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June 14, 1996     The Message
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June 14, 1996
 

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MESSAGE ii 25 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana VOLUME 26 NUMBER 41 June 14, 1996 Future parish staffing reports made to diocese By PAUL R. LEINGANG ommended for the Washington Message editor Deanery. The task force pro- poses that two priests and a Proposals from the Future pastoral life coordinator would Parish Staffing Task Force call have responsibility for Sts. for some dramatic changes in Peter and Paul, Petersburg, order to provide sacramental along with St. Mary and St. ministry for Catholics of Simon, both in Washington. parishes in the diocese. * Convert a parish church A proposal has been submit- building to a chapel or orator)'. ted for each of the seven This is the solution recom- deaneries in the diocese. Meet- mended for Holy Trinity in ings of priests and parish staff Evansville; St. Joan of Arc, Ja- members were held to receive sonville, and St. Mary, St. suggestions within each dean- Michael and St. Patrick, all in ery. Daviess County. At an oratory, All in all, the task force Mass might be celebrated on Members projected that 4,t feast days and at special priests would be available for events; members of the wor- "parish ministry in 2005 -- less shipping community would than 10 years from now. To regularly attend Mass at a care for the Catholics who now nearby parish. attend 73 parishes in the die- The proposed impact is cese, the task force proposed greatest in the Washington the following steps: Deanery, where the task tbrce Link two or more parishes, proposed two clusters of to be served by one pastor and parishes, and the recommenda- one pastoral life coordinator or tion calls for three churches to other staff. This is the solution he chapels or oratories.. : recommended for most of the parishes in the diocese. _ Please turn to pages 8 and 9 Cluster multiple parishes ]'or more information on the with two priests and additional recommendations of the task staff. This is the solution rec- force rches called to revive fatherhood in U.S. culture FILTEAU News Service Va. (CNS)- churches, syna- temples must fight absence of fa- U.S. families, May 17 at a na- Summit on scale of father absence in America is the most socially consequential problem of our time," said Don E. Eberly, president of National Fatherhood Initiative, the or- ganization that convened the summit. He called the absence of fa- thers from families "the chief contributor to youth violence, teen pregnancy, child poverty, poor educational achievement Official From the desk of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Sister Geraldine Hedinger, O.S.B, diocesan Director of the Office for Adult Formation. do you think the following factor is in ex- are poor people? Lack of effort by the all Diocese Statewide 27% 23% 33% 33% 35% 36% 04% 07% 01% 02% and a host of other social ills." Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, president of the Na- tional Conference of Catholic Bishops, was among those who addressed the more than 70 re- ligious and community organi- zation leaders at a conference site near Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He warl the group not to fall into the polarizing trap of pitting "the desire for better personal values.., against the call for better social policies." "Conversion and compassion are both Gospel values .... A renewed sense of personal re- sponsibility must be coupled with new social policies if we are to strengthen our families and our nation," he said. Wade F. Horn, a psycholo- gist who is director of National Fatherhood Initiative and for- mer U.S. Commissioner for Children, Youth and Families, cited statistics on the dimen- sions of the problem in the United States: Where there were 7 mil- lion children in fatherless homes in 1960, there are now 23 million -- about 40 percent of all U.S. children. -- In 1960 only one out of six marriages had ended in di- vorce; now it is two out of every five. -- In 1960, 5 percent of the babies born in the United States were fathered out of wedlock; in 1970, 10 percent; in 1980, 18 percent; in 1990, 28 percent; today, 33 percent. People from fatherless homes make up 60 percent of America's rapists, 72 percent of adolescent murderers and 70 percent of the country's long- term prison poulation. "When fathers are absent from homes, boys tend to be more violent and girls tend to become more sexually active," he said. He said psychological stud- ies have shown that with a good father as a role model in their lives, =boys learn to keep their emotions in check." For girls, a warm, loving father is a critical factor in avoiding early sexual acting out, he said. "We are running out of time," he said, because unless the trend is reversed very soo, "the majority of our children will be living in homes without fathers." Eberly said there has been a problem of fatherless homes in every age and every society, but "it is radically different (in the United States) today in scale, scope and consequences." He said he started the Na- tional Fatherhood Initiative three years ago to try to mobi- lize "every. sector of soeie." to address the issue because sup- port for a restoration of father- hood has to go beyond eco- nomic and public policy re- sponses. "Fatherhood is predomi- nantly a cultural and moral in- stitution," he said, and "a set of overlapping cultural supports are required" to sustain it. The nation's religious insti- tutions have a primary role to play in reversing the father ab- See FATHERHOOD page 2