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June 23, 1995     The Message
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June 23, 1995

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1995 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 op's Forum-- Diocese of Vincennes A regular occurrence at the ags is a brief presen- the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio dl ed States. A pro-nuncio of an Ambassador of See to the United States. Lsions Archbishop illan draws atten- of the Holy Father Well  make timely announce- of recent or upcoming It was in his presentation Archbishop Cacchi- ced the reinstate- s that had been other cities. These now have been reconstituted as "Titu- or "honorary dioceses." ' me to explain. 1 ho s All c f all, there are no free-lance b's p . a e a title, that is, they are a bishop of place or some territory. I am the bishop of as the "Diocese of Evansville." I titled a "Diocesan Bishop" (formerly ' ary"). As a territorial bishop I full responsibility to teach, to shepherd all those entrusted to my care. t} responsibility comes appropri- from the Holy See. there are some bishops who assist ,i hops. They were formerly known as "aux- ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETrELFINGER iliary bishops." They do not have the full authority of a Diocesan Bishop, but they do have a title. They are named "titular bishops" of "titular sees." As the church has grown and developed, adjustments have been made in diocesan territories. For example, we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of our found- ing. Until 1944, our territory was part of the Diocese of Indianapolis. Before that, the Diocese of Indi- anapolis was part of the much larger Diocese of Vincennes. Indiana became a state in 1818. Its first capitol was in Cory- don, in Harrison County. In 1834 the Capitol was moved to the center of the state where a city had been established precisely to be the capitol, a land- locked village on virtually unnavigable rivers. The Diocese of Vincennes had been changed with the establishment of the dioceses in Illinois and northern Indiana. In 1898, the Holy See di- rected Bishop Silas Marean Chatard to move the "see" (seat) of Vincennes to the growing state capi- tol of Indianapolis and rename it accordingly. The old see, the Diocese of Vincennes had again been reconfigured and renamed to be the Diocese of In- dianapolis. It again was reconfigured and named the Archdiocese of Indianapolis at the same time the Diocese of Evansville was formed. There are many dioceses in the United States that have been transferred. Only two dioceses had been suppressed, not transferred. Only these two were eligible to be titular sees. One was Walla Walla, Washington and the other Allegheny, Penn- sylvania. Until this time, all the helping bishops were given title to former dioceses in other parts of the world. The former diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky was moved to Louisville as Vincennes was moved to Indi- anapolis. With the announcement that Archbishop Cacciavillan made, Bardstown is now a "Titular See" with its "Titular Bishop." Bishop Charles Maloney of Louisville has been named its honorary bishop. (He gave up the honorary see of Capsa.) The former Diocese of Vincennes is now avail- able as a "Titular See." We are honored to have it be so. I am confident that some day in the not too distant future, tnere will be named a "titular bishop" to the Titular See of Vincennes. What is the effect of all this? Virtually nothing other than the acknowledgement that the Diocese of Vincennes played a significant role in the devel- opment of the church in this country. Being an honorary diocese keeps that memory alive by the honor bestowed on the bishop so named. We should be proud of this honor. It is fitting that this development occurred in our fiftieth year as a diocese whose roots are in Vincennes. '8 a i !  ij! i i .... i!!ii  i ...... : i- :ill .... ! i,,:?  i.'ii,,? i'i ,i, i '' Stevard,s Way: and suggestions ' and faith iti s on their jour- a total steward. of life. well attended t Catholic -- just h:'cago that was L survey. The new Oq; in the where he establish his church o qUestions: 1) Do a church? and 2) If Why not? He used ers to the second What have you done for me lately? question to develop his new the idea Any one of these com- hear people say they won't be- spokesperson for a shampoo church's philosophy which is: Give people what they want in a church and they will come. All of us Catholics have heard many reasons why peo- ple no longer attend church, or why they switched to another parish or religion. These rea- sons fall into numerous cate- gories: the pastor, the staff, the parish school, other parish- ioners, music and liturgy, hom- ilies, the church itself (build- ings or teachings). This list is almost endless. And the list of reasons under each category could also continue well be- yond infinity. Let's consider just one of these categories: THE PAS- TOR. You have probably heard someone complain that their pastor is too liberal or conser- vative; aloof or outgoing; gen- erous or self-centered; control- ling or laissez faire; modern or old-fashioned; skinny or over- weight; religious or worldly; animated or quiet; bald