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Evansville, Indiana
July 17, 1992     The Message
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July 17, 1992
 

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ql) 10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana By FR. WILLIAM DEERING Director of Worship A recent issue of The Message (June 26, 1992) reported on the Bishops' meeting at Notre Dame. Included in the report were the results of some re- search by Sister Eleace King regarding Evangeliza- tion. She recounted to the bishops that in her first six months of visiting immigrant ethnic parishes in eight dioceses not a single parishioner in a sin- gle parish she visited greeted her. "This (failure of Catholic congregation, -to welcome people) is an indictment of all of us," she said. This is probably an experience shared by most Catholics while celebrating Eucharist in a parish other than one'; own. (Perhaps it even hap- pens at the home parish.) This is truly unfortunate because under such circumstances it is difficult to have a sense of be- longing to this gathering of God's people. And yet, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal states in number ~2: "In the celebration of Mass the faithful are a holy people, a people God has made his own, a royal priesthood; they give thanks to the Father and offer the victim not only through the hands of the priest but. also to~e h r with him and learn to offer themselves. They should endeavor to make this clear by their deep sense of reverence for God and their charity to- ward all who share with them in the celebration " Being warmly welcomed in to such a gather- ing gives one the sense that it is important for him/her to be there joining in the celebration. Charity has been extended; hospitality has been Hospitality: Greeting the Lord practiced. The readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Or- dinary Time, Cycle C, are to be proclaimed on Sunday, July 19. Both the reading from the Book of Genesis and from the Gospel of Luke highlight the importance of being hospitable. They seem to indicate that one meets God when one practices hospitality. The reading from Genesis begins: "The Lord appeared to Abraham...as he sat in the entrance of his tent,..Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby..." And the story goes on. He met the Lord in the strangers. Martha and Mary welcome Jesus, and each in her own way is receiving Jesus with love, making him feel welcomed into their home. It is in welcoming one another that we also meet the Lord in our midst. Where two or three are gathered his name, there he is. If you were in Mary and Martha's shoes how would you treat Jesus? The answer to that question is the answer to the question of how are we to treat one another when we gather as a Eucharistic community. In 1990 the Secretaries of the National Litur- gical Commissions of Europe issued the docu- ment: Leading the Prayer of God's People. At the beginning of "Part 2: General Guidelines" we read: "The one who presides at a Christian as- sembly does not simply present himself before the gathered people as a total stranger. As far as possible, he will welcome the faithful as they gather, greet them warmly and make them feel truly at home as members of God's family in God's house." "The presider will not do this alone, but sur- rounded by all those who are to carry out the ministries during the celebration. This will usu- ally be a fairly sizeable group of people." The Pastoral Introductions that are included in the Third Progress Report on the Revision of the Roman Missal have the following to say on the topic of hospitality: "...The people are assem- bling to share in a supper as sisters and brothers. They will appreciate this more readily if they are made welcome by representatives of the commu- nity and acknowledged informally by their neighbors." Parishes that do this well go a long way in drawing people to the Lord. This becomes part of their ministry of Evangelization; not only do the ' "regulars" feel like they are part of one another, the stranger feels like one who belongs because he/she has been put at ease and has been drawn into the celebration. The hospitable parish is faithful to the com- mand of St. Paul to "welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, to the glory of God." (Romans 15:7) We can do so much for one another just by greeting one another. It is 1~ the hospitality of others that we experience a welcoming God. And it is in welcoming one another that we welcome the Lord. Lilly Endowment grants $ 450,000 for research on religious orders CHICAGO (CNS) -- The Lilly Endowment has given a $451,261 grant to a Chicago Catholic university to dissem- inate the findings of a study, "The Future of Religious Or- ders in the United States." The grant went to DePaul University's Center for Ap- plied Social Research to pub- lish the results of a national survey and in-depth inter- views of religious leaders across the country. Vincentian Father David Nygren, director of the center, and St. Joseph Sister Miriam Ukeritis, director of DePaul's Institute for Leadership of Re- ligious Organizations, de- signed the survey. They sent it to a random sampling of 9,999 men and women reli- gious, about 7 percent of all the religious in the country. They also designed and conducted the in-depth inter- views with superiors and other leaders of religious or- ders. "Our intention is to help members of religious orders identify and embrace ways to revitalize many of their com- munities," Sister Ukeritis said. She said the findings "will contribute to understanding how changes in religious life --will affect education, health, social service institu- tions and organizations." "We plan to release our findings in September," Fa- ther Nygren said. He said they have scheduled a na- tional teleconference Oct. 3 to discuss the results with reli- gious audiences. The Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based private foundation with a long-stand- ing interest in religious Jubilarians Fourteen Sisters of Providence celebrate their golden anniversaries with Sister Nancy Nolan, general superior, standing, far left, at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. They are, front row, from left, Sisters Ann Patrick McNulty, Miriam Therese Greb, Helen Black, Eleanor Pierce, Marie Kevin Tighe, Thomasine Griffin, Bernice O'Neill, back row, from left, Agnes Eugene Cordak, Mary Magdalen Schwartz, Mary Slattery, Margaret Ringe, Mary Pat Cummings, Dorothy Eve- lyn Laughlin and Alma Marie Earus. Sister Mary Ellen Quinn is not in the photo. 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