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July 25, 1997     The Message
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July 25, 1997

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Jul I-CAN i I J Indiana Catholic Action Network: A direct impact on legisla By JUDY NEFF Chancellor, Diocese of Evansville. The Indiana Catholic Con- ference (ICC) celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. Formed in 1967, the ICC is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Indiana. It consists of a Board of Direc- tors, professional staff, Dioce- san Coordinators, and active Catholics like you. The Board includes all the active Bishops of Indiana and one lay person from each of the five Indiana dioceses. In the diocese of Evans- ville, the lay board member is Diane Bender and the diocesan coordinator is Judy Neff. Shaping public policy is the responsibility of every person. Our democratic form of govern- ment and our Church both call us to become involved. The Church is not trying to form a religious voting bloc nor tell peo- ple how to vote, but it is analyz- ing political issues from a social and moral point of view. Through the Indiana Catholic Action Net- work (I-CAN), you and other Catholics can have a direct impact on legislative action. How does I-CAN work? Issues important to the Church are selected by the ICC Board of Directors after consul- tation with the Diocesan Coor- dinators and advisors from each diocese. The ICC professional staff then researches and drafts a position statement based on the teachings of the Church as well as pertinent secular infor- mation. Newsletters are sent to I-CAN members outlining the Church's position on each issue and informing them of House and Senate activity as it happens. Before a vote on a key issue takes place, "Action Alerts" are sent through the Network branches notifying each mem- ber to immediately contact their legislators. Review of 1997 General Assembly The priorities approved by the iCC's Board for the 1997 leg- islative session were fairness in education, welfare reform, fam- ily issues, partial-birth abortion ban, and farm counseling. The following is a summary statement of what took place in the General Assembly regarding the priority issues: 1. Fairness in Education -- HB 1001 was passed as part of the budget bill. It provides for a Mentor Teacher Stipend, pay- ment of Advanced Placement test fees, and Free Textbooks for students eligible for free or reduced lunch. 2. Welfare Reform and Fami- lies -- HB 1777 was passed which provides for an earned income tax credit, a homestead tax credit of 10 percent, and an increase of $500 in the income tax deduction for dependents HB 1921 passed and provides for a medicaid hospice payment rate. HB 1265 passed which bans same sex marriage in the state. 3. Partial-Birth Abortion -- HB 1185 was passed which bans partial birth abortion in the state. 4. Farm Counseling --'HB 1001 provides for $175,000 each year of the two-year budget for the farm counseling program. What can you do? 1. Join the Indiana Catholic Action Network (I-CAN) today. 2. Read the I-CAN newsletter which will be mailed to you to stay informed 3. Call other Catholics in your local network to the "Alerts." 4. Contact voice your reasons ing or opposing anissue, i At the present time, the action network in the ville has members from 73 parishes. We have every parish active network. There are to attend. Everything done right from a home. If you are interes joining I-CAN, please the form below and Neff, Catholic 4169, Evansville In the words of Pope Paul II, "Catholics instrumental in social order that dignity of the human serves the So, get involved. Indiana Catholic Action work today ! , . 4(! Religion-health link gaining acceptance, researchers By NANCY FRAZIER ORIEN Catholic News Service their spiritual beliefs. Everett L. Worthington Jr., a psychologist who teaches at Vir- ginia Commonwealth Universi- ty in Richmond, said his mental health working group found a similar mixed bag. Involvement in spirituality and religion translated into "better mental health for many and worse mental health for some," he said. Worthington said a study of 1,900 female twins, published in March 1997 by the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that those with "a high personal devotion to religion" had less stress and less depression. The study of religion's role in avoiding and treating addiction to alcohol, tobacco.and illicit drugs is complicated by the fact that all three "have played a part in reli- gious ceremonies," said William R. Miller, director of the research division of the University of New Mexico's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions. But research shows clearly that "involvement in religious activities is associated with lower rates of substance abuse," he said, and that spiritually rooted programs like Alcoholics Anonymous do help many peo- ple recover from alcohol and drug problems. The fourth working" group looked at the neuroscience of spirituality, despite some initial questions about "whether the two fields could be mixed with- out combustion or explosion," said Dr. Frank Gawin, scientific director of the UCLA VA Med- ical Center in Los Angeles. Gawin said some study is already under way of how processes such as brain-mapping can be used to determine why use of meditation techniques can result in reduced blood pressure in certain patients. But the goal is not to find a "religion pill" that can duplicate the beneficial effects of spiritual- ity in patients without a religious background, said Einda George, associate director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University Medical Center. The goal, she "acknowledge the in patients' lives it into treatment." SlJirituality "has no side-effects, it approval from the FDA, doesn't cost But questions why spiritual some patients and George said.   .... i "There is a paradox people in America cIJ religious, and while enjoy better health as a ] tion group, she said, adding study is needed on conditions religion has a cial effect." K of C hosting state Exemplification in Septern The Msgr. A.G. Sprigler Assembly O f the Fourth Degree Knights of Co}umbus of Evans- ville is hosting the State of Indi- ana Fourth Degree Exemplifica- tion, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14. The ceremonies are used to ini- tiate Third Degree K of C mem- bers into the Fourth Degree. "The Evansville Fourth Degree really feels privileged to host this Exemplification for Indiana," said Father August Busch, who has been involved with the Knights of Columbus for many years as chaplain. "The Evansville Fourth Degree Knights invite all the Third Degree members of the two Evansville councils, and all the councils of southern Indiana. to use this opportunity, right here in Evansville, to join the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus," he said. Father Busch described the Fourth Degree Knights as "a spe- cial group of outstanding Knights dedicated to promoting patrio- tism and upholding the standards of the Catholic faith." He said the programs are "all focused toward the application of Christian and Catholic principles to the Knight's personal and public life. The Fourth Degree Assembly has sponsored an annual high school essay program focused on Catholic patriotism in the United States. The assembly also spon- sors an annual Christmas Right to Life billboard. Members of the Fourth Degree Assembly are available to serve as an honor guard for First Com- munions and Confirmations in the diocese. The being planned Bishop Gerald A. St. Mary Church, Saturday, Sept'. 13, banquet will follow, son Inn, for the Degree candid plification Ceremonies held at the morning. Further details are ! from Pourth Navigator Tony 766-2787, or (812) Poor Clares celebrate centennial series of By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor The Poor Clares of Evansville established a monastery I00 years ago, and members of the community have been observing significant milestones through- out the centennial year of 1997. A celebration is. planned at the new monastery, 6825 Nur- renbern Road, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. -- to commemorate the dedica- tion of the first monastery. The following entries were made in the Annals of the Evansville Poor Clares, which were transcribed from the orig- inal hand-written entries by Sis- ter Catherine Kiske Janewas; a member of the community. Orig- inal spellings and capitaliza- tions are preserved. "On August 12, 1897, the first wing with the Exterior Chapel and the Choir was dedicated by the Most Reverend Silas Chatard, D.D., Bishop of Indi- anapolis, assisted by Rev. Joseph Dickmann, Rev. Kilian Schott, Rev. Joseph Byrne, Very Rev. Athanasious, O.S.B., of St. Meinrad, Very Rev. E. McBar- ron. The blessing of the Chapel, grounds, and Cloister took place at 9:00 a.m. Rev. Charles Clen- ver was celebrant, Rev. Kilian Schott, deacon .... The Bishop occupied the Episcopal Chair and participated in the Cere- monies .... " "We had no furniture, dishes, or food, so the good charitable people of the city gave every- thing to make a suitable dinner for the Most Reverend Bishop and sixteen priests. The kind ladies of the city, particularly Mrs. Sebastian Henrich, Mrs. Keegan, her daughter Miss  HAUBSTADT ELECTRIC Licensed * Bonded * Insured Industrial, ComrnerciaJ and Residential P.O. Box 4O5 TONY NAZARIO Haubstadt, tN 47639 812-768.5207 1-800-766-2787 ii i i ii i i i i i i i i rl Mamie Keegan, hausen, Mrs. Mrs. Rupe, , Ellen Doyle aria lent their table and silverware' the dinner all hand and then Ries sent her whel graciously donation Hwy 57 WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A yearlong review of research into the relationship between spiritu- ality and medicine shows that acceptance of the link is moving from the margins of medicine to the mainstream, according to an expert on the topic. Dr. David B. Larson, president of the National Institute for Health Care Research, spoke at a Washington press conference July 18 at the conclusion of a three-day conference on "Scientific Progress in Spiritual Research." The conference featured reports from four working groups on the effects of religion and spirituality on physical health, mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, and neuro- science. The groups, made up of more than 70 medical and social science researchers from around the country, summarized their findings in a 22-page report. "We have compiled enough evi- dence to suggest that the field of faith and medicine has matured and is now ready for growth," Larson said. "We are placing a wake-up call to the medical and scientific communities to stop, look and listen to the compelling collection of data on this forgot- ten factor in medicine." Dr. Dale A. Matthews, associ- ate professor of medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, said his physical health working group found that existing research supports the link between religious beliefs and reductions in "illness-related risky behaviors" and mortality following cardiac surgery. Church attendance is associat- ed with lower rates of coronary disease, emphysema, cirrhosis, and reduced mortality, he said. "Are all effects of religion on health positive?  Matthews asked. "No. Some studies have found no effect, and sometes religion can have some negative effects on health." As examples, he cited those who refuse vacci- nations or medical treatment for religious reasons and who join in suicide pacts based on