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May 23, 1997     The Message
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1997 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 op's Forum- By their fruits you will know them! was most proud of her brother, Msgr. Lautner confronted Bob with the words: a freshman at High School in Indi- It was the year the and my first year as teacher. Soon I learned uncle who was a her Mother's William Lautner. proud of her as a graduating class High School. Mary daughter of Mary and Marion Lahee 1968 from Bishop I was principal. All of of their uncle and brother! I learned, Monsignor Lautner was the Washington Catholic Community supporter of Washington I had already recognized his Catholic education, particularly r and secondary schools. 1960s I became involved with the Indiana Catholic Conference. The was made of commissions, and of the Education Commission. of all commissions would day in the same place. In that / Alice Zarella, a member of the Board for the Archdiocese of and a member of the Social Justice Alice was from Tell City. Soon I learned a sister to Monsignor William Laut- as married to Richard Zarella and they of St. Paul Church in Tell City, the .he Lautner family. Mary Alice, too, By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Monsignor Bill. Mary Margaret, "Marge," a third sister, was able to come to the funeral from Florida. It was she who noted that all three sisters of Monsignor Lautner had double names each with the first name of "Mary.' In the early 1970s as superin- tendent for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, I met Bob Larkin during his interview for the principalship of Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville. Bob Larkin was a native son of Washington, Ind. He told me his touching story. Bob had been studying for a degree at Oakland City College in order to be licensed to teach. One night on the way home from college he was in a ter- rible auto accident leaving him mostly paralyzed from the waist down, a condition that was perma- nent. Bob told me that he would never have gotten out of bed following the accident had it not been for Msgr. William Lautner, one who loved young people. He described the priest as one who was most caring but one who could deal out "tough love" when it was the right thing to do. Bob shared that he had been feeling quite sorry for himself. With hopes for a bright future of teach- ing and coaching dashed he was languishing in his sick bed. He said that he had literally quit trying until one day he had a visitor. He was the same visi- tor who had come regularly to pray for him and with him over the dark days and weeks following the accident. This was to be a different day. "Bob Larkin, quit feeling sorry for yourself. Get out of bed and make something of your life!" Bob did. He had a most distinguished career as the first lay principal of Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville. My personal meeting and engagement with the person of Msgr. Lautner came at about the same time I met Bob Larkin. Msgr. Lautner was Director of Sarto Retreat house in Evansville. Several of us in the state, with impetus from the Indiana Catholic Conference, were trying to put together an institute for priests to assist them in "retooling," following Vatican Council II. The institute was to serve the priests of the State of Indiana. Msgr. Lautner and I were the most enthusiastic about it. He ended up spearheading the prototype institute which was indeed held at Sarto Retreat House. Unfortunately, it was the only one to be held despite its popularity and apparent success. It was during the planning for the Indiana institute that Msgr. Lautner related to me the incredibly wonderful experience he had had on sab- batical in Rome. He had participated in the Insti- tute for Continuing Theological Education held at the North American College in old part of down- town Rome. His enthusiasm and his insatiable desire to learn, along with his facility to adapt to change, were infectious. He was an inspiration to me. Because of his radiant joy about it, I was deter- mined to do my sabbatical in Rome which had to wait until 1981. What a privilege to have as a mentor Msgr. William Lautner. I can't blame him for my being bishop today. But I can thank him for one thing. I am a log better bishop for having known him. May he rest in peace. May we also rise to the challenge of his good example! Remembering the unborn in Memorial Day Day trim and for the on that remember. Cemetery rence as Memorial was made In 1866, as a lives were Since that become a day for all this nation's men and women whose lives were lost in wartime. Includ- ing the American Revolution, there have been 11 American wars. The Department of Veter- ans; Affairs registers 1,319,354 deaths in service during these wars. Generations of men and women havecome and gone, but the greatness and glories of their deeds shall never be forgotten. Nationwide, respect is paid through special observances hon- oring our war dead. While Memorial Day chiefly commemorates the fallen soldier, it has become a day to remem- ber all out loved ones who have Msgr. Lautner: n Will never be the same finally of us whose what must turn- , and choirs of Oh, Jld of Stew- How this 'a