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June 12, 1998     The Message
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June 12, 1998
 

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'12, 1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Italy: Tuesday, June 9, 1998 By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER i it was my intention to write about ect, but it will wait until next week. I had a harrowing experience. I caused to accept responsibility for it. I left my my travel documents on the I think. It was either there or on a tcounter in the main train station in Milan, Italy. it was not stolen. I lost it. The Ital- were most helpful. The American Consul but also expeditious. Thanks I was able to continue my trip with- of my carelessness. I caught up with in the evening. Part of the family group from Lugano, Switzerland, just north of lessons one can draw from such the other has application for all of First of all, I have had a lot of education considerable travel experience. Howev- er, I do not know a second language. I must depend on the goodness of others in their own country to be patient with my ineptitude. Yesterday, I found myself in a situation in which I need to communicate in the local language and could not. I experienced an often- misunderstood aspect of poverty-- inability to com- municate. Over the years I have had multiple opportunities to learn other languages. I did not take advantage of them. From this lesson, I urge all, who have the chance to learn an additional language, to do so. Secondly, there is a universal language that all of us know. All of us can "speak" it. It contains but a few words. Their meaning is clear. Their effect immeasurable. Kindness. Compassion. Understand- ing. The order of their usage is unimportant. They generate an unmistakable feeling. The message is one of loving concern -- and unutterable expression. I was the beneficiary of this universal language. I will never forget the sisters and brothers of mine whom I do not know except from the way they spoke to me in this universal tongue. I ask God's blessing on them with a grateful heart. The loss of a passport and money is not the end of the world for those of us who are endowed with so much of God's goodness. So, for me, the lessons I can learn came relatively painlessly. There was little inconvenience. Through it, however, I had occasion to be with others less privileged. They were in much greater distress and need. I recalled many of the scenes from scripture about sojourners in a foreign land. There are so many tales of misery and maltreat- ment at the hands of unwelcoming natives. I felt I was given special treatment, not because I was a priest and bishop, but because I was an American cit- izen. It is my hope and prayer that all of us here at home in the Diocese of Evansville will adopt as a way of life the universal tongue of hospitality. This is essential if we are to live to Jesus' mandate of love. We have increasing opportunities to reach out to sis- ters and brothers of Latin culture who speak only the Spanish language. I am embarrassed that I do not feel adequate to celebrate the Eucharist in Spanish. The experience yesterday compels me to learn to do so. I make it my goal to be able to celebrate the Mass in Spanish for all the Spanish-speaking members of our community for the year of Jubilee 2000. i  RY CLEMENTS of Stewardship and Development rLo Secret that, if given a people prefer t," "quick" to "fun" to "work," and to "complex." There exceptions to preferences. An musician finds )ositions boring. ns are general- refreshing than quick )le, the line and "work" is as someone once job, you to work a day in Finally, public rela- doctors" have no than complex- of Christ stew- probably favor /simple" experiences, OWn words, suggest way is not obstacle-free. however, certain e the tran- way of these tools can be words begin- here are a Stewardship hope to suc- commit- education Spiritual leaders, Stewardship conversion, with "Es!" as well as by those whom they serve and lead. In recent years, Catholics have drifted away from the practice of stewardship that was characteristic of our church ancestors. Reintroducing total stewardship into the U.S. Catholic tradition requires knowledge and discipline which can come only from effective stewardship education. 2. ENGAGE: No conversion process will thrive unless those who choose to participate in the process tend and nurture it. When Jesus captivated his audi- ences with signs and wonders, His intent was not to impress, but to engage people in his salvific mission. When a couple "gets engaged" to be married, they publicly acknowledge and express their devotion and ded- ication to one another. Becom- ing engaged in a process moves a person from the rank of spec- tator to the realm of active par- ticipant, with all of the atten- dant risks and rewards, joys and sorrows. 3. EMPOWER: This some- what elusive element typically flows from a respected and skill- ful servant leader. The ability to empower others is an art and a science requiring natural talent and practical ability. Great lead- ers inspire their constituents to believe they can overcome any adversity and reach any goal. In the case of stewardship conver- sion, the goal is to embrace a stewardship way of life as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Stewardship conversion seems to flourish in communities where pastoral leaders have the characteristics and employ the principles of true servant lead- ership. Pre-Vatican II autocratic and benevolent dictatorship governance styles no longer fit the needs and demographics of most U.S. Catholic parishes. 4. ENABLE: To enable others is to give them the tools they need to reach their goals. "Tools" in a parish stewardship convbr- sion context refers to such lofty endeavors as personal spiritual formation, theological education, understandable role descrip- tions, realistic goals and objec- tives, multiple opportunities to share time, talent and treasure, and a Christocentric vision. Enabling others also includes mundane things such as provid- ing adequate meeting facilities, coordinating volunteers, main- taining effective intra-parish communications, exhibiting a welcoming, hospitable spirit within a milieu .of prayer, and social activities galore! 5. ENCOURAGE. Two words apply here, above all others: THANKS and RECOGNITION. In the most altruistic of worlds, people selflessly give of them- selves with no need for, nor expectation of, appreciation or encouragement We do not live in that world! Even the most to hear you," coupled with a periodic "atta-boy" or "atta-girl!" This applies to volunteers and paid staff members alike; a paycheck is not all the thanks and recog- nition an employee needs! Using good ideas suggested by staff members and volunteers -- and giving them credit for the ideas -- is one of the best ways to show appreciation and support. 6. Here are two final "Es" that can have a beneficial impact on the parish stewardship conver- sion process: a. EMBRACE: The healing and comforting power of an b. ENJOY: Scowls, frowns and sneers are simply out of sync with a Eucharistic, Easter people intent on spreading Christ's GOOD News! Here's your homework assign- ment: Check the "'E" section in your dictionary. You're sure to find still more words to add to this list! Church should address teen problems It is obvious that today more and more teenagers are in trou- ble. Some of the major problems with teens are things such as alcoholism, gangs, and violence. These problems are usually caused by ads on billboards or in magazines and other people COMMENTARY By SAMANTHA OTrERBEIN Good Shepherd School in our society. If we as a com- munity can prevent this from happening our life could become safer and happier. Alcohol is becoming very popular for teenagers to have. In fact, 15 percent of U.S. high school students have a serious drinking problem. Drinking leads to drunk driving which is responsible for one half of auto- mobile accidents in the U. S. each year. Another problem is gangs and violence. Gangs have rapidly developed partly because of movies and televi- sion shows. Some of these give the influence that it is the right thing to belong in a gang. Many think that female gangs don't exist, but recently female gangs have been increasing along with male gangs. As a conse- quence of these gangs thou- sands of children die even though they were doing no harm to anyone. Locker search- es are becoming more normal for some high schools because of teenagers with guns. In order to control these prob- lems there are many things we as a community can do. One important thing is for us to pro- mote healthy, clean, and fun things for teens to do on their free time. We could be stricter on rules and regulations for alcohol and violence. Families could warn their tee.agers, at an early age, the dangers of alcohol and being involved with gangs. We as Catholics could also try to prevent these problems. Many churches have already started to try to eliminate some teen problems by having youth group. We should also try to organize groups where teens can go to get help and just talk about their problems. These groups should be interesting and fun to be involved with. We should also promote teens get- ting together and doing some- thing religious or helping out others, such as visiting the elderly. Although there /ire many problems that teenagers hav we can all help to prevent them. Doing the simplest of things, like congratulating them on a job well done. A nice gesture can go a long way for toe's selb esteem, work 00srd help each  them solutions ;. may come true. -,,