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June 26, 1998     The Message
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June 26, 1998

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8 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana June Saints of the past who influence me n By FATHER JOHN W. CROSSIN, O.S.ES. Catholic News Service Who influenced my life? My parents to be sure. I am still discovering ways that I resemble them. I like to be "always busy" like my mother; I enjoy sports like my father. I love the Mass like both my parents. Our parents and other relatives -- a special aunt or uncle for example -- may be a continuing influence in our lives. Other past influences on us are a little less obvious. A special teacher, friend or coach may have pointed us in the right direction for our future life and work. A small gesture, such as a friend's encour- agement to go on a retreat, may have been all that was necessary to set us on a new course. The more we think about it, the further back in history we can go in detecting the influences on our lives. The bishops at the Council of Balti- more in the last century had a profound influence on me even though I never met them. They gave the impetus to the writ- ing of the catechism that is still called the "Baltimore Catechism." I will always know the answer to the question: Why did God make you? The catechism answers that I learned at St. Matthew's parish school have stayed with me both consciously and unconsciously. I learnedthat I am on earth to know, love and serve God. My two decades of studying and teaching Catholic theology have amplified but not modified this answer. A more subtle influence from the past comes through the shape of the buildings in which we wor- ship: Gothic cathedrals with their high ceilings pull us up to heaven and remind us of God's tran- scendence -- that God is truly above us. Contemporary church- es "in the round" make us look at one another and encourage us to pray togeth- er. They are the churches of the "people of God" empha- sized at Vatican Council II. They remind us that God truly is with us in our com- munity. The play of light pene- trating the stained glass windows of these churches is fascinating to see. The images of apostles and saints connect us with our spiritual history. They remind us of our distant forebears who passed faith on to us. Some of these men and women were so illustrious as to be canonized saints; others were of the more ordinary, All Saints day variety. These works of art also connect us with the builders of the medieval cathe- i'i" :: ..... "' "We stand on the shoulders of giants. Whether through saints, artists, friends, rel- atives or parents, the past becomes our pre- ; i'ii  sent through others," says obla tel John W. Crossin. : --: CNS photo by drals who made such a difference in their times. These nameless artists continue to influence the building and shape of our present churches. The faith of Bishop Glorieux place is a diocese) in 1885. He found two diocesan priests and five religious-order priests scattered over 83,000 square miles of almost roadless mountains and deserts. Father Glorieux was named bishop of Boise when the diocese was created in 1893. When he died there were 35 dioce- san priests and 18 religious-order priests Bishop Alphonse Glorieux, the first bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho. -- CNS photo courtesy of the Idaho Catholic Register in the diocese; the 11 parishes and mis- sions of 1885 had grown to 93 by 1917. There are dozens of fascinating Bish- op Glorieux stories, but my favorite is about building the beautiful Cathedral of St. John in Boise. In 1902 there were fewer than 500 Catholics in Boise; fewer than 250 went to church. One Friday morning the bish- op held a "congregational meeting" with as many people as could come, and he shared his dream of building a cathedral to seat 1,000. The bishop's vision was sure, his faith deep. Still,I will never understand how he convinced the 250 active Catholic peo- ple of Boise, most of whom were poor, to commit themselves to building such a church, but he did, and he raised the money to bring his dream into reality. Bishop Glorieux was deeply involved in designing the finished structure, but lived to see only the outside walls and a crypt chapel. It wasn't finished until 19-21. But, as in all the churches he designed, it reflected his liturgical train- ing at Louvain. It had wide broad lines of sight, no pillars and ample room for the participation of the faithful. This wonderful, intriguing man left a legacy that influenced my life. He found- ed a local church that was healthy, par- ticipatory, doctrinally sound and filled with faith. By FATHER W. THOMAS FAUCHER Catholic News Service One rainy morning in December 1867, a thin, newly-ordained priest arrived in Portland, Ore., about a two-month jour- ney from his native Belgium. Father Alphonse Glorieux, trained at the Uni- versity of Louvain, wanted to be a mis- sionary in the rugged Northwest region of the United States. Fifty years later, Aug. 25, 1917, this same man, who had spent his last 32 years as the Catholic bishop in Idaho, died. The regard for him was so great that the mayor of Boise asked all busi- nesses  in a city and state that was less that five percent Catholic -- to close for his funeral. When we think of the heroes of the church, the saints who influenced our lives and the faith we have received, we often tend to think back to Europe, to the larger-than-life figures of the Middle Ages. This is certainly our heritage. But shouldn't we also think of the incredible men and women who brought the Catholic faith to our own regions? I grew up listening to stories of people who knew Bishop Glorieux. They spoke of a man who not only knew the future but could build it. He came to the Idaho Territory as vicar apostolic (the title for a bishop before a We marvel at the faith magnificent creativity. Such creativity also is When he had few little to give him hope, faith. Bishop Glorieux took people as surely as he He believed that we are a faith and that irt sharing members become strong. In places everywhere, tliere of men ant people of vision and know about those to ask 250 people to build a hold 1,000. Father Faucher is a priest Boise, Ida., on assignment Baker, Ore. i! ;i ;i ii::/i ii , i