man-for- his picture next Word one of and volumi- nous reader, homilist without peer, passionate seeker of justice, insatiable thirst for knowledge, charismatic spiritual director, champion of youth, SHE-HE- HE-SHE, the Godfather of Mater Dei High School. If God would place raw mate- rials in the hands of a Vocations Director and say: "Here, design the perfect priest," all he would have to do is pour the materials into the Lautner mold, and voilal (By the way, Bill, is this embarrassing you? Good! I owed you one for the time you kicked me out of school!) Put in a good word for all of us, Bill. Heaven knows we need iU And, if there are any politics in the final selection process, we couldn't have a better friend on the insidel Well miss you -- my, how wetl miss you. With all the feelings we can muster, and with absolutely no designs on your Bud Light,we say:e love you, manI" died. On this day of remember- ing, perhaps we Catholics should also reflect on those who lived, but were never allowed to be born. How is it that a nation who honors and pays tribute to those who gave their lives to preserve our rights, our liberty, our coun- try, care so little about a human body before birth? Does this small person, a little one who cannot defend himself or herself, have no rights? How did society become so callous as to think of this little one as only an incon- venience, something to be crushed, vacuumed out, disposed of?. Before the mentality of the "new society" took over, this country had a tradition of rever- ent care for the dead -- all the dead, founded upon the sacred- ness of human life -- including the life as it exists within the womb. As Catholics, should we not do all we can to restore that tradition of respect for all life? In light of our current societal climate, it is incumbent on Catholic cemeterians to guard against the clear danger of our cemeteries becoming irrelevant to Catholic life. We must empha- size in our ground care, our offices, our shrines and mau- soleums, and all our personnel, the reverence that faith in the "Resurrection of the body and life everlasting" demands. Lewis J. McAdams is presi- dent of the National Catholic Cemetery Conference, with head. quarters located in Des Plaines, Ill. Supporters laud AMA backing of partial-birth ban WASHINGTON (CNS) :- Pro- life supporters, including a spokeswoman for the U.S. bish- ops, praised the May 19 decision of the American Medical Associ- ation to back an amended ver- sion of the bill banning partial- birth abortions. "No longer are there any 'med- icar pretenses left with which to defend this horrible procedure," said Helen Alvare in a statemenL "We urge senators who have relied on these to abandon them and to cast a vote for ending par- tial-birth abortions in the nation," said Alvare, who is director of information and planning for the bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Gary Bauer, president of the Family Research Council, said the AMA decision "means the other shoo has dropped." "First, we learned that the abortion industry lied about the number and nature of abortions when they lied about the healthy mothers and healthy, viable chil. dren subjected to this barbaric procedure," he said in a state- ment. , "And now we learn that this inhumane way of ending life in never necessary," he added. The National Right to Life Committee also praised the AMA endorsement, which came after the chief sponsors ofthe bill, Rep. Charles Canady, R-Fla., and Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., agreed to several changes. The bill, vetoed last year by President Clinton but passed again in the House by a veto-proofmajor- ity in March, would ban the con- troversial procedure except to save the life of the mother. In a partial-birth abortion, the unborn child is partially deliv- ered, feet first, before surgical scissors are stabbed into the bass of the infant's head. The brain is then removed by suction, allow- ing for easier delivery efthe col- lapsed head. At a Capitol Hill press confer- ence, Santomm said the changes were designed "to protect the doc- tor who's delivering the baby who runs into a problem" and must unexpectedly abort the fetus to save the mother's life. According to the AMA Board of Trustees' statement, the mod- ified hffi ,makes it der beyond any question that the accepted abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation is not covered by the bill." Also, the bill does not restrict use of the pro- cedure for physicians intending a delivery at the outset or require physicians trying to save the life of the mother to show that no other procedure would suffice. Additionally, the new version gives physicians accused of per- forming an illegal procedure the right to a review by a state med. ical board before trial. Two alternative bills that would have permitted partial. birth abortions for women facing "serious adverse health conee- quences" or "grievous injurf to their physical health were defeated in the Senate May 15. Washington Cmtt/nued from pa 4 zenahip education programs. Carroll said leaders of the state Senate had previously sig- naled their intention to cover immigrants, so she feels confi- dent that for a year at least, elderly and disabled immigranta in Massachusetts will be pr0:. tesd from losing all thfir