or hairy; tall or short; business- like or unbusiness-like; serious or frivolous; stern or wimpy; mercenary or stingy. You get plaints, or any combination of them, is sufficient reason for some people to "lose their reli- gion" or transfer to another church or parish. We could re- peat this same exercise for dozens of other categories. The fact is that our Catholic Church has always been, is, and always will be an imperfect or- ganization populated with and lead by imperfect people. No parish, no diocese, no commu- nity of believers will ever- achieve perfection short of the second coming of Jesus. So what we think and how we feel about our church, and our own per- sonal stewardship as disciples of Jesus, will always require flexi- bility and compromises. Why? Because Christianity was not started with a survey. It began with a personal call -- a vocation -- from Jesus ask- ing people to "come follow me." And when we choose to accept Jesus' call and follow our Christian vocation, he expects all or nothing. We are either his disciples, or we're not; we are either good stewards, or we're not. How often do we come involved in or support their church because of some personal dislike: Masses are too long, music is too loud, homilies are too boring. You can continue this list from your own experience. The funda- mental Christian:question is not "What do I like or dislike about my church?" but "How strong is my faith, and how do I express it through my life?" And what about that faith? It is not a spectator sport. As be- lievers and disciples we are called to "do something," not just to "be something." When some- one says "I don't get anything from my church, or my parish, or my religion," the next question should be: "What have you done for your church, you parish, or your religion lately?" There's an unfortunate real- ity for those of us who write ar- ticles like this for the Message: we could easily be accused of "preaching to the choir," or "giving a cow a pair of lederhosen" or "sending Bishop Gettelfinger a "Happy St. Patrick's Day card" or "hir- ing Michael Jordan to be a company" or "asking Santa Claus to be the Grand Marshal for the Annual Barbecued Venison Festival parade." Those who will never read these words may be the very people who should read them. ..... But ,'none -of  us im perfect; Even if we are active, practic- ing Catholics" the very term implies that we still don't have it right! Happily, a "practicing Catholic" is at least doing something. The question is: could I do more -- more for my parish, more for my fellow parishioners, more for my dio- cese, more for those less fortu- nate, more for my family, and, yes, more for my enemies? The Greatest Command- ments of our Catholic faith re- quire action: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. John F. Kennedy's most quoted statement can easily be para- phrased for us Christians: "Ask not what your Church can do for you, ask what you can do for your Church." The good steward knows that "it is in giving that we receive." to com- s and solemn and First Mass of Holtz to wonder- without first say- 01i" to the parish Joseph Church, for your part in the sentiment of so it was an honor to be with you on OCcasion. Your arch, enhanced ling music and covaplemented by and genuine hospi- tality made this Pentecost most memorable and spiritu- ally rewarding. Father Brian always speaks so highly of his "home parish." He attributes much of his persever- ance in following his Call to the Priesthood to your prayers, en- couragement and guidance. You have much to be proud of. You have given our diocese a wonderful priest. Thank you and God bless all of you. Charles, Roberta and Christopher Wickman St. Mary Church Washington Diocesan Medical insurance plans questioned To the editor, I understand and appreciate the need for the diocese to have a Medical Insurance Policy. However, I am opposed to the Insurance Policy as it is presently proposed. I am opposed to it for the fol- lowing reasons: 1. The policy is a benefit that is not needed (or wanted) by every employee in the diocese. 2. The policy was imple- mented without the represen- tation of four major employing entities in the diocese, namely, the Catholic high schools. 3. Coverage is optional for full-time employees, however, payment is not. There will be a mandatory fee imposed by the diocese which will result in economic hardship on all em- ploying entities. As an exam- ple, the Washington Catholic schools have been told to bud- get $87,552 for the coming year for Diocesan Medical In- surance. At best, 10 of our 40 eligible employees will elect to participate in the plan. This puts the cost per year at $8,755 pe r year. 4. Employing entities ll face difficult decisions as to how to pay for the added expense, 5. I feel that better solutions are available in the insurance market place. I am not alone in my concern over the future economic im- pact of this proposed policy. My recommendation is to im- mediately table the proposed policy and to form a Blue Rib- boa Committee of people expe- rienced in buying medical in- surance on a competitive basis. The Committee would be re- sponsible to reviewing existing needs in light of balancing both social and economic justice. Robert C, Graham Washington