members through difficulties. Without daily recog- nition of our total dependence on Almighty God, personal lives and families can be shattered when human tragedy or misfortune strikes. Children learn dependence on God through their experience of dependence on each other for the little things, even in flushing the toilet! If each of us could only be as faithful to each other as God is faithful to each one of us! Common family prayer does not replace our per- sonal prayer. Personal prayer demands a personal discipline. Reminders by parents AND children: "Did you say your night prayer?" "Did you pray before lunch at your friend's home or at a business lun- cheon?" "Did you pray the morning offering on the bathroom mirror?" =Did you pray an act of contrition before going to sleep?" The individual 'good night' at the "Walton's Home" is not a bad idea for all homes, a prayer that God be with you tonight! Finally, the most difficult discipline of all is to practice being together as family at least one time during the day. I suggest that, before the summer begins, the family gather around the family table with a selec- tion of favorite pizzas (everyone has a preference)  and decide as a family on the summer disciplines. (It should be the chore of the eldest child to take the poll of pizza preferences. And, they can be made at home.) Some ofthose decisions around th e family table will be those of the parents. Many others can be negotiated between children, depending of course on age and ability. The hardest decision will be that of agreeing on a time when the whole fam- ily gathers on a daily basis. Whatever that time is, it should be the time for common prayer. And, by the way, not everyone will feel like it. 'Feeling' has nothing to do with the 'will' to do what is good for the family. It's nice when it 'feels good' but don't depend on the fickle- ness of our feelings. There are many times we do not 'feel' like going to church to carry out our per- sonal responsibility to the parish community. Summer will test the spiritual strength of your family. Are you ready? a o, oo.00 n servmces advocates concerned by Indiana welfare reform I EENWILLIAMS the elimination of additional include a state option to issue AFDC to the two-year time prior to being implemented in 'athohc Conf 10 vouchers for the child's essen erence benefits for a child born " - limit without enough job train- Indiana. Evan Bayh signed ambitious welfare 10 which con- SOme concerns advocates. of the ses- of human ligious organiza- the Indiana (ICC), have concern about bill's possi- and fatal- controversial is- 478, the re- by Sen. Kenley, R-No- "family cap" or months after a mother is on welfare. "Throughout the discussion we strongly opposed any move toward a policy that would ei- ther directly or indirectly pres- sure women on welfare who be- come pregnant to choose abortion," said M. Desmond Ryan, executive director of the ICC. Late in the session, Ryan suggested to Sen. Kenley and other key legislators that in- stead of denying the additional $59 a month in cash benefits, a voucher be issued that is re- deemable only for essential services to care for the child such as diapers or infant for- mula. Sen. Kenley agreed to tial needs worth half the amount that would otherwise be denied the family. "Although the author contin- ued to claim the family cap dis- courages poor women from having children while on wel- fare, his acceptance of the vouchers suggests an openness to our belief that the family cap is harmful to children," said Ryan. Another area of contention surrounded the two-year time limit on benefits. Judith M. Hailer, a lobbyist for Legal Services Organization of Indi- ana and an ICC advisor, said the bill creates a potentially serious problem by subjecting 70,000 families currently on ing available. Hailer noted, though, that all recipients who get into the work force will be able to main- tain their benefits for two years or until they reach fed- eral poverty level. Recipients are also eligible for a year of child care benefits once the time limit or income level is met. "This is the key to suc- cessful reform," she said. The conference committee accepted a limited phase-in of the changes. About 45,000 families will be phased into the program on Jan. 1, !996. The remaining families will begin the time limit a year later. The welfare reform changes will require federal approval A companion : measure, House Bill 1006, was amended in the Senate to establish stronger child support enforce- ment rules. The bill, which was signed into law, suspends driver's and professional li- censes of any non-custodial parent who is at least $2,000 or three months delinquent in child support payments. Ear- lier language was limited to AFDC recipients who are delinquent in support pay- ments. "Most of us are hopeful that reform efforts will succeed in moving persons from welfare into jobs, but much will depend on a dynamic economy," said Ryan. reveals that Americans want to see more of their own values in movies of Ameri- it is important see their own values re- movies they see, Say that only half they have Past year pSrtray by The for the Cam- is the first Americans toward the : "-- or don't see llt Cinema. lepartment of Conference the find- the U.S. cele- Communica- 21. The signated by this year to commemorate a century of cin- ema and its impact on the lives of people around the world. Catholics in many other coun- tries will celebrate World Com- munications Day on May 28. The Gallup study, which surveyed more than 1,000 adults, revealed the following additional findings: Adults under age 50 are almost as likely as adults age 50 and over to say that seeing their own values in movies is very or somewhat important to them (63% vs. 67%). While about 60% said that half or less of the movies they have seen in the past year re- flect their own values, only about 23% said that more than half of the movies they have seen portray their values. * On average Americans said that only about 38% of the movies they have seen in the past year reflect their values 14% of adults age 50 and over say that none of the movies they have seen in the past year reflect their own values When asked which values they would like to see more often in movies, 30% suggested values they want to see less often in movies, specifically less crime and violence, less sex and less profanity. Positive values Americans want to see more often in movies include honesty/in- tegrity, family life and family values, moral and Christian values, respect for self/others, fidelity, kindness, tolerance for others, decency and trust. "The Catholic Communica- tion Campaign has done a ser- vice by providing for this poll in connection with World Com- munications Day." said Cardi- nal William H. Keeler, Arch- bishop of Baltimore and President of the U.S. Catholic Conference. "Even in a world in which so many competing forms of media have grown up, movies remain im- portant to millions of people. How- ever, that importance may not continue if people find in movies a reflection of their values," he said. "The completely secularized world that is found in too much of the media -- including movies -- does not reflect the lives of faith lived by so many people. It would be to the benefit of society as a whole, and to the media themselves, if they were more responsive to the values and beliefs of their audi- ence. m To mark the twenty*ninth annual World Communications Day, the Pope released a state- ment entitled "Cinema: Com- municoter of Culture and Val- ues," in which he says that "thecinema, as well as having the power and the great merit of contributing to the cultural and human growth of the indi- vidual, can oppress freedom -- particularly of the most weak -- when it distorts the truth and when it presents itself as the mirror of negative types of behavior, using scenes of vio- lence and sex offensive to human dignity... " The papal statement encour- ages individuals in the movie industry to refrain from pro- ducing "films that are devoid of content and which are aimed exclusively at entertainment, or have the sole motive of in- creasing the size of the audi- ence." The Pope also encour- ages viewers to "react in a critical way in the face of the ever more demanding propos- als offered by the world of the media, including the cinema, and be ready to judge between what may be an opportunity for growth, or an occasion harm." 3