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Evansville, Indiana
July 1, 1994     The Message
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July 1, 1994
 

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The Message  for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July 1, Perspective Supported by our faith community in grief and celebration A thousand people "marched for Jesus" in downtown Evansville last Saturday. They professed their faith on the public streets of the city. Several' hundred people came to Providence Home in Jasper on Sunday for a Marian Family Day to celebrate Mass with the bishop, and to pray the rosary. They professed their faith in the openess of an outdoor celebration open to all who could see or hear. Hundreds of people gathered, too, on Friday last week, at Holy Rosary Church in Evansville, for the funeral liturgy celebrating the life of Ronald C. Baumgart, diocesan treasurer. Many more people had come to l By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR the funeral home the day before to pay their respects, and to pray for Ron and his family. No person came alone to that funeral home, to the Mass, or to the cemetery. Each person -- one by one or in family groups -- became a part of the larger community gath- ered together to express faith and hope and love, at a time of sorrow. There were weddings last weekend, too, where assemblies of Christians gathered to witness a public and sacramental commit- ment made by a man and a woman. The common faith we Chris- tians share is not a faith to be hidden away in se- cret. It is to be celebrated publically and joyfully -- even in times of sadness. Thank God for our Church community! I confess that many times I have been distracted from prayer and ritual, even at weddings or funerals. But I know that all does not depend on me alone for I have the community to support me. If my faith wavers, it is the community gathered in faith which gives me strength. My faith will be strengthened again, as I witness the faith of others in the assembly. If my hope weakens, I find hope in the actions of the community, where witness is given by those who are full of hope. If my love for another is threatened by hum an weakness -- my own failing or that of another's the community gives me comfort, until love returnS. Where two or three of us are gathered in the name of Jesus, he is with us. Our God is among us. .,...--. Washington Housing dilemma: To be or not to be 'primarily' religious By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Convinced that the deteriora- tion of America's cities cannot be turned around "without en- gaging the moral and spiritual forces of the community,: Housing and Urban Develop- ment Secretary Henry G. Cis- neros convened an unusual gathering of religious leaders at HUD headquarters June 22. But the U.S. Catholic Con- ference's specialist in housing matters, Thomas Shellabarger, sees a not-insignificant obsta- cle in the road to greater col- laboration between HUD and religious institutions w HUD's own regulations. They ban "primarily religious" organiza- tions from seeking funding under one of its largest pro- grams, he said. Shellabarger was among the nearly 100 participants at the June 22 "HUD and Religious Institutions Conference." It in- cluded representatives of Jew- Father Brenner: Blessed by support To the editor: l have been asked several times in the past year whether The MESSAGE 4200 N Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Circulation ................................... Amy Housman Advesing .................................... Paut Newland Staflf writer ............................ Man/Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-O169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Pdce: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tkm number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Copyght t g94  Press of Evansvffe ish and Protestant organiza- tions as well as the U.S. bish- ops' Campaign for Human De- velopment, Catholic Charities USA and other Catholic groups. To signal his personal inter- est in the discussions, Cisneros opened the session with an hourlong talk and preceded it by talking with a small group of reporters, including Catholic News Service, about the impor- tance of religious institutions in community life. Describing churches as "the most stable, the most long- standing ... pillars of the com- munity," Cisneros said some problems such as drugs and gangs seem to respond only to an approach that includes a spiritua! aspect. "It's almost as if when a per- son's spirit has been broken as drugs will do, only spiritual so- lutions can restore his place in the community," he said. Cisneros said there is a role for churches in each of HUD's five priority areas -- reducing homelessness, revitalizing pub- I find that respect for the clergy has declined in the face of all the bad publicity in the news. I can speak only for myself but in many ways I find as much if not more support than ever. In May I celebrated my twenty-fifth anniversary of or- dination to the priesthood. Many people know of the large gift that the parishioners and a few other people gave me in the new pickup truck. Many others have made it possible for me to be able to put a shell on it and keep it in fuel for a long time. There were other gifts as well. Others sent cards letting me know they were thinking of me and praying for me. I thank you all. I will never forget the packet of cards and letters we re- ceived during the first Convo- cation of Priests in 1987. I'm not sure those who organized that campaign were ever ade- quately thanked. I think that somewhere in the midst of all my treasures I still have them. These past 25 years of min- istry have been blessed by the lic housing, expanding afford- able housing and home owner- ship, ensuring fair housing for all and empowering communi- ties. There are already church- based programs to respond to each of these problems, he said, and HUD wants those to expand and others to follow in their footsteps. In his talk, Cisneros praised two Catholic programs for their contributions to the com- munity. He recalled touring the Brother Francis Shelter in Anchorage, Alaska, a month earlier with Archbishop Fran- cis T. Hurley and said it was the only large shelter for the homeless in the state. He also cited the New Com- munity Corporation in Newark, N.J., as "one of the finest examples of what a church-based organization can do for the community." Founded by Msgr. William J. Linder of Newark, the organi- zation has built a theater and shopping center to provide jobs in the community and some support of so many great peo- ple in the diocese among the laity, religious, my brother priests, my ordaining Bishop Leibold, then Bishop Shea and now Bishop Gettelfinger. May God bless you all and pray for me that I may be a faithful minister of the gospel. Father Ray Brenner Resurrection Church, Evansville Catechism: Is it for everyone? To the editor:. Is the new Universal Cate- chism directed toward and to be used only by the Bishops of the world? The Holy Father on page 13 has this to say: "It (the Cate- chism of the Catholic Church) is also offered to all of the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfath- omable riches of salvation." See LETTERS Page 5 3,000 units of low-income housing and 1,000 units of housing for the elderly It was in another Catholic organization -- San Antonio's Communities Organized for Public Service, known as COPS -- that Cisneros, former mayor of San Antonio, has his own political and religious roots. COPS began 20 years ago in Cisneros' home parish; Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Antonio COPS received nearly $400,000 over the past two decades from the Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program. It par- layed those funds into commu- nity benefits worth an esti- mated $1 billion in streets and drainage, curbs and sidewalks, parks, libraries, literacy cen- ters and housing. "And that story has been du- plicated in many, many places around the country," said Je- suit Father Joseph R. Hacala, CHD executive director and a participant in the HUD meet- ing. He praised the "close work- ing relationship" between CHD and HUD in the past and said the conference was an "oppor- tunity to lift that up again and to look for ways for it to con- tinue." But Shellabarger of the USCC's Department of Social Development and World Peace was less sanguine about the possibility of close church ties with HUD, unless regulations governing the $1.275 billion HOME program are The current're the HOME program no funds may go to religious organizationS, as churches, for any including see Challenged by about the regulations the HUD meeting, said the funding criterl the HOME program are lar to that of the Development Block program, which alloWS pation by religiou.' tions as long as ject is "free from r, influence." The agrees that the regulatio""= similar. "They want ustO set wholly secular entities' which (the church) trol, and to then give good name and ing of the Shellabarger said. can't have it Talks will continue attorneys for HUD about the regulationS' added. Meanwhile, shell said he was neros' "recognition gmus commumty s commitment to and moderate-incOW ing." "We're the largest affordable housing citizens, the larger shelter for the said. "If there's a gious community Bishop's schedU The following activities and events are listed or* e schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger.