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Evansville, Indiana
May 24, 1996     The Message
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May 24, 1996

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, TheMessage -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference- Listening to the group, discovering commun I paid attention to the people around me recently, and made an interesting discovery. You might already have made this same discovery, but this sud- den realization of mine struck me just a few weeks ago. I was in church at the time, but a similar observation could have been made at a ball park, or at a meeting of a civic organization. Or perhaps at a boy scout meeting. Here is what happened. We -- the people who had come together for Mass -- were standing and praying together. The creed, we call it. We prayed in unison, or nearly so. The priest said some words of introduction and we all started to pray. It was a little ragged for the first few words, until everybody had a chance to get in sync. I listened carefully to the people around me, for the few moments it took to complete the prayer. Most people knew it by heart; a few prayed from a booklet. Someone sneezed and stopped praying for a phrase or two. Another person was distracted by a child and then started praying again after skipping about half of the prayer. While I was listening at one point, I forgot the next words and had to keep quiet until the next By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR phrase came into mind. Then I made my discovery, which may already seem very obvious to you. This was a group prayer. It was the group which was praying it. If one or another forgot a phrase, the group continued. If one or another was distracted, the group supplied the framework to join in again. This is what it means to be part of a community. Doing something together makes something possible, even if one person can not always con- tribute 100 percent. The same discovery could have been made as the fans sang the national anthem, or in the song of a civic organization. It could happen as boys stood together with their leaders and promised, on their honor, to do their best. Expressions within a group always vary. Some among us are very sure. Others are less than con- vincing. Some are focused; some are distracting. If we go back again and again, we can all take our turn. Some days I am convinced of what I am saying in unison with the group; some days I have some doubts. From the most uncertain expressions to the most confident, however, there is a common truth: the group has come together with a single purpose, and the group -- if it is healthy -- can prode I is lacking in a member. * * * What do the people in your gether? Recent studies point eat very few meals, if any, together. : : uation at your home? Examine your neighborhood. What, do you and your neighbors do together? Make a list of the things you do in others during a week. Perhaps you pray Mass or at your church service. Perhaps pledge of allegiance, or a club oath walk in step with others in a marching train together with members of the team. .... i v * * Take the time to munity for your family. Establish or z together. Help a youngster expe that comes when others can help provl ...... be missing. Be the occasion of group success borhood. Clean up a : gether. Take the time to observe how people gether in your community.. Find help make a difference. Comments about this col or the Christian Farnil P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Washington How a bill really becomes a law: What your textbook didn't By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service "When you have a bill that's thick, lots and lots of pages, it's easy to put something in a bill that escapes notice," he said, "especially when you're not looking for it." Supporters of legal abortion, Hill said, wouldn't ordinarily think of looking in a telecom- munications bill for an abor- tion-related amendment. "We've done it ourselves," Hill said. He was reluctant to state on the record just when because one bill where the USCC snuck in some favorable legislation is still in Congress and the amendment hasn't been found out yet. Has the USCC ever gotten caught napping on some arcane amendment? "We in the Office of Government Liaison never fall asleep," Hill chuckled. But "there are provisions in legislation you miss the impor- tance of," he noted. One example was the recent Wants political ad rejected To the editor: I am writing to express my shock and disappointment over the political ad supporting Jonathan Weinzapfel, who is running for congress, in the May 3 edition of your newspaper. Recently Jonathan Wein- zapfel visited Mater Dei High School, where I am a junior. When questioned about his opinion on abortion, he said he disagrees with abortions done during the third trimester. When questioned further about the first two terms, he gave an incomplete answer that led ev- eryone to understand that he had no problem with abortions done in the first two trimesters. Every answer he gave thereafter was indirect and left a lot to be desired. He said that although he personally doesn't approve of abortion, he was not going to do anything about the laws re- garding abortions done in the first two trimesters if he were elected to congress. What I found even more ap- palling was that this ad was on the same page as an article about Gianna Jessen, a survivor of abortion. Miss Jessen has also visited Mater Dei and most of the students were deeply touched by her amazing story. I could not imagine what her re- action would be if she saw her story printed on the same page as an advertisement for a man who supports the same act that left her with cerebral palsy and almost killed her. My family has subscribed to the Message for a number of years now and I agree with and support nearly everything that I read, but to see an advertise- ment for a (congressional candi- date) who supports an act that the Catholic Church strongly disagrees with in the Message upsets and disappoints me. I beg you to please reconsider allow- ing Jonathan Weinzapfel to place advertisements in your newspaper. Gabriel J. Maddox Evansville From the editor: A full de- scription of Message policy was published March 1, and a brief statement of policy is published frequently during times of polit- ical activity. Perhaps the fol- lowing expanded explanation will be of assistance. The Message has a long- standing policy of accepting po- See LETTERS, page 5 immigration reform bill. An amendment in the House ver- sion would have permitted states to prohibit the children of undocumented aliens from attending public schools. But the Senate version of the amendment would have forbid- den the schooling outright, not even giving states an option to keep it. "It slipped through the pro- cess in the subcommittee and in the full committee," Hill said. "We looked at it again and again and again" until yet an- other read-through of the bill unveiled the impact of the Sen- ate version. "We got it changed," Hill said, but "only because the sponsor agreed to" make the change. Another amendment in the Senate version called for an eventual moratorium on immi- gration, a "sunset" provision meaning that, after a certain time, all immigration to the United States would stop. The amendment was caught by "reading the bill line by line," Hill said. outcry right aw! posed to the pass without the tee process process of putting: final written form. "It was lib Hill recalled. ten, we leake We let the me( work for us, media h ist," he ment Hill bated on CaP: interest grin expert than he said. A mere might consult terest groups a bill. It street, Hill maker has an interest the form group up a Congress to Bishop's sc The following activities and events are ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: ii!iii:i ..... i 31,!1:301 WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Class, it's time to review how a bill becomes law. Put away your civics text- book because it's not going to help you that much. And the squeamish can close their eyes because an old saw applies: the two things you don't want to see being made are sausage and law. Remember the controversy over an amendment to the telecommunications bill that prohibited speech over the In- ternet on bow to procure and provide abortions? No fair, cried those opposed to the provision. They were un- aware of it until after the bill had become law. Nobody ever voted on it, they contended, so how did the amendment's spon- sor, Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., manage to tack' it on to the bill? It happens all the time, says Micheal Hill, a lobbyist on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Con- ference's Office of Government Liaison. The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelflnger Editor ....................................... Paul R. Leingang Production Technician ................ Joseph Dietrich Advertising .................................... Paul Newland Staff Wnter ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Co 1996  Press d Evansvile