Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
June 6, 1997     The Message
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June 6, 1997

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00fse00ngCathocs0000 VO.UME27 NUMBE0039 00une6,9900 als t i ; lirland I in Washington I / Corpus C isti I "i: : "" = = = M m a in t = ii  i i;0000brating 50 years Msgr. Carl Shetler offers the Sign of Peace during a special Mass, held June I at St. Martin Church, Whitfleld. Msgr. Shetler was celebrating his golden jubilee of ordination to the priesthood; he was ordained May 31, 1947. He retired on June 1, hut expects to continue priestly work after retire- ment. : i : . Catholics help Oklahoma families attending bombing trial Service S)  During of Oklahoma SUSPect Timothy .reporter asked would in his jail it and said priest, at Holy n downtown from the the site of bd has placed are these an interview Service. brothers and in his parish fPeople from City pro- I support for relatives of the 168 people who died April 19, 1995, when a bomb ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. Family members traveled to Denver to witness the McVeigh trial, which ended June 2 with McVeigh being found guilty on all 11 counts of murder and con- spiracy.. Denver was chosen as the venue after the defense for McVeigh and his co-defendant, Terry Nichols, argued they could not get a fair trial in Oklahoma City. Throughout the McVeigh trial, Oklahoma residents could par- ticipate in a lottery to come to Denver for a week to attend the trial at government expense. Another 10 or so people came on their own each week. Federal funds covered travel expenses and accommodations for 24 people each week. Funds to Know i ?! i  :  i ,  i I ' i, the Diocese of Evansville? includes 5,010 square miles, covering SOUthwestern Indiana (with the exception of in Spencer County -- which is the loca- abbey. the diocese are Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Pike, Dubois, Posey, Vanderburgh, the diocese includes 73 parish- homes, according to the 1997 Yearbook of vansville. from Catholic Charities USA and a Lutheran agency paid for two staff people to assist the vis- itors. The same system -- coordinat- ed by a group of churches, busi- nesses, advocacy groups and ser- vice agencies under an umbrella group called the Colorado Okla- homa Resource Council -- is sup- posed to be in place for Nichols' trial. At the lunch break in the McVeigh trial, the Oklahoma visitors could find respite in a safe haven, where they could rest, talk with one another and have a meal. Telephones and a couple of computers also were made available to them. For his part, Father Mueller has tried to be a visible presence of the church to people, offering spiritual support and answering questions of faith if they came up. Extensive counseling is not the role of the volunteers, nor do they comment on "the guilt or innocence of anyone involved in the trial," Father Mueller said. They are motivated to help by a desire to make sure families are well cared for and to bring healing to them in the face of such a loss of human life, he added. "It's not about the legal wran- gling, . . about how the legal system works or all the particu- lars," he said. "It's about the lives of the survivors, about the profound loss of life, 168 men, women and children and the loss to the community of Okla- homa City." The bombing has directly affected thousands of people, he noted. "You strike the bell in one place and the whole bell rings," he said, quoting Jesuit Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. "It's a wound in the heartland." Ernie and Doris Delman, members of Immaculate Con- ception Parish in Oklahoma City, were among those who came to Denver for the trial. When the bomb blast hit, Doris' oldest daughter, 41-year- old Terry Rees, was in her sev- enth-floor office, working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It took a week before Terry's body was uncovered in the rub- ble. Her wristwatch had stopped at precisely 9:02 a.m., the moment the bomb went off. "She is missed so much," Doris said in an interde: "I feel sorry for those who never knew her.... I can still hear her on the phone." The Delmans had moved to Oklahoma City just a couple of weeks before the bombing. They left Las Vegas after getting a feeling God was telling them they needed to be near family. =We had a real hard time," Doris said. "We felt like 'Why, God?' We did what you wanted us to do. We had a hard time working through it until some- one told us, 'God was the first one to cry." Enduring a week of the trial was difficult for them and for Doris it brought to the surface =feelings I had buried so deep. I never dealt with some feelings. I was too heartsick." She and Ernie were angered by testimony they felt showed the tragedy could have been pre- vented. Three witnesses said they heard McVeigh make threats to carry out the bomb- ing days before it happened. Doris said she and her hus- band have felt blessed for hav- ing the support of their Okla- homa City parish. The Dehnans and Terry's husband of a year and a half, Bob Chumard, plan to put up a prayer garden in front of the church in memo D' of the 168 bombing victims.