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

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 A young woman afraid to "come home" to church : ByFATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service friend sent me your recent column boomers and confession. I'm not a 25, but I could relate to the per- mother who was, and still is, Church. As a result, I was bap- first penance and Communion, but with the church. different town and have estab- > with God, which I would like to a parish, going to confession and Catholic. I am asking for your confession, but it's deeper than that. young lady in my a child at 20. Several years 12-step program, found God and real- for me all those years I rejected !Several times daily now. Each Sunday I walk the two blocks to church, only to walk back home. I feel I'm not a "real" Catholic because of the abortion and the premarital sex. I consider myself pro-life now, but I feel I can't really be that because I already committed the sin. My family is all fragmented -- alcoholism, drug abuse, anger at God and others, and so on. In becom- ing a practidng Catholic I would be alone in it. I'm scared to be a young lady alone in pews full of whole families. I guess I need advice, Father. What should be my first step? How can I, with all my sins, and not know- ing how to do it, deepen my relationship with God and my church? (Ohio) Answer: I was deeply moved by your letter, not only in compassion for you, but because so many other "baby boomers" or post-boomers responded to that column in ways similar to your own. My only straight and honest answer for you is, God wants you back! You have done some very wrong things. You obviously acknowledge that and are deeply repen- tant. However, whatever you have done is PaSt, and there's no possibility or need to unravel the degree of sinfulness. We just put that in God's hands in the sacrament of penance and rely with total trust on his forgiveness. Please give yourself time to sit quietly and read slowly and reflectively the first part of the parable of the forgiving Father (Lk 15:11-24). Do this two or three times. Realize this father Jesus is talking about is God. And the father's anxiety to be reconciled to his child is God's attitude toward you. I hope others who think repentance, forgiveness and return are out of reach will do the same. Finally, you can be sure you're not the only one in church with the same kind of story. There are many, and a number of them feel as alone as you do. Do what you know is right, pick up your life as a Catholic and move on. A free brochure outlining basic Catholic prayers, beliefs and moral precepts, is available by sending a stamped self- addressed envelope to Father Dietzen, Box 325, Peoria Ill. 61651. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Diet- zen at the same address. diocese back in court, seeks help to avert bankruptcy (CNs)  On the charges in several of the cases, the eight plaintiffs who have not Turley continued to hold out for the diocese did not post bond bankruptcy, xas !May 12 for a sum- ordering its pay a mul- the who won a liability award and a sus- deadline for any appeal of million judg- molesta- between suspended Kos. hal Kos is serving a life term in prison. To appeal the district court judgment, the diocese would have to post a bond of $130 mil- lion, an amount officials have said the diocese does not have. Without an appeal, by law diocesan assets could become subject to immediate seizure to pay the judgment. Diocesan officials have open- ly talked about the diocese fil- ing bankruptcy if its liability insurance carriers, Lloyd's of London and Interstate Fire & Casualty, do not participate in a final settlement. Windle Turley, attorney for reached a settlement with the diocese and its insurers, joined the diocese in its request for a summary judgment against the insurers. State District Judge Anne Ashby, who has handled the case since its start, issued no imme- diate ruling on the latest motion. The diocese last year filed a lawsuit against the insurance carriers and that suit is also in Ashby's court. Under her mediation three plaintiffs reached a settlement of $7.5 million for their claims in March, and the insurers par- ticipated in those settlements. The plaintiffs represented by a higher settlement, and the deadline for mediated settle- ment has now ended. Informed sources told Catholic News Services that the diocese, insurance carders and remaining plaintiffs were still "millions of dollars apart" from an agreed settlement figure. Turley did not tell news media whether he planned to initiate seizure proceedings if and appeal, but he said he would do "something besides talk." Diocesan officials have repeat- edly said they would file bank- ruptcy if diocesan property is aea  , ........ : The possible impact of bank- ruptcy on the diocese and the case was unknown since there is no precedent in the federal bankruptcy courts. mentioning to Monte Cassino r Cyprian Davis will speak and the Resurrection," at Ivlonte St. Meinrad Archabbe; on Sun- p.m. Pilgrimage services are y in May. Communications Day' ons Day is observed on May 23 and 24. In his message observance, Pope John Paul II communicators will be hope for lvation to other hope in their own only if they are men yer." To march for Jesus The Deaf Fellowship for Jesus is inviting members of the Deaf Community "to make yourself visible in Evansville" by joining in the. March for Jesus, Saturday, May 30, at 9:30 a.m. The march will begin at Bayard Park, near the intersection of Kentucky Avenue and Bayard Park Drive. Day-care gets attention The Children's Defense Fund is organiz- ing "Stand for Children Day '98" on June 1. The focus will be "on ensuring that chil- dren and families have access to quality child care and after-school and summer activities. les Locations HIGHLAND CHAPEL 6300 FIRST AVENUE UNITED SOUTltWI,T BANK INGTON-SHOALS-LOOGOOTEE Shetler Storage Evansville, Indiana 812-421-7750 Special Jubilarians Orion and Dorothy (Elpers) tiitch of Evansville will celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiv- ing at 4 p.m. May 30 at St. Mary Church. A receplion and dinner for invited guests will follow in Rager Hall, They were married May 28, 1938, at St. Anthony Church, Evansville. They are the parents of three children: Mary Jeanne Sigman of Henderson, Nev., Terry Hitch of Wheaton 111,, and Suznn Baehl of Evans-. ville. They have seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchil- dren. Mr. Hitch is retired from Mead Johnson. Mrs. Hitch is retired from K-MarL