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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
July 25, 1997     The Message
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July 25, 1997
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Vincent de Paul Jasper facility will provide room for community food bank HUGHES staff writer that we do the right thing." About 150 customers shop daily. "We have many, many people shopping, and it&apos;s won- derful how the Lord has helped US." The retail center offers "cloth- ing, odds and ends, furniture, curtains, bedding, beds and appliances." In May, a groundbreaking cer- emony was held for a building which will house a community food bank and an area for sort- ing, storing, cleaning and fixing items donated to St. Vincent de Paul. The store will remain in its current location. Martha believes the new facil- ity will be finished in October. work, but it's a labor Martha Howard of as co-manager at the de Paul Store in and her husband have served as Jasper store six years. "My hus- feel inadequate in store, but the it." their days are [ days. We always pray the store, and the in the store, and ceremonies are held at for the new St. Vin- Paul Store in Jasper. The new facility will house and sorting areas, a food bank and a maintenance store will remain in its current location. At right Seifert, Steve Howard, co-manager, Orville L council president, Jim Stenftenagel, store Bill Schmitt, Jasper mayor, and Martha Co-manager. urveys uncover widespread confusion on Communion N.Y. (CNS)- series of discussions in Rochester r reached one a lot of con- Communion. people have a little but not everybody Fit, said Joan Work- of the Office of of the Diocese of "Even some of the f the diocese say (of that can't yes it is." SCussions and evalua: Sunday liturgies at Over the past year- df recently led to the new document y of the Sun- arist: Guidelines for wine become the body and blood of Christ. "There's a lot of confusion over the whole issue of real presence, how that is defined and under- stood," Workmaster said. At the eight parishes studied thus far, parishioners filled out evaluations forms that included a question on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. "It's interesting the number of people, 60 to 65 percent, who have indicated they do not believe this," Workmaster said. Those results were consistent from parish to parish and between age groups, she added. Those results parallel that of a poll conducted by The New York Times/CBS News in April 1994. Of Catholics surveyed, 34 percent said they believe the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. while 63 per- cent said they are just svmbolic reminders of Jesus. "That's frightening," said e office staff mem- :,red confusion teaching of the Church -- that dur- the bread and Franciscan Sister Ann Rehrauer, associate director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for the Liturgy, regarding such survey results. The surveys indicate "we have some major work in help- ing people to understand what happens when we celebrate the Eucharist,  she said. "This isn't just a reminder of something that happened historically." The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" is clear about what happens at the Mass. "At the heart of the eucharistic cele- bration are the bread and wine that, by the word of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. become Christ's body and blood," it says in paragraph 1333. Other parts of the church's eucharistic teachings also are nol clearly understood, particu- larly those pertainimz t<, mter- conmmnion. According to the catechism. not only is the Eucharist the body and blood of Christ, it is "properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the church." This understanding is part of the reason the church limits intercommunion. New guidelines issued by the U.S. bishops last November state that the Catholic Church does not object to reception Of Communion at a Catholic Mass by members of certain specified churches, but it urges those Christians to respect the disci- pline of their own churches. The guidelines cite specifically the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church -- churches which Rome has judged clearly to have true sacraments, above all ordained priesthood in apostolic succes- sion and the Eucharist. The church" does allow people of other Christian churches to rece_ive Catholic Comnmnion in a few limited circumstances. such as danger of death or unavailability of ministers of their own fifith, and when they are "properly disposed" and share the Catholic understand- ing of the Eucharist. orkmaster noted, for exam- ple, that soldiers in combat situ- ations could receive, and Sister Rehrauer cited nursing home residents. But the bishops' guidelines state that =members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Communion." And the church does not allow Catholics to receive Com- munion in these other churches for the same reasons, except under similar exceptional cir- cumstances. Intercommunion is |So"not generally permitted at weddings and funerals -- two instacvs in which some Catholics think the rules are relaxed. Sister Rehrauer said an excvp- tion is made for a non-Catholic spouse ifthat spouse specifically requests permission to receive Communion, has a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist and the bishop of the diocese grants his permission. But that permission is not extended to other non-Catholic members of the congregation, she said. Another common misconcep- tion is that Catholics who divorce are not allowed to receive Com- munion. Workmaster said that civil divorce does not separate a per- son from the church and the sacraments. A divorced person is prohibited from receiving Communion only if he or she marries a different person with- out first receiving an annulment for the first marriage and the first spouse is still alive. Some people also think they may not receive Communion if they have not been to confession in a while. Such is not the case. Wm'kmaster said. "Confession belbre Commu- mon is necessary only for seri- ous sin, morlal sin." she said. "When we understand what is happening in the Eucharist, w,, offer ourselves along with the sacrifice of Christ. In the doing of that we oftbr all that we art and God accepts us in whatever state we are." Sister Rehrauer said the con- fusion concerning the Eucharist may be due in part to the church's focus on other issues in recent years and that more. attention to this central teaching is needed. "I wonder if in the last num- ber of years somehow we haven't been clear enough on some of the doctrinal issues as we haste been, say, on social justice,  she specu. lated. *Or did we just assume people would know.  She said on a national level, preparation for the millennium would likely include materials on the Eucharist. Meanwhile, in dealing with current confusions over rules concerning who can receive Corn. reunion, Workmster advised pastoral sensitiv, AII of tho kinds of situa- tions, none of us can really judge what is in another's heart," she said.