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June 17, 1994     The Message
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June 17, 1994

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E, S SA GE The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana VOLUME 24 NUMBER 41 June 17, 1994 < "  I " " r " WEST DEANERY EAST DEANERY !U: Making a differq ANN HUGHES, Message staff wdter - our owl differer hey ha ur boa but they came from environments and learn our lifestyle, ; something wonderful, some- celebrates Father's Day, he will be remem- .: For their a difference in were seven, rive par- the babies would be only two days old three months later. . y's, tay would be the day his wife its new pan. "To take the infant to the to see the light in people's eyes, people who have waited so then you know you've eally done some good." years, as Catholic Charities received fewer infants for adoption, care of older children, ages seven and under. your skin,. Folz said, as he front door children waiting with their , came to the house pretty rough, sometimes. You would didn't know aged, p, time. tc their .li, school. you work hard, what kind of home, Folz and his wife had to remember one rule too. =You hav e to let this child go. You go into i wing this kid is going to leave. You never go into it with adoption in mind, but onl  give them a home. "x ou  t this kid is not going to be yours  ever." "You have to love kids, but know you are not going to Gary Folz holds his six-week-old grand, r.:. adopt them." daughter Jordan Nicole Mathes. wondered what was ca3 two-story house uge He . . . ,. her's Day gives chance to link God to human father News Service N (CNS) ' a help youngsters the love and good- divine Father of all, p a priest and cate- Xpert at the U.S. ( )nference. doesn't mean that Who grow up without [ presence of a fa- t. shut out or aloof added Father John USCC Department representative for leadership devel.- of God starts long before we begin formal religious instruc- tion. How we're treated by our fathers here below affects how we imagine our Father above." Qualities associated with God as Father -- protector, caregiver and provider of safety, security, and self-es- teem  stem from a father's role and actions, Father Pol- lard said. A child tends to transfer un- derstanding of the human fa- ther, the "loving, nurturing, caring father," to concepts of God, he explained. "It really is ... the development of the image of God as father; from the relationship of a child to its parent." Thus, "when the child hears that God is also 'Father,' or parent," the child can relate to the idea and begin to envision God, he said. At the same time, "some peo- ple don't have a good experi- ence of fathers," he said. "The amazing thing is they have an open relationship with God as Father," he said. "That's not their experience. "How does one develop a re- lationship with God as a loving father figure when their own father has abandoned them?" he asked. "It's hard to envision a God" in such circumstances, since "this is a hard enough concept" for the human mind to grasp even under the best conditions, he said. Knowledge of the divine can be sparked by a variety of human experiences and earthly understandings, he said. "The natural experiences -- the human, ordinary, everyday experiences -- uncover the su- interview with Service, Father in light of June 19. of God is influ- father," he said. of our concept pernatura]," he explained. "It's just being human to one an- other. But often just being human uncovers the divine." Discovery can come from things other than human rela- tionships, too, he noted, citing the example of water, with its significance regarding the "sacramental nature of life." Moreover, mothers and other caregivers closely involved in raising the child can help foster an understanding of God as well, Father Pollard said. Yet, "be- cause God is oRen portrayed or experienced as 'Father,' it's so much more crucial" in the case of fathers, he said. While the public celebrates Father's Day, pastors who seek to mention the holiday in their homilies need to remember that not all human families have a nurturing father pre- sent, and that some people may in fact feel sad or alone on that day. "That should be ac- knowledged -- that everyone did not grow up in an idealized family," he emphasized. He advised priests to "know your people; know who's be- hind the faces in the congrega- tion; try to ring true." "Yes, there's a lot to be said about gratitude for fathers, for the irreplaceable role that fa- thers play," Father Pollard said. But it's also important "to note that when that role is di- minished or not present at all there's always hope in the heart," that individuals ne- glected by fathers can still find God, and that the divine Fa- ther will never abandon them, he said.