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June 17, 1994     The Message
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June 17, 1994
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana June 17,' Perspective -- " . " Sharing a drink: A moment of everyday holiness PAUL It. INGANG EDITOR My dad used to bring a gallon jug of water from home, out to tbe farm field where he would work for the day. We all drank from that jug of water, those of us in the family who worked together Dad planted wheat, corn, oats and alfalfa on most of the land. Morn and Dad together -- with help from as many as five children -- planted and cultivated a large area of vegetables for household use. Some children were more help- ful than others. The farm field was separated from the farm house where we used to live. Our "new" house was a few miles away. Dad had built a shed for a tractor on the farm land. It also housed a plow and other implements. Hand tools we brought with us from home, to tend to the needs ofthe vegetables. A tractor was of no use amid the rows of potatoes and tomatoes, cu- cumbers and cantaloupes. Water for drinking had to come from home. There was no water out in the field. The water Dad brought was cool, at first, in th early part of the day. He would put the jug in the shade. A straw pile was a good place to keep it, away from the heat of the sun. Or in the tall weeds that hid from the cultivator behind the shed. Or wrapped in a burlap sack, under a 1 board, in the back of the truck. If the day ahead would be very long, a few ice cubes might be used to chill the water before Dad left our house. Or, perhaps, he might keep a jug of water in the refrigera- tor over night, to use the next day in the field. We had a vague notion that water could be too cold and not a healthy thing to have on a hot day. Our jug of drinking water was generally only cool in the early part of the day. It was as cool then as the cistern in which it had been col- lected and stored. It was rainwater, stored deep in a brick and cement lined cistern, deeper than the basement, and cool even on the hottest day of summer. The memories of days on the farm field came back to me as I read a new book, "The Blessing Cup," by Franciscan Father Rock Travnikar. The book was first published in 1979, but an expanded edition has just been issued by St. Anthony Mes- senger Press. "The Blessing Cup" contains 40 simple rites for family-prayer celebrations. The focal point of each such celebration is a common cup, to be used at spe- cial times in the family -- for holidays, birthdays, an- niversaries, times of change, growth or loss. In a fbreword to the book, Jack W. Lundin helps the reader imagine an early moment in human devel, opment on this earth. Lundin asks, "Who first discov" ered that the rainwater collected in the creaseofa : leaf or the indentation of a small rock would not only quench an individual's thirst but.., be shared with another?" Ever since then, he suggests, a simple cup has. become one of the world's most universal and sigw cant religious symbols. At work in the field, the members of my family shared water which had hidden in it the coolness of the earth. At the Eucharist, the members of our . , human family share a drink which unites earth and"i heaven, the human and the divine. Sharing a drink is a ritual that goes our human past and even deeper into the that is our destiny. It is a moment ness-- an experience of our ordinary, and nary life. "The Blessing Cup"provides a series of simple prayers and rituals to help bring God's love and  into focus in the everyday experiences era home. "The Blessing Cup: 40 Simt Prayer-Celebrations" is available at book stores f orj $3.95, or from St Anthony Messenger Press, 1610 " public Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45210. Telephone (513) 241-5615. .--- Vatican rainstorming college of cardinals as think tank By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It used to be that the world's car- dinals gathered in Rome only in moments of sadness or joy. Sadness when a pope died and a conclave was needed to elect a new pontiff; joy when new cardinals were named and invested in a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica. But in mid-June, some 130 cardinals arriving in Rome brought their thinking caps along with their red hats. In- stead of secret lists of papal candidates or guest lists for re- ceptions, they carried briefing papers on several important church topics. Pope John Paul II was their host, and the one who has sin- gle-handedly revived the Col- lege of Cardinals as a major advisory body for the church. Starting in 1979, he has asked their input on such diverse is- sues as church finances, the spread of religious sects and i The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville,- IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weeldy except lest week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Ertof ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Clrculalion ................................... Amy Housman Adveffsmg .................................... Paul