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August 14, 1998     The Message
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August 14, 1998
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August Sunday morning reflections By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor The parking lot was empty as I drove up towards the store. It was not open yet, early on a Sunday morning. I was looking for some wood filler to patch the holes in an outside wall, where I had removed some old window-box planters. It was the kind of job that had waited for me all summer long, and it became of greater urgency as the end of summer grew near. The hardware store was not open until 10, according to the sign on the door, so I drove toward a small neighborhood grocery store, hoping that I might find what I needed in the clutter of household items which I knew were sold there. But the grocery store, too, had not yet opened on this early Sunday morning -- so I continued my search. I went to a large store catering to the needs of rural and urban customers -- the kind of place that has plants, concrete blocks, farm animal veterinary supplies, hardware, machine tools and snacks. I arrived 15 minutes before it opened, so I drove away from that store, too, and went to a nearby gas station. There I found people ready and willing to pro- vide the services I needed. I filled the gas tank of our minivan and paid the cashier -- with minutes more to spare before any of the stores would be open. I checked out an oil-change place, to see if I could take advantage of the quiet time  but the doors were locked and the sign informed me that this mod- em convenience location was closed on Sunday. Back to the rural supply store I went. It was open, and I was able to find the wood dough filler that I had gone to find nearly an hour earlier. The young woman who checked my purchases at the cashier's counter did not seem very happy. But I had gotten what I "needed" and I went on my way, back home, to work on the project I wanted to finish before going to Mass at 10:30. =6 =(-  What's wrong with this picture? And how much have I contributed to the loss of Sunday from society? Perhaps I am showing some signs of age, but Sunday mornings used to be much different. When did we come to expect that hardware stores and "gro- cery stores and gas stations ought to be open? When did minimum wage paying jobs become attractive enough, or important enough, to bring peo- ple to work at a time when many others were "going to church?" Is Sunday morning fading into quaint history? Into the distant past when people went to church and had "chicken every Sunday?" When families ate meals together? Pope John Paul II has encouraged Catholics and other residents of the world today to re-evaluate Lord's Day. How do you spend it? = :6 =(. Take the time today to review and way you use the days of the week. What was like when you grew up? What is it like today? Are you pleased or displeased with the way our times have changed? ! How does the worship service of your tion "fit in" to your week? Do you go to the sake of convenience or commitment? What memories and traditions do you the youth of today? For your children? For generation? ..... If you find the business of Sunday disturbing, take an action to improve the world around your home or in your neighborhood. Worship er as a family. Re-establish Sunday dinner or an afternoon desert or something). Make your opinions known to business that all employees should have day of worship and relaxation in accord with faith traditions. Lead by your own example. Take the make a difference. Comments about this column are welcome at prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Albright: Trying to involve U.S. public in global June. He was reporters from smaller and specialized wire a two-day briefing steady stream of senior Department employees Albrighi erself as Of the major