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Evansville, Indiana
May 22, 1998     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 JIM and ANN CAVERA :!iii??iii!ii/i i i ;&apos;< , , ,!,i,i,i ' an ancient curse said, "May you live We remember World Wars I and Viet Nam, Cambodia, Liberia Memorial Day we stand near the r in history, and we still us is someone's mother, father, o r child. We are each absolutely price- L to take a breath and look around, we standing in a unique place in his- thousand years since a generation of memory alive within Memorial Day them and the horizon of a new millennium stretching ahead. We are the link between those lost in the world's most terrible wars and a younger generation waiting to shape the life of a new age. A thousand years ago, someone of 50 was old and 60 was ancient. The difference between our generation and theirs is that we have a second chance to use what we've experienced. Scratch the surface of any Second Halfer and underneath still breathes a sixties' flower child, a fifties' hot rod driver, or even a forties' World War II veteran. Camouflaged in our middle-aged or even older bodies, who would guess that we are sur- vivors of the most interesting of times? We once had friends who either fought in Viet Nam or marched in protest against the war. Some believed love and peace would change the world while others dropped out and drifted into alternate cultures. Somewhere between singing "We Shall Overcome" and watching Nell Armstrong leave foot- prints on the moon, we cut our hair, packed away our tie-dye and disappeared into the jungles of parent- hood. Inside, most of us still carry ideas, hopes and dreams, begging to be heard. The question is: Now that the kids have flown the coop, is it safe to come out again? Christ fulfilled his mission in three short years. The message for us may be that it doesn't take much time for a truly focused, spirit-filled vessel to make a difference. Our generation has an opportunity to speak up for change with one foot firmly planted on either side of the new millennium. Instead of sliding into the new age in our recliners, what if we renewed our hopes and dreams and worked for true peace and justice for the next three years? The flower children of the sixties had some things right. War is dangerous to children and other living things. Peace is power. Love is the answer. In this cen- tury we still have enough time left to play the true notes of a new song. Ann Cavera fihz and Ann Camera live and work in Evansville. Their cohmm is a regular feature of the Message. n Soup Kitchen brings volunteers back for more ENNIS Message is another in the 'Stories about the present" in nsville. Miy 24, St. John 617 Belle- lie, will the six year Sunday soup Pare promises it St. John is the and pro- 100 free in need every p.m. communi- kitchen, is and primarily the service and of St. Thomas, SOup kitchen until ill to retire the there has assisted years and primary the soup hnson volun- a depend- cal- culates that 4,000 meals are served. "On holidays we can have as many as 200 persons come. And when food stamps are low at the end of a month, we always get a larger crowd," she said. The kitchen is an out-reach program of St. John Church, a small but exciting and vibrant congregation in downtown Evansville. The parish itself runs the weekly kitchen two Sundays each month. Twice monthly Mitchell and Johnson receive volunteers from Holy Rosary Church in Evansville, and in every month with five Sundays volunteers come from St. Joseph Church in Vander- burgh County. "The Jewish temple (Adath B'nai Israel Temple) has also supported us for years with vol- unteers and money," Mitchell said. Sometimes contributions come from the soup kitchen's guests themselves. "I have seen people come through the line who reach into their pocket and insist I take a dollar for the meal. It's incredible," she said. Contributions have been the backbone of the effort, Mitchell said. "Everything is a dona- tion." Cash contributions'go into a fund restricted for the soup kitchen to allow the pur- chase of paper products. Food comes from the volunteering parishes and the temple, and ii St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh County, Ioni Schwartz, Loft Appler, lulie Elpers , nlaking decorations for the Easter meal. -- Message photo by Ann Ennis Darlene Appler, a volunteer from St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh County, assists Pam Mitchell in preparing pasta for achicken le.- ' ' -- Message photo by Ann Ennis ii the Tri-State Food Bank. "It's amazing, our food just expands when there is need. It always works out," Mitchell said. "The kitchen is run quite pro- fessionally," said Sister Jane Nesmith, a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament who is the pastoral life coordinator for St. John. "The cooking is not just throw- ing a few things together. The kitchen takes great pride in pro- viding well-balanced meals." All food is prepared on site, unless commercially prepared supplements are available. Typ- ical Sunday fare includes meals such as chicken .noodle casse- role, green beans, stewed apples and a white cake with jam glaze. The first group of volun- teers comes in at 10:30 a.m. for a two hours shift of cooking. The second shift comes at 1:30 to make final preparations, serve and clean up. Yet St. John's serves more than meals. A generous portion of hwe and concern comes with the meals. Examples include Easter baskets for children, vis- its from Santa Claus, ,and table centerpieces and placenlats made by volunteering parishes' children often greet guests. "Every nov,' and then we'll get some good quality clothes donated and we hand them out to those in need/" Mitchell said. Mitchell is a busy woman with a youthful way about her and a terrific smile. She works as a union steward at T J Maxx and has two daughters in col- lege at Ball State. It is obvious the woman does not have five hours to spare every Sunday plus the time it takes during the week to coordinate the effort. But she does the work gladly. have gotten to watch some of the other volunteers' kids grow up." And unwittingly para- phrasing the words of Jesus in John's gospel, Mitchell notes that "I have not lost a person who came to us. Not one of our volunteers did not enio  the experience. They all come back to help." Sister Nesmith also com- mented that the enthusiasm and professionalism of the kitchen's volunteer directors Mitchell and Johnson keep the service going. They have assured that eration from others in the(fi "I am not rich, but I can do commurdty is tremendous, this," she said. "I feel a need to give back and I can cook, so this is what I do," she said as she stirred a huge pot of simmering apples. She enjoys the Sundays and says doing the work on the weekend allows both her and Johnson to be Tenth able to volunteer ca.: and keep their 1, paying jobs. "1 t,nefit from wlunteering. 1 rlcel be lnatlv nice people. 1 For more about St. John the Aistlcg San q, Kitchen or other activith md worship, call Sister Jane Ncsmitlt. l,{.*tv,,,! l(ti" cvrdi- hater. 812) 424-92el , , , J c , , Evansville will reach its lenlb  anniversary in }u. For inkr- mark.m, pleasecaU 423-5209.