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June 5, 1998     The Message
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i/ The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 JIM and ANN CAVERA 1,u lon ago we sat beneath large trees on the te University and watched our son graduate. That day marked the end of , tests, projects, late nights and long I fact, for the past 12 years we've of our three older children in not only was this a day of great pride was also a day of great relief and joy Well. Graduation day We recalled this young man's arrival 23 years ago. At his Baptism, his older brother's first grade class sang and danced in a circle about him. His four year old sister stood on tiptoe to say "Thank you Jesus," into the microphone; words which we echoed that graduation morning. Since his first graduation into God's family, there have been many other grad- uations as well: First Communion, Confirmation, grade school, driver's license day, high school, and other mini-milestones as well. We have bumbled along as parents to share his life adventures with friends, games, lessons, and most of all, we have shared the joy of his love of music. As he packs his tools for survival, we want to remind him that whatever questions life asks of him, love is the answer. A few years ago, a story circulated in our dio- cese about a monk at St. Meinrad who became ill and slipped into a coma. For a brief time, there was no sign of life. Then, the monk revived and began speaking about a near death experience where he felt himself moving through a tunnel toward a brilliant light. At the end of the tunnel, a voice from the light asked him one simple ques- tion: "How did you love?" Can an entire lifetime be summed up by four short words? I Corinthians 13:13 states clearly that only three things last; faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. When we pass through our final graduation, the answer to the question, "How did you love?" may well be the only one that mat- ters. We already have the question for our final exam. We have a lifetime to practice the answer. m By Jim and Ann Cavera lira and Ann Catra live and urk in Evansville, Their column is a regular feature of the Message. h future: Two Kentucky churches to share one pastor note: Following is a series of articles on re, parish present," changes in parish zn the Church today. The lly appeared in the Diocese of Coy- 8. IlY JEAN BACH e Messenger 'OVington Ky. Is difficult and is the one thing ; a meeting here sville, Ky.] agreed on unani- For the parishioners of the Brooksville parish and St. James, Minerva, a mission to Brooksville, that change will come July I when they will no longer have a resident pastor upon the retirement of their pre- sent pastor, Father James McHugh. Father Daniel Saner, pastor of St. Augustine Church, Augusta, will pastor both parishes with the assistance of Deacon Ernie Hillenmeyer, who will serve as the parish's pas- toral associate. Bishop Muench was present- ed with the plan to staff St. James and "directed it be put in place," according to Father Roger Kriege, vicar general of the diocese. The meeting's purpose was three-fold -- to announce the appointment of Father Saner and the ministry of Hillenmey- er, to give parishioners the back- ground on how and why this decision was reached and to give the parishioners a chance to voice their concerns to the diocesan representatives, which included Father Kriege, Father Gerald Reinersman, director of the priests' personnel office, and Sister Jo Ann McMaster, direc- tor of the diocese's pastoral planning office. Father Kriege said the deci- l)evoe Paint U,S. Highway 50 East, Loogootee, IN Family-style dinners served from 11 a.m, to 2 ? p.m. in the air-conditioned lower level of the Parish Center. Children under 6 eat free, Chiidl each, Adults $5 each; Famil' :Country Store, Food Stands, Gamestor, al[ ages>:/: Terri ky (welt " ) ..... nn Ministries .known Christian artist From 8 a.m. to I p.m. sign "certainly wasn't cut and dried. We struggled with it, worked with it, prayed over it, talked about it for the last four months." Although the mechanics of how the arrangement will work are in process, Father Kriege assured the parishioners that the two parishes would remain separate entities, each with its own parish council, parish com- mittees and programs. Father Reinersman reminded the parishioners in his opening remarks that the), "aren't going to be any less Catholic as a result of this decision nor are you any less a community: ... Many decisions that will be made about the future of St. James Parish are going to be based on your faith and the strength of your communi:" It's not an unfamiliar story in this diocese and across the country. The declining number of priests available to pastor parishes is causing decisions such as these to be made. Last year, four parishes became one in Newport. Where there were once four priests, there is now one full-time and one part-time. The decision was also based on how to best se,e the most number of people with the resources the diocese has. Sta- tistics provided by the planning office show that between Brooksville and Minerva, there are 176 households served per full-time priest. As of July I, there will be 386 (with the addi- tion of St. Augustine Parish) served by one priest, who will be the only priest in Bracken County. In comparison, in Boone, Ken- ton and Campbell counties there are 562 households served per full-time priest inside the 1- 276 loop and 676 served outside the 1-275 loop. "I'm not asking you to love ,JOHN MARGIN Owner The Decorating Corner 21 East South %ashmgton. IN 47501 this situation," Father Kriege said. "What I am asking you to do is to be church" which is not a building but a community of believers in Jesus Christ. Many did not love the news. Questions surrounding how the finances of the parish will be handled, the salary of Hillen- meyer, Mass times, and espe- cially the status of St. James, Minerva, surfaced. It is doubtful, Father Kriege said, that a regularly scheduled Mass will be held in Minerva. Without a regular collection, parishioners questioned how the parish could support itself, "1 feel like we (Ninerva) are - being forgotten," a parishioner said. "I realize the pain associated with that (Minerva) decision," Father Kriege told the parish- ioner, who has been a Minerva parishioner for 69 years. "Father Saner is only human," Father Kriege said, "and can only say so many Masses each weekend." Diocesan policy states that priests should regularly cele- brate no more than three Mass- es per weekend, Sister JoAnn said. Canon law states that "if priests are lacking,, the local ordinary may permit priests, for a just cause, to celebrate twice a day and even, if pastoral need requires it, three times on Sun- days and holy days." "In order for the Word to be proclaimed and preached in the proper fashion, it takes a tremendous amount of energy;" she said. Many of the questions and operating procedures for St. James [were to be addressed] when Hillenmeyer and Father Sa aer meet with the St. James parish council. "Changes are hard," a parish- ioner said at the end of the meeting. "But we aren't dead, we still have our faith and our communi W. God is asking this of us for some reason. Maybe we don't see our will being done but we need to open our- selves up to doing God's will. "With a positive attitude, this may be our chance to s our faith grow and grm