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Evansville, Indiana
May 22, 1998     The Message
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May 22, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Allen 3 HUGHES staff writer when Kathy she offers her she prays Ephesians 6, "armor of God" have been she admits, but better. of legal blind- eye surgeries, ; the best vision she has had is a hereditary in the loss of girl, Kathy lived School for the Then she High because a Catholic Memor- transition dif- i Were wonderful," told her written on the rning Spanish she  of blindness, her vision has been restored she mar- children. She 1 to her Mark. she was a little prayed for bet- for herself and members. Last April, her prayers were answered. She underwent stem cell transplant surgery at the Uni- versity of Minnesota. The stem cells came from a donor. Kathy doesn't know anything about the donor, but days before her surgery the local newspapers were filled with stories of a car accident which claimed the life of a 19-year-old. Twenty-four hours after her surgery, one-third of her left eye was covered with donor stem cells, and by the end of her nine- day stay in the hospital the total surface of her eye was covered. Suddenly, she had 20/80 vision. "It was wonderful for me, because I had never seen better than 20/200." Finally, she could see her chil- dren's eyes. Before, she had only seen blurs and flesh tones. "I couldn't see their features, and if they were across the room, I couldn't tell if they were my children unless I heard their voices." This April, she returned to Minnesota for the same surgery on her fight eye. Each day, her eyes get "better and better. I feel it's a miracle from God through the hands of this doctor. "I can see the second hand on the clock on my stove. And the other day, I read the license plate numbers on a car. It was so beautiful. To most people, that seems insignificant, but to in the Message, designed to help draw of God in southwestern Indiana. Readers are information about people who may benefit by and attention. Ursuline Sister Mary Cordula Dewig will celebrate her sixtieth jubilee of May 31. She will be joined by her brothers and sisters in Louisville for the celebration. She is the eldest daughter of Lawrence and Ida Dewig. After grad- uating from St. Boniface School in 1935, she entered the Ursuline Con- vent. She made her investiture on July 2, 1938, and made her first profession in 1940. For the past 60 years, she has taught in elementary schools in Kentucky, y be sent to her at Marian Home; 3105 Louisville KY 40206. ;WE CARE ABOUT The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evans- The e-mail address is message@evans- PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT. is 9 a.m. the Friday before pub- of Columbus Council 565 St., Ind. to 9 p.m. every Friday Saturday May 23 Pubfic welcome/ me that's important." She recently attended St. Mary Church in downtown Evansville, and as she was walking up the aisle to receive Communion, she looked up and caught a glimpse of the statues. "I saw Mary. It was so beautiful that I could see that statue because I had never been able to see the statues." She believes that God has restored her vision because he has a special plan for her. Part of that plan is to take care of her elderly parents, who also have vision problems. Her father has the same eye disease that she does. Her moth- er has "low-vision." They are both graduates of the Indiana School for the Blind. When she prayed for better vision, Kathy says she "told Jesus I would be there for my parents." She sees a miracle in the timing of her newly-restored vision, because her mother was recently diagnosed with shin- gles. The disease has affected her vision, and she has lost her ability to read. Kathy said her parents have always started every day reading the Scriptures. Now, because of her mother's decreasing vision, Kathy calls them every morning and reads the Scriptures to them. "My morn cries on the phone because now I can see well enough to read to her. "I have a real pain in my heart. I praise God for my sight, Kathy Allen reads the Bible thanks to help from a magnifying glass. -- Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes but I am hurting for my morn, who has taken care of my dad all these years." Kathy's prayers now include praying that her mother will have her vision restored. "I trust faith." Life is a struggle some- times, she admits, but "most people are wonderful and want to help you." She credits her positive atti- tude to her parents "who gave that God will bring this back, that me such nurturing. They stayed he bring good out tt,ou0000a0000 She continues to trust in and they gave all of us love and God's plan for her, emphasizing nurturing -- in the name of the "I could not make it without my Lord." ROCKFORD, I11. (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of Illinois have asked the state General Assembly to halt construction of large-scale, factory-type hog farms until the impact of such operations can be more fully studied. Citing concerns about possible environmental damage and the impact of hog megafarms on the livelihood of small farmers, the bishops urged members of the General Assembly to take action. The number of farms and the acreage devoted to agricultural production is declining while the concentration of ownership is increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 16,000 hog farms in Illinois in 1986 but only 7,500 in 1997. "At some point in time, we crossed the line and some of these facilities became factories, not farms as we once knew them," said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago in a state- ment released by the Catholic Conference of Illinois, which represents the bishops of the state's six Catholic dioceses on public policy matters. "We believe now is the time for members of the General Assembly to pass legislation that will halt the construction of any new large-scale facilities for By PENNY WIEGERT Catholic News Service a period of time until solutions can be developed that will address the impact these facili- ties are having on the environ- ment and on small farmers," the cardinal added. The bishops said that halting construction on the new factory farms will allow members of the General Assembly to work with the Catholic conference and other concerned groups to devel- op sound public polio' that will lead to a prosperous agricultur- al industry while respecting the concerns of rural residents. In the Rockford Diocese, there are currently 12 hog facilities proposed for construction each to operate with 2,500 head or more. "We are not trying to say that all large hog farmers are bad people,'" said Tom McKenna, Rockford diocesan director of rural life ministry. "ntis request by the bishops simply raises the question of "What are we doing and is it the best way?" "The Catholic Church has all kinds of parishioners -- farm- ers, businessmen, factory work- ers, homemakers and profes- sionals," McKenna added. "We have a nponsibility to examine the trends that affect all those people and raise questions m to whether or not those minds  indeed in their best intere" Father Karl Ganss, pastor of St. Mary Church in DeKalb, said that in his experience the factory farm issue is a "very divided" one. "There are many very rep- utable farmers who work hard to uphold the standards of the industr); but there are always the industrial conglomerates who come in and rent land for these operations which sully the reputation of the responsible ones," he said. "They're not interested in investing in their communities." Cardinal George said in his statement that the Catholic bish- ops "support efficient food pro- duction, but we must also respect the quality of life in rural areas and be sensitive to the needs of the land we use to generate our food supply." Added McKerma: "We all, not just the farmers, have to remem- ber that the land is a gift from God and that we are merely guests." "We are called to leave this place better than we found it," he said. ,,To do that, we must slow down and think thou! what we do and how we are doins With their action on this issue, the Catholic bishops of joined the National Ca Rural Life Conference the bishops of Ohio, Kans and elsewhere in speak- ing out about the impact of fac- tory hog farming. Illinois bishops: Stop construction of hog 'factories'