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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
July 28, 1989     The Message
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July 28, 1989

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4 i Editorial By PAU[, LEINGANG Message Editor Thet Me,sspge -: lot Catholicsnf Southwestern !/rldina ? I i f ..... ' 'itlil" I ' r  I h Ii, |i[ii' i ,il I L III Losing a sense of risk, gaining a sense of faith 00JOv 2s, 009s9 The ladder started sliding to the right before my foot touched the roof on the left. Two weeks earlier, it would not have happened that way. Nothing bad actually happened, but for just one heartbeat, the fear of failing filled me, froze me, found me off-balance. Painting the house is what was the occasion of my latest opportunity for learning. It is a two-story house with many windows. Our next door neighbor and one of our sons have done much of " the work, preparing the house, scraping old paint, priming areas where the bare wood was exposed and applying the final coat of new paint, I have done my part on weekends, evenings and two days of vacation. We bought an extension'ladder for the occa- sion,. ong enough to reach the tip of the gable on the tallest side of the house. The first time we set up the ladder, I was surprised: the house we have lived in for more than a year is a lot higher than I though t it was. The extension ladder was almost full), extended before it touched the edge of the rOOL Testing the ladder, I climbed slowly up a few rungs at first, then climbed back down to take another look at the ladder and the angle at which it leaned against the house. It seemed safe, with the bottom of the ladder away from the house at a distance which was equal to one-fourth of the height of the house. That's what the directions said. I climbed back up, slowly, halfway up. The view was less than spectacular -- tree branches, ladder rungs, a house that needed to be painted. I climbed up higher, leg muscles more tense than they should have been, I thought. At the roof, I stopped to rest, to look around, to look at the wood that needed paint, at the house that needed our attention. The view was better, but it was the ladder and the house it leaned against that demanded most of my attention. It took almost as long to climb down as it did to climb up. First efforts always seem to take so much longer. A week later, the climb took no time at all. It was not only the fact that unused muscles had begun to become accustomed to the work. It was more important that the sense of risk had diminished. Another week later, too much of the sense of risk had disappeared. I was careless, in a rush to finish one last task for the day. As surprised as I once was about the height of the house, so surprised was I about the depth of my stupidity. I was spared the full experience of my new knowledge. The ladder stopped sliding as my foot found security, and the moment passed. Once again, 1 appreciated the sense of risk involved in climbing a ladder. It seems a little like faith. Once the decision is made to trust the ladder, each new step adds a lit- tle risk, until we allow it to become commonplace. As the risk diminishes, so does the understanding that it is the ladder which is holding us up. It seems also a little like the relationship with another. The rising risk of revealing oneself to another is easily forgotten in the comfort of carelessness. It is good to be reminded that our faith in God and our love for each other both require some attention. i i Vatican Letter Back to school for U.S. Bishops this August in Rome By GREG ERLANDSON Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- This August in Rome as many as 67 U.S. bishops will go back to school for four weeks of theological updating and discussion. [Bishop Gerald A. Gettel- finger of Evansville plans to be among them.) Also scheduled to attend the program are Baltimore's new Archbishop William H. Keeler, Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb of Mobile, Ala., Archbishop Ed- ward T. O'Meara of In- dianapolis, Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco and Ar- chbishop Patrick F. Flores of San Antonio, among others. Because of the bishops' de- manding schedules, cancella- tions are always expected up to the last few days before the pro- gram begins, noted Father Stephen Orr. Father err is vice rector of North American College, which is hosting the bishops. North American College, vh,M ESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47724-0109 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evarmvi//e. Publisher .... Bishop Gerldd A. Gattelfinger Aasocata Pub/lsher .... Ray. Jo Zlllak Editor .................. Paul Lalngang Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger ClrJAdv. Mgr ........... Paul A. New/and Address all communications to P.O. Box 4189, EvansWlle, IN 477240189. Phone (812) 424-6536. Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Entered as 2nd ckum matter at the poet of. floe In Evansville, IN 47701. Pulcatlon number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Offloe of Publication. 11989 Call.k: P,'II of Evmlavilte i i i known by its inhabitants as the NAG is the seminary residence in Rome funded by the U.S. hierarchy. For one month the bishops will put their hectic schedules on hold in order to live together, studytogether and talk to each other about the church and its place in the con- temporary world. This unusual sabbatical will be the fifth of its kind since 1974, when the rector of the North American College, who now is Cardinal James A. Hickey of Washington, in- stituted the series, formally known as "The U.S. Bishops' Theological Consultation." The four-week program will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 22. The "primary goal" of the program is "to give the bishops an opportunity to be together for an extended period of time" and develop "a deepening sense of fraternity among themselves," said Father err. The program also allows bishops a chance to "share and discuss a variety of theological topics," he said. This year's theme -- "The Church in the Contemporary World" -- was chosen with an eye to the 1989 bicentennial of the establishment of the U.S. hierarchy, Father err said. While the theme stresses the contemporary, many of the talks will dwell on the history of the church. In classrooms at the 438-year- old Gregorian University, the bishops will listen to and discuss presentations by a number of theologians, in- cluding Sulpician Father Ray- mond Brown and Jesuit Father Gerald O'Collins. A noted biblical scholar, Father Brown will discuss the New Testament church and to- day's church. Father O'CoUins, dean of theology at the Gregorian and author of several books on Christology and the Resurrec- tion, will also discuss the New Testament church. Divine Word Father John Fuellenbach will talk about the biblical foundation of social justice ministry; Jesuit Father George Ashenbrenner, the spiritual director at North American College, will discuss current trends, in North American spirituality. Jesuit Father Francis Sullivan, author of the book "Magisterium," will discuss the spirituality of St. Paul, and Jesuit Father Gerald Fogerty will discuss the "mutual understanding between the Ho- ly See and the U.S. church." Five days a week the bishops will hear one presentation each morning, then discuss the sub- ject for the rest of the day. During their stay in Rome, the bishops will reside only two blocks away from the Gregorian, at Casa Santa Maria dell'Umilta, a house for the North American College's graduate students. With Roman university classes not beginning until Oc- tober, the case's empty rooms will be opened to the bishops. The college is the appropriate sponsor of such a program for bishops. So many future church leaders have spent time at the NAG that if the college had been located in Los Angeles, it would be known as the Seminary of the Stars. Many of the bishops, arch- bishops and cardinals in the U.S. hierarchy attended the NAC, and it is still the place where a bishop is likely to send a seminarian who may have a future curial career in store. While the quality of the education at pontifical univer- sities is subject to debate, it is in Rome that seminarians get a firsthand look at the universal church in all of its cultural, racial and ritualistic diversity. It is also the place where Vatican officials have a chance to meet fast-track seminarians. They may later b invited to work in a Vatican congregation or in the diplomatic service. The NAG, founded in 1859, is funded for and administered by the American bishops, although it is technically a pon- tifical institution. For nearly the first hundred years of its existence it was located at the Casa Santa Maria, a former Visitandine convent given to the U.S. bishops by Pope Plus IX. U.S. seminarians sought to repay the pope's generosity in 1870 when 13 of them tried to volunteer for the papal army to resist the invasion of Rome by the forces of the king of Italy. Pope Plus refused their offer. In 1953 the college moved to its present site on the Janiculum Hill overlooking the Vatican. This summer's theological consultation will not be the col- lege's only event marking the bicentennial of. the U.S. hierar- chy. In fall the college will commemorate the bicentennial with a series of speeches by such noted U.S. Catholics ::m Supreme Court Judge Antouin Scalia and Jesuit Father William J. Byron, president of The Catholic University of America. Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: