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July 10, 1998     The Message
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July 10, 1998

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• 5 1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Priestly poverty By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER fitting this week to take note of two particular priests that are a source of inspiration. of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood, diocese knelt before the bishop and to him and to his successors. .qSno more powerful symbol of poverty than to the will of another. Any man who is such a commitment makes himself to be a faithful servant-follower of was obedient to death, even to death on on our behalf. us another reminder. In response to ted his willingness to follow Him, r that "the son of man has no place ." Please note that our priests do not in which they lay their heads. When a home, he has none thereafter. He goes ! the Lord bids him. He is dependent upon the serves to provide a worthy place to lay his SUmmer evening, as the return from my neighbors in pow-wows outside doors and discuss the baseball games. I live . fenced in by three each one possessing an boy. By day• these In at 'the ball field, COMMENTARY EPPLER Director, Youth and Formation one of my neighbors our house after a told us about (pointing an as). According 'eighbor• the father had at her son for getting HIS third. In addition to father had yelled angri- the rest What had calmed down was Don Mat- over and telling game." s' among head. No matter how comfortable it may be, it is never his home for it belongs to his people. That too is a sign of poverty. This week, many of our priests are living out these two exemplary qualities. On Wednesday they reported to new assignments in obedience to the bishop. Further, they have moved their personal belong- ings to their new place of residence provided. They are living out Jesus' words about having no place of their own to lay their heads. These examples of priestly poverty are simple to state. The words fail to communicate the human experience involved. The emotions of the priest go on a roller-coaster ride. First, the priest is presented with the possibility of a move, even if he may have asked for it. That alone is stressful. Add to it the prospect of being asked to consider an assignment that may be particu- larly difficult_ Second, a move requires letting go of the familiar and embracing the unfamiliar. It means detaching oneself from practiced routines to being required to adapt to new routines. Third, a priest• by his very personality has forged friendships in his current assignment. These particu: lar friends have provided spiritual nourishment and moral support. He now must ponder the separation that a move requires. He becomes anxious about how he will be received by the folks in his new assign- ment. His self-confidence faces a test. Fourth, some places have nicer quarters than oth- ers. Some are inadequate because of the combination of office and living space with little to no privacy. Some are noisy and provide no space for silent reflec- tion. Why make such a move? Fifth• the priest in most cases is being asked to do more in his new assignment• not less. Why take on more when the past assignment has been comfort- able? Our priests are exemplary. They are demonstrat- ing these two qualifies of •'priestly poverty." They are following Jesus' example of obedience on behalf of others. They are heeding His invitation to follow• knowing all the time that they, too, do not own a place to lay their heads. Our priests have merited our thanks. Let us pledge to them all our prayerful and compassionate support. Practicing radical, baseball our community are exalted and praised. These are the coaches who schedule practices on Sun- day mornings or who make a mandatory meeting on Holy Thursday night. Practicing "fanatical baseball" is when the coaches or parents hit their play- ers or children because they did not live up to athletic expecta- tions. Practitioners of "fanatical baseball" are the parents of ohil- dren who sit in bleachers and scream obscenities at referees because of pe/'ceived injustices. That is "fanatic." The unfortu- nate aspect of this is that the many members of the commu- nity publicly accept this behav- ior as normal• while deep down in their souls, they know that this is unhealthy. Being a "•radical '• is difficult to do. A radical is one who "goes against the grain" or one who "is different" from the culture. Practicing "radical baseball" is just such an attitude or way of being. Practicing radical base- ball has these key components (and I hope you would add a few of your own): • Youth baseball's primary purpose is to elevate and affirm the self-esteem a child has about himself or herself. • Baseball is a life lesson in how to work together• play fair, do the right thing, and to learn from mistakes. • Youth baseball is about learning how to play a game. • Baseball is an opportunity for people to come together for an event where they can be a part of a community and delight in the efforts of their children and the children of the people they are with. • Radical baseball is to say you are proud of your child, especially when your child's mistake "cost" the game. • Radical baseball is to tell your children that you want them to do their best (expecting only their best effort) but prais- ing them for their effort no mat- ter how they performed. • Radical baseball is an opportunity for a parent to con- nect the ordinary events of a game to a deeply spiritual expression of the extraordinary: parents can and should witness their faith to their child in all aspects of this game. • Radical baseball is about these parents is staggering. And in the fading light surrounding the neighborhood, the boys watched from behind curtains as their respective parents waged the political baseball war within the neighborhood. I wish I could say that our experiences of my four-year-old son's tee-ball games were differ- ent. I can't. Tonight• before our family reached home• I had angri- ly remarked to my wife how I was mad at a father from the other team because the father had yelled at his four-year-old son for not hitting a "pitched" ball. I mused to my wife, why do they call it tee-ball? Oddly enough• two of these parents (the one from my son's tee-ball game and the neighbor) both wore bracelets" that stated "WWJD" -- short- hand for "What would Jesus do?" I'm not sure what Jesus would do. But I am starting to come to my own understanding about what I would like to do. I am going to practice my own theo- logical art form: "practicing rad- ical baseball." It is easy enough to confuse "fanatics '• with those who are "radicals." Sports "fanatics" in confronting parents in the bleachers who scream at coach- es, children• and referees and mirroring back to them what asses they are making of them- selves. • Radical baseball is to see baseball as one small piece of a child's development• and to encourage other areas, such as reading, arts, science• music, mechanical arts, conversation, manners, and critical thinking. Jesus was a radical. He went against the grain of the accept- ed customs of his culture. As Christians ourselves• doesn't it behoove us to go against the grain and practice a little radi- cal baseball? I have mentioned that I am "practicing." I am nowhere near perfecting my skills or qualifies. But I try. What would Jesus do? Mike and Mariah Eppler are the parents of two boys, Noah and Mark. They practice radical baseball with their sons on the north side of Evansville. Mike is the Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Formation. Mariah is a Special Edu- cation Teacher with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corpyration. page 4 at its headquarters Germany. Chancellor Helmut sion to assert already was gain- worldwide as an - to the U.S. dollar. world's lead- currency. Many • the Vatican City State keep substantial dollars rather than use every day. 5zoka, }f the Pontifical Corn- the Vatican City former head of the budget management interview that kgvp rvserves in German marks, Japanese yen and other currencies. "The Vatican would convert its dollars to euros only if the euro actually overtakes the dol- lar as a world reserve currency," the cardinal said. "But we're getting way ahead of ourselves if we talk about that now." There's another matter which Cardinal Szoka said could not be determined at the moment: whether the Vatican would print and mint its own bills and coins if it switched to euros. Periodically there are new col- lectors' sets of Vatican coins, in Various Italian lira denomina- tiox, with Drtraits of flw current fxpe and views o such famous landmarG as St. i'eer s |uare. The Vatican also mints gold coins for special occasions'- their raritv, weight and purity make them worth more than face value. They, too, are desig- nated in lira. Once the lira is gone in mid- 2002, the Vatican will no longer create coins in that currency. But this might not be the end of the Vatican mint. Here's why: By law; each of the II countries participating in EMU will have the right to produce its own euros, with its own painters, leaders, scientists and other luminaries featurtl on the back. Meanwhile. iPentical imags will be stamped on the front of euro coin and bills throughout the continent. on New Year's Day 2002, consumers all start using the euro along with their own tamitiar corns and bills. Euros will flow from the banks overtaking the escudos, pesetas, marks and so on now in circulation. After six months, the different existing currencies will cease to be legal tender, and the ll dif- ferent kinds of euro will be there to stay. Eventualb,, of course, the euro coins and bills of all lands will intermingle  so that French philo.phers, for exampte, will wind up face-down in Belgian tills. Vatican fgank exe:utive Caloia said if the Vatican maintains its agreement to share the curren- m" o[ Ital it might also contin- ue to mint its own coins -- bu4 Ln el.lros. To date, no one has designed any Vatican euro-coins. Caloia estimated that the process of selecting and commissioning artists, perfecting the designs on paper, creating the molds and stamping out the money could take "maybe two or three years" from start to finish. So will a decision be made in • the next ),ear or two on whether the Vatican will participate in the euro  and if , mint is Oft mfev? 'Prumablv that is what we will do/" Caloia fid. "Preum- ab|v V"