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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
August 14, 1998     The Message
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August 14, 1998

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By MARY ETTA KIEFER, O.S.B. Message Staff Ninety-year-old Ferdinand school falls r a scattering of folk gath- early on the morning of 5, when razing began old Ferdinand school bravely the new spiritual life offering a cheerful note out of place. People quietly, watching the long arm to corner of the and bite off a chunk at powerful hose was on the work in progress, dust at a minimum. The moved efficiently, its way through the the buildhlg, biting off roof, and bump- chimney so that it col- into the building cavity. front-end loader was to clear away from the path of the Caterpillar operating as Phil Kreilein, pastor of noted that there in the church tower, videotaping the Feelings intensified in recent weeks among preservationists as well as among the proponents of demolition, and rumors circulat- ed the day before work began that a human chain would encir- cle the building to prevent the onset of the project. No such protest took place, however. It is said that Lechner&apos;s, the firm in charge of the demolition, had asked local police for protection overnight for the equipment which waited at the job site, but the site remained peaceful The demolition of the old school and building of the new spiritual life center were part of an'overall parish plan respond- ing to the need for space to accommodate parish programs. As the morning hours passed, work progressed rapidly and larger numbers of people came to the site. Onlookers remained quiet, exchanging few com- ments. Just watching. Several people spoke to the Message about their stake in the historic building. "All my children went to school there," one said. Another spoke of the loss to the parish h'hd }Own of the 1908. landmark. Several felt that the building should have been Heavy equipment opens the old Ferdinand school building at the southeast comer Wednes- day morning, August 5, beginning the two-day demolition project. Notice the church bell tower on the left, with two open louvers where parish- ioners are videotaping the project. -- Message photo by Mary Etta Kiefer, O.S:B. saved to "use for something," but most felt it was futile to pursue the old argument in light of the stark picture before their eyes. On the next hill at Monastery Immaculate Conception, there was an atmosphere of sad res- ignation. Many of the Benedic- tine Sisters who taught there have died, but many remain. When a few of the sisters gath- ered on the monasteXy c91n- nade for a view of the sci601 S See FERDINAND page 16 ops" official, said that Father John Kiongo, 47, a diocesan priest in Nairobi, was visiting his brother who works in the US. Embassy when the bomb went off. "He said he heard what sounded like a gunshot, and then he felt the force of the blast and was thrown out the building through a win- dow," Father Ruwa said Aug. 10. At Kenyatta national hospital, Father Kiongo was rgnized by a priest visiting injured vic- tims and was transferred to Mater Misericordiae Catholic hospital, Father Ruwa said. Father Kiongo has facial injuries and has had surge on his right arm and hand, the secretary- general added. The day of the explosion, Father Ruwa spoke of "blood all over the place" at Mater Miseri- cordiae. Nairobi hospitals were flood- ed by people with relatives or friends in Ufundi House or the U.S. Embassy, he said. Hospital staff made lists of people admit- ted and discharged "to try to make things easier {or relatives" of potential victims, Father Ruwa said. He and other priests joined hospital chaplain "doing our best to calm patients," Father Ruwa said, adding that an emer- gency call had been made to all medical staff in the city to help at the hospitals. "Everybtxiy has resp<mded to the calls for help," Father Ruwa said. As well as ministering to the survivors, Father Ruwa also searched Nairobi hospitals {or a nun who works Ufundi House, which was leveled by the blast. St. Joseph Sister Monica Mwadime, who works for a ' urdon in Ufundi Hcmse, left the building at 9".30 a.m, an hour befoce the bomb went off. "We were very worded about her, and I went to two hotals trying to find her, but we aldn't find her name an" he sid. Laler in the da ,Vler Mwadime returned to her convent in Mombasa Archdiocese, from where she contacted those searching for her. A lifetime of faith ................. .... Page3 NFP or In vitro: A com. .. ,.,  . , Page 10 New priests 'older, more diveme' ...... Page 13 , ttw Message, RO. Box 4169, Evans- 169. Telephone (812) 424-5536, or toll-free in lndi- 173 I. E-mail addn-.s: -ssagr@d' 15 a holy day? August 15, is the Feast of the Assumption of our a solemnity, but not a day of "obligation," accord- William Deering, diocesan dLrector of worship. Kenya (CNS)- Paul II and Kenyan the bomb- U.S. embassies in and Tanzania, describing rnes as "heinous" and ;solace to victims. messages sent in offered prayers victims and denounced as an "incompre- on life." Kenyan bishops linked "to international ter- fanaticism and funda- Kenyan police said was aimed at the U.S. but Ufundi House t houses offices a Secretarial college, took explosion. Michael Ruwa, secre- f the Kenyan bish- described House as "the busiest in the city." message to Kenyan Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana'a Nzeki of Nairobi, Pope John Paul was said to be deeply saddened at an acts of violence. The two nearly simul- taneous explosions Aug. 7 left more than 200 dead and more than 5,000 injured, mostly in Kenya. Twelve Americans were among those killed. "Once more (the pope) strong- ly condemns all deeds of wanton aggression and violence, and he calls on the international com- munity to work together and redouble efforts aimed at build- ing a world of peace and justice, in which such offenses to human life and dignity will have no place," said the message sent Aug. 8. A similar papal message to Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Dares-Salaam, Tanzania, called the bombing there a "heinous crime" and called on all men and women to "reject the ways of violence and be ever more committed to building a world of peace and justice for all." An Aug. 10 statement from the Kenyan bishops said the church "joins the Kenyan and entire international community in mourning the deaths of inno- cent victims" in "this heinous act against humanity." It praised the swift rescue oper- ation led by Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, police, military, medical teams, hospital staff "and the brave and courageous combined efforts" of everyone who rescued the victims. It said the bishops also com- mended "the highly humanitar- ian response and presence of international rescue team from the United States, Israel, South Africa and France." The church "calls for an inten- sive global mobilization to bring terrorists to book, curtail further. acts of terrorism and bring justice to the world," the statement said. Sending "prayerful condo- lences" to the bereaved and wishing all the injured a quick recovery, the bishops" confer- ence said the church had mobi- lized its 50 parish centers in the Nairobi area and all its chap- lains and volunteers to offer spiritual care and counseling to those affected by the blast. "Also church medical hospi- tals and facilities are available in this time of emergency," it added. Father Ruwa, the Kenyan bish- Kenyan bishops condemn explosions at embassies