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July 4, 1997     The Message
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July 4, 1997
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 nce looks at strategies to strengthen marriage (CNS) -- "Sour pillars support- a family of experts to strengthen U.S. ,'for the next century. McCord Jr., asso- for marriage and for the Nation- of Catholic Bish- ops, was among more than 30 experts who met in Washington June 23-24 for an invitational roundtable on "The Future of Marriage in the 21st Century." The brainstorming session was sponsored by Family Impact Seminar, a 21-year-old nonprofit public policy institute, to kick off a five-year project aimed at find- ing ways to reverse the devas- "cal group to on community "age standards R. LEINGANG editor cities in the Unit- adopted commu- Standards for mar- - and the area may be next. director of Catholic for the Diocese of , Said a group ofmin- and United Way to meet in mid- towards setting their hopes are stan- Would be followed by so that a couple would find pattern of concern The couple would most likely spend some preparation time going through items on a "pre-marital invento- ry" of some type, and they also would most likely have the friendship and advice of a spon- sor couple. "The purpose is to stop the drive-by wedding," said Collins, "and to ensure that serious reflection occurs before the wed- ding." The community stan- dards would help "to move from a culture of divorce to a culture of commitment." The meeting will be convened by the United Way, and is sched- uled at St. Mary Church, Evans- ville, on July 14 at 8:30 a.m. Collins said he hopes many Catholic pastors will attend. tating effects of the widespread breakdown in marriage and fam- ily life in the United States. The roundtable focused on two major themes -- education- based strategies and economic- based strategies to strengthen marriages and family life. McCord, addressing educa- tional strategies, said the most consistent and successful effort of the U.S. Catholic Church in the field is in marriage prepara- tion, which virtually every U.S. diocese now requires of couples planning to marry. The "four pillars" or compo- nents a couple should have "to get married and stay married," he said, are: "A normative vision about the meaning of marriage." "A certain level of personal maturity." "A set of behavioral skills." "The supportive presence of a community that upholds not only this marriage, but mar- riage as an institution." He said those elements all enter, in varying degrees, into every Catholic program of preparation for marriage or later formation to strengthen or repair marriages. McCord noted that in a national plan for marriage and family ministry 20 years ago, the U.S. bishops "called for pro- grams and services that would correspond with the life cycle." He added, "For marriage edu- cation, this meant specifically: working with young single peo- ple contemplating marriage, with engaged couples in their immediate preparation for mar- riage, with the newly married, with couples during their par- enting years, with mature cou- ples to enrich their relationship and possibly to become leaders in ministry to other couples, with those experiencing marital difficulty at any point in their life cycle, and with those who hacl separated or divorced or remarried or who had been wid- owed." In practice, he said, attention to most of those areas "has waxed or waned with the pas- sage of time." He cited movements such as Marriage Encounter, which seeks to strengthen healthy marriages, and Retrouvaille, which reaches out to couples whose marriages are troubled, as examples of church efforts to assist couples after as well as before marriage. But he said the church's "most extensive, systematic and well documented form of marriage education is marriage prepara- tion." Citing results of an extensive national study of Catholic preparation programs complet- ed two years ago by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., McCord said the results show that such programs play "a help- ful but limited role in building strong marriages." "There is no conclusive evi- dence that it prevents divorce," he said, but there is evidence that the self-awareness and mutual awareness it brings can help couples unprepared for marriage to recognize the fact. "Five to 15 percent of couples who go through a program decide to postpone or cancel their wedding, presumably because they have uncovered serious problems; in fact, their psychological profile is very close to those who divorce," he said. He said one of the important elements of Catholic marriage preparation is the "broader mes- sage" it communicates, that "the church community cares enough about you and your relationship to give you this structured time and attention." The "big picture" it communi- cates, of a "normative vision of marriage" involving "transcen- dent realities and spiritual val- ues" is also of major importance, he said. Without that, "the horizon is limited and marriage prepara- tion can seem like just another training course," he said. He suggested that other groups seeking to prepare cou- ples without that type of reli- gious framework should look carefully at "how they address questions of meaning and motivation." er TW anchor stands on courage of her conviction BRESLIN Service (CNS) -- At the news broad- chor Carol that the viewer with something, thoughtful." look-you- Person, Marin made May when she anchor of NBC !-TV in Chicago tion announced it controversial Springer. and under circumstances, honorary doc- from the Catholic the largest school of the- in the Unit- invited by the recipient of degree nearly a before the media opposition to four days make his commentary and rk. Two Rexible hours. for WMAQ-TV's late newscast. Springer, in turn, resigned a few days later, complaining that the issue had become "too personal." In an interview with The New Catholic Explorer, newspaper of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., Matin said she looked forward to life returning to normal. "I think of myself as one reporter who made a decision," she said. "I don't see myself as a martyr, a missionary, a journal- istic Mother Teresa." Her resignation illustrated her concern that the news was headed in the direction of tabloid journalism. Today, Marin jokingly refers to herself as "unemployed." Still she's in demand locally and nationally by secular and reli- gious organizations who want to hear her speak about standing on the courage of her convic- tions. As she sees it, she's doing w.hat comes naturally from her family tradition of frequent debates, looking for the truth. "My mother was a Catholic; my father was a fallen-away Baptist who participated in no religion. My mother was a Democrat; my father was a Republican," said Marin. Thus, there could be a debate in her house every day about something polltical, cultural, social, or religious. Her father would point out discrepancies between two newspapers' ver- sions of the same story and ask, "Who got the story right? What's the truth?" Marin's citation in the hon- orary degree from Catholic The- ological Union also focused on truth. It said in part: "Telling the truth for the sake of the common good is a noble value rooted deep in the well springs of the Bible and at the heart of the Christian tradition. Carol Matin, a consummate journalist and courageous woman of prin- ciple, stands in that tradition. In a world searching for ethical beacons, Carol Matin shines as a bright light .... " Worth men,J00ioning. . . Attend 'Gateway to the Third Millennium' Among 6,000 people attending the "Gateway to the Third Mil- lennium, Second Annual Youth and Family Encounter," in St. Louis, May 23-25, were Joe, Viola and Philip Wagner; Dolores Kuper, Sue Lythgoe, Inez Larkin and Keith Fritz, all from south- western Indiana. According to Joe and Viola Wagner, the conference speakers included Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Jeff Cavins and Father Mar- cial Macial. Father Macial is the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis was the main celebrant and homilist. Sessions planned to help healing after childhood sezu. al abuse Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Evansville is presenting "Possibilities for Healing," a group for women who have experi- enced childhood sexual abuse. The group begins July 24, and will meet every other week for 10 sessions ending Nov. 13. The group will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 123 N.W. Fourth Street, Evansville, under the leadership of Katherine Powell and Gene Schadler. Anyone interested should call Catholic Charities by July 17, at (812) 423-5456. Cookbook to defray costs of medical care "Sharing Favorite Recipes" is the cookbook put together by Evansville resident Sharon Merkel, who has amyotrophic later- al sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). The price of the book is $10 and will help defray expenses of her care. To obtain the cookbook, call the Merkle residence at (812) 479-0676. Diocesan contributions to CHD acknowledged Contributions totaling $15,922 were given to the national Campaign for Human Development from the Diocese of Evans- ville, according to a letter from Father Robert J. Vitillo, CHD executive director. ECHO Health Center onsors Fashion Show and Card Party ECHO Health Center is sponsoring its third annual fashion show and card party, in Johnson Hall at Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, Thursday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. All proceeds go to fund the neighborhood health clinic located at 715 Second Avenue, in the St. Anthony Center for Family Life. Tickets are available from Barbara Kough, (812) 428-2244, Ann Ennis at (812) 963-9575, or Echo Health Center (812) 421-9850.. k. Hormuth Rd., Suite t04 SOU1HWEST BANK WASHINGTON-SHOALS-LOOGOOTEE i WASHINGTON, IN 254.1430 TOU.FREE 1-800-GMC-CHEV , i um, mm Jmam Nk t.mstud Jm i 8{xy206420 30t B S.E. 2st St, 81Z,'2fSTS8 Washington,,tN 47501 FAX $12tZF57S , .j,r L i, Vanderburgh Co. Right-To-Ufe 474-3195 Evansville, Indiana ' , ,,l J