Newland Staffl mter ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1994 Ca Press of Evar pro-life efforts. In turning an ear to the car- dinals, the pope introduced a quiet revolution. It was the first time in 400 years that these "princes of the church" were brought in as a group to help set directions for the world's Catholics. The agenda for this year's brainstorming session was es- pecially rich, with discussions planned on ecumenical initia- tives leading up the year 2000, a pro-life encyclical and a wider role for retired bishops. For various reasons, all are priority topics for the pope, and he wanted to hear for him- self what the cardinals have to say. The meeting was first set for mid-May, and after the pope broke his thigh bone in April, some aides suggested he let the cardinals meet without him. Instead, this was one en- counter the pope insisted on postponing until June 13-14, when he would be able to par- ticipate personally. Those who have followed this pontificate closely know that the year 2000 means a lot to Pope John Paul. As early as 1979, in his first encyclical, "Redemptor Hominis," he said the approaching new millen. nium demanded a renewed search for the basic truths of the faith. In a draft document pre- pared by the Vatican Secre- tariat of State for the cardi- nals' meeting and leaked to an Italian news agency, there were strong hints that some extraordinary projects might be proposed to close out the second millennium. The ideas included a possible ecumenical prayer meeting in Jerusalem; a similar encounter of Chris- tians, Jews and Muslims on Mount Sinai in Egypt, where Moses received the 10 Com- mandments; a self-examina- tion of the church's own role including darker chapters over the last 20 centuries; and a series of continental synods modeled after the European and African synods of recent years. The cardinals' discussion of the pro-life encyclical, cur- rently receiving the final touches by the pope, was a fol- low-up to their: 1991 meeting. At that time, the cardinals de- nounced abortion, euthanasia and other threats to society's weakest and asked the pope to prepare a high-level document emphasizing church teaching on these issues. The encyclical's publication this fall is expectedt0 bolster the papal and church-wide campaign against abortion during the 1994 International Year of the Family. The pope also wanted to sound out the cardinals on how to make better use of the tal- ents and experience of retired bishops, within the possibili- ties offered by canon law. Vati- can sources described this as a minor topic at the meeting, but one that could lead to interest- ing suggestions. Currently the church has some 800 bishops and archbishops who retired at age 75, and the pope considers them a largely untapped re- source. The pontiff might say the same about the College of Car- dinals. When he first sum- moned the cardinals to Rome in 1979, he said "the bishop of Rome wants to see you more often, in order to profit from advice and your many-sided experience." At the same time, he said these periodic get-togethers were not meant to diminish the Synod of Bishops, which are longer assemblies held every three years or so for in- depth discussion of a specific theme. The cardinals' meetings are more elastic and leave more room for impromptu ex- changes and proposals. The pope emphasized that the cardinals have a special link with Rome that goes back hundreds of years; a tie he wants to see reinforced. In cen- turies past, most of the nals lived in Rome Today they are spreS( around the world,:.but convoked by the pope a very eminent t Thomas Coe: Saddened by To the Editor: Effective July 8, 1994 1 am re- signing my position as Coordina- tor of Community Outreach at Catholic Charities Bureau to be- come the Director of ECHO Housing Corporation, a local non-profit developer of low-in- come housing. While I am ex- cited about the challenges and opportunities my new position offers, I am equally saddened by leaving my friends and col- leagues at Catholic Charities. Over the past 6 years I have met and worked with many dedi- cated and caring individuals throughout the Diocese. The parish volunteers I have encoun- tered are truly remarkable peo- ple who have made my job easier and more pleasurable each year. I can not thank each and every one of you enough for the sup- port you have given me and this agency, and the compassion an dlove you have sho'V less fortunate faro .... community. I want to recognize Priests, parish Vincent de Paul their assistance to ine, endless commitment those in need. A goes to Bishop Msgr. Knapp, ter Staff, and the of Directors for support and guidance. tenure. I am leaving wit respect and agency and the here daily. The peep Diocese should be those who parishes, the Catholic Charities ...... working with Bishop's schedU The following activities and events are listod ori schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. Friday, June 24. Golden Jubilee, of-the-Woods, Saturday, June 25, Mass, St. John Church, Evansv June 26, 11 a.m. Marian Family Day, Sunday, June 26, 4 p.m.