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July 10, 1998     The Message
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July 10, 1998

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July The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana A reading from a letter to... By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor I saw something I shouldn't have seen. But I couldn't keep myself from looking. What I saw were some words written on a scrap of paper. It was a note, a kind of adolescent love let- ter. It wasn't mushy. I had found the note on a closet shelf in a guest room at a Kentucky state park. The note had been written on a paper scrap, a small sheet from the kind of note pad that you find next to a telephone. If it had been in the trash can, I wouldn't have looked at it. But it was up on a closet shelf, and I thought there was something unusual about it. So I opened it up and read the private words. The note was signed by the sender, who had the misfor- tune of being attracted to a girl whose name he did not know. His note was addressed to "Older Daugh- ter" and it had probably been slipped under the door of the guest room occupied by the family. "I don't know if you remember me," the writer began, "but we met at the pool last night and you said we would go run about 5:30." If my guess is correct, the young man was not up and about at 5:30, and had apparently missed his chance to spend more time with the "older daughter." So he added, "here's my address if you want to write me." It is remotely possible that the recipient of the note copied down the address before she wadded up the note and tossed it into the closet. But I doubt it. It is also possible that she never even saw it at all. Maybe the mother or the father of the "older daugh- ter" found the note and threw it away. Or maybe a jealous "younger daughter" found it and made sure that her big sister never had the chance to see it. The note-writer included his name, address and phone number -- so I guess I could contact him and ask him if he ever made his hoped-for connection. Wouldn't that be embarrassing! In many ways, God writes to us. The words of our sacred scriptures are addressed to each of us, inviting us to make contact. God calls us, too, in the voices of the people around us. We are invited to respond to the love of God by sharing our food with the hungry, our posses- sions with the needy, our forgiveness with the guilty and our time with the lonely. And our God knows each of us by name. When is the last time you wrote a letter? Or responded to one? How has e-mail affected your con- nections with family and friends? Think about the people you know, in or in your neighborhood. Who has the capability, of being able to communicate? In your acquaintance, who are the efforts at communication are ignored? =l- I(. Take the time today to send a love-letter. Read one of the letters of St. Paul to the communities. Think about its meaning Take the time to help someone else Help a child write a thank-you letter for. a gift home-bound neighbor to keep in touch and family. "- ' : Send a letter to a lonely person in a facility. Write to someone in prison.  "' Write a letter, or send e-mail, to someone needs encouragement. Help someone who is homeless need to make connections Help someone who is "voiceless" cumstances of prejudice or discrimination. Listen to "the cry of the poor" name of the Lord. Comments about this column are welcome at or the Christian Family Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Currency quandary: Vatican considers how to handle By LYNNE WEIL Catholic News Service VATICAN crrY (CNS) m July 1, 2002, is D-day for the euro, the single monetary unit meant to replace the currencies of 11 Euro- pean countries. And on that date, the Vatican's current currency of choice will be worthless. One of the places where old cash systems will be eliminated by the new European money is Italy. And by a long-standing agreement with the government in Rome, the Vatican City State now does much of its business in Italian liras. Liras are paid to everyone working in the Vatican, from the humblest gardener to heads of the Roman Curia. And because it has to import just about everything it con- sumes, the world's smallest country uses Italian liras almost exclusively to buy its supplies. SO within the next four years, Vatican financial planners need 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville ................................... Paul Neland Stf Wr ............................ Mary Ann Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansvitle, iN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as penoOcaJ triter at tr post offce in Evansle IN4T701 PuOc, ation nurr/ler84380 Pastrn..ter: Reum POD forms 3579 to Office of Cooyr, 1'9 Catric Press of Etanswlle to work out exactly how to han- dle the advent of the euro. "Since the euro is taking over as the European currency, we have to deal With it," said Ange- lo Caloia, who heads the super- visory council of the Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank. "We are still in the process of decid- ing how to deal with it." Caloia told Catholic News Service in June that "some tech- nical improvements which con- cern our information system" were just getting started. In other words, accounting soft- ware was to be adapted so that matters such as conversion rates among currencies and interest could be calculated in euros. 'But he and other Vatican authorities say more decisions will have to be made before the lira becomes extinct. Nearly three decades of treaties and meetings have pro- duced the euro and the 11-mem- ber European Monetary Union. But the question of converting from liras to euros became more than theoretical only this past May, when Italy officially was named an EMU participant. Soon there will be several big steps in the euro's development, and the Vatican has to keep up with them. Beginning in January 1999, banks and stock exchanges in the 11 EMU-member countries will be using euros, and certain instruments ment bonds ed in the new currenCY' At the same exchange countries will be European Central start setting interest controlling mc .... all 11 countries. Bankers and heads from EMU gathered June 30 to See = Father Dietzen column needs "further definition: himself taught, of which the offering for the celebration of Masses is an outstanding form." In the official commentary published with this Ekcree, Arch- bishop Gilberto Agustoni, then- secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, speaks of a need for doctrinal clarity regarding the inexhaustible merits "of the one sacrifice of the cross, the celebra- tion of the sacrament of that one sacrifice which Christ entrusted to the Church and about the the- saurus ecclesiae [treasury of the Church] which the Church has at her disposal." Archbishop Agus- toni further notes that we cannot forget that "Catholic doctrine has constantly taught that the fruits of the Eucharistic sacrifice can be attributed to first of all to those Church he 'intercessions' prayer, then to the minister (the al fruit), then tc offering." The question tions or offerings important Vatican Decree mentary, cited and clearly teaching on the subjeo,. Pro! To the Editor:. I write in reference to a recent column by Father John Dietzen entitled, "The Meaning of Mass Offerings." For some time now, I have enjoyed reading Father Dietzen's offerings in the Catholi press. But I do feel that in this important area, some fur- ther definition might be helpful. Father Dietzen readily acknowl- edges that "the Church makes it lawful for a priest to accept an offering to apply the Mass according to a definite intention (Canon 945)." However, Father Dietzen con- tinues: "As one canon law expert put it, Mass offerings can be understood as 'gifts to the Church or its ministers on behalf of some intention, much as a donation or bequest is made to any charitable institution in the name of some person."" I believe that Father Dietzen refers to the commentary of Father John Huels, O.S.M., pub- lished in 1985. I do not believe that this quotation .reflects the current, or indeed traditional, teaching of the Church on Mass offerings. Such an offering is much more than "a donation or bequest [which] is made to any charitable institution in the name of some person." I refer to a Decree of the Con- gregation for the Clergy, which was ordered promulgated by Pope john Paul II on January 22, 1991. This Decree opens with these words: "It is the Church's constant practice, as Paul VI wrote in the motu proprio Firma in Traditione, that 'the faithful, desiring in a religious and eccle- sial spirit to participate more intimately in the Eucharistic sac- rifice, add to it a form of sacri- fice of their own by which they contribute in a particular way to the needs of the Church and especially to the sustenance of her ministers" (Acta Apostolicae Sedis vol. 66 0974), p. 308). The Decree concludes by call- ing on bishops for a "specific catechesis" on this topic of Mass intentions which should include "the deep theological meaning of the offering given to the priest for the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice" and "the ascetical importance of almsgiv- ing in Christian life, which Jesus The Installation of Prioress, Monastery tion, Saturday, July 11, 2 p.m. Dedication of Spiritual Life Center, St. Ferdinand, Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. Depart for Philmont Training Center, Boys America, Cimarron, N.M., Sunday, July 12. Vacation, July 16 through July 29.