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May 26, 1995     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Taking the time to make a difference-- Book asks, 'How do you touch the world "The first days after surgery are a blur in my memory," writes Martin Helldorfer in his new book, Work Trap: Rediscovering Leisure, Redefining Work. Helldorfer, a psychotherapist at St. John Vianney Hospital in Downington, Pa., does not go into detail about the surgery, but de- scribes some of the people he no- ticed afterward. The first person who broke through his dullness was "a young nurse, blond and petite," he said. "I do not know why I noticed her among all the others. Maybe it was - her attractiveness; something about her voice and reserve was alluring." Helldorfer describes his anticipation of the morn- ing hospital ritual -- and then his disappointment. "Imagine what happened to my young heart when, instead of the nurse of my dreams, a heavyset matronly woman walked through the door," he contin- ued. "I do not mean to speak disparagingly of size, bearing, or age. All I am trying to say is that some- thing of my fantasy life vanished in an instant." He reflects on his experience. "The older Woman changed the bed linen in ex- actly the same manner as the younger. She worked her hands under me in the same way and rolled me from side to side as the other had done. Yet as soon By PAUL It. LEINGANG EDITOR as she touched me I knew the unde- niable difference between her hands and those of the more attractive younger nurse. Can hands be strong and soft at the same time? The hands of this older nurse were. What went into the making of those hands? Was she a mother? Had she suffered much? What taught her to touch as she did? Who taught her?" Helldorfer draws some thought-provoking conclusions from his story -- all about "the impor- tance of presence." -- "Few of us are nurses, but all of us touch the world." -- "The person who knows that life is a gift handles the world in a special way." -- "The hand warmed by compassion touches in a way that a machine cannot." -- "-We work differently after we have heard a symphony, walked in the woods, been jostled in a subway, been embarrassed by selfishness, or have rested in prayer." -- "All of life, every moment of the past and our dreams of the future, finds its way into the pre- sent work of our hands." Helldorfer has a lot more to say in his first chapter, and in other chapters on work fixation, the eclipse of leisure, mistaken solutions and doing something about work-fixation. He also discusses creativity, spirituality, and the reli The opening chapter alone has think about. : :: * * * How do you touch the world? Who taught Helldorfer asks his readers to reflect, nurse, what would others say of me as I How does your experience affect the way touch the world in your Work? Discuss Helldorfer's story friends. A discussion question he suggestS the work of the two nurses really differ?" Take the time to reflect on how: touched you in their work. Take come more aware of how you touch others, If you have ever wondered or worried your work habits, read The Work Trap it with your family or friends ..... Work Trap: Rediscovering Leisure, Work by Martin Helldorfer (paperback, 128 $9.95) is available in religious bookstores or from Twenty-Third Publications, P. tic, Conn. 06355. (800) 321-0411. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box Iowa 50010. Washington General's post: Controversy turns bright light on it By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Con- troversy over Dr. Henry Foster's nomination for U.S. surgeon gen- eral has turned a bright light on what is a relatively small office. By the time Foster sat down at the witness table with the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee May 2, the Marcus Welby image the White House tried to paint of him seemed to be showing signs of an alter ego. The problems he faced seemed to have as much to do with antagonism to- ward the previous surgeon general as with his own record. Foster arrived amid a confusing tangle of accusations about abor- tions he performed, his involve- ment in a controversial study of black men who were denied treat- ment for syphilis, and the percep- tion that he promotes abortion as a form of birth control. For two days he explained, de- fined and explained again for the committee members, the packed Senate hearing room and a televi-. sion audience. I The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville PubTcshed weetdy except last week in December by the Catho[ Press of EvansvtNe Ecx ......................................... Pa Pr0du Uanapr .................... r H0usm Adve .................................. Paul Nedand s wmer ............................. Mary Ann Hug.s Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year  Copy Price: $.50 i Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication cow  Pressd  I I By the end, Foster had the sup- port of at least one Republican on the committee, although Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R- Kan., and presidential candidate Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, threatened to prevent a vote by the full Senate. By May 17 Dole had said he would wait until after the May 24 committee vote on Fos- ter to decide on how to proceed. All this over a post that is al- most entirely symbolic, commands a staff of 18 and oversees a budget of just $1.3 million. "We don't get this kind of turnout for the defense budget," said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn. When the committee convened, Foster had been labeled a "repack- aged Joycelyn Elders." She was forced to resign the post aRer an- tagonizing abortion opponents and religious leaders with her state- ments on sex education, abortion, homosexuality and teaching school children about masturbation. Groups including the National Right to Life Committee, Con- cerned Women for America, the Christian Coalition and the Fam- ily Research Council waged a na- tional campaign to block Fosters confirmation. The committee re- ceived thousands of written com- ments about Foster and tens of thousands of preprinted postcards, most opposing the nomination. "He has been made a pawn in our abortion debates," summed up Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, R-Kan., chairwoman of the Senate committee. "I would simply note to both sides that abortion is not an issue that comes under the power and jurisdiction of the surgeon general. That is a matter that must be decided by Congress, the courts and, ultimately, by the American people." Mrs. Kassebaum described the surgeon general as "the nation's doctor ... a combination of a scold and a cheerleader, focusing the nation's attention on health- threatening actions or trends "and pointing the way toward better health habits." Foster, a 61-year-old obstetrician- gynecologist from Tennessee, was nominated in February by President Clinton to replace Ms. Elders. In an unspoken contrast to the reputation Ms. Elders earned for being combat- ive, Foster was touted by the White House as a kindly baby doctor with impressive credentials and a win- ning manner. Over the years the surgeon gen- eral has taken" on smoking, alco- hol, AIDS, drunken driving, vene- real disease and nutrition as causes. The efforts of previous sur- geon generals have resulted in the warnings now carried by tobacco products, increased awareness about AIDS and other campaigns to improve the nation's health. "Beyond the basic qualities of honesty and integrity, a surgeon general should be someone who can use the bully pulpit of the po- sition to bring people together be- hind principles to preserve and promote the health and well-being of our diverse population," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. In contrast to Democratic grilling of now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas when he was nom- inated a few years ago, Foster was greeted by Clinton-era Senate Democrats echoing one another about what a fine candidate Foster was. They asked the sorest of ques- tions about Foster's childhood and his life as a country doctor. Reporters covering the hearing considered starting a betting pool over the number of times it was mentioned that his "I Have A Fu- ture" program was cited by Presi- dent Bush as a Point of Light. Meanwhile, Republican commit- tee members asked Foster to ex- plain again and again why they'd heard several different numbers of abortions he'd performed. Even after Foster denied know- ing anything about the Tuskegee Study and his supporters had pro. vided corroborating information, Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., ham- mered away at the allegation Fos- ter knew men were being denied treatment. "Of all that I have been through in the last three months, I find nothing so offensive," Foster said, as the suggestion that he would have stood silently by if he knew such a study was under way. Missouri Republican Sen. John Ashcroft, who was among Foster's harshest questioners on the com- mittee, said damage done to the position of surgeon general by Ms. Elders warranted careful scrutiny of Foster. "The former did far more than a lars' worth of da! Ashcroft. "I general has great budget, but in the tone and attent: health msues. He said Ms. sis ,Joycelyn Elders discredit this off, cA history," he whether it can be Bishop's sch The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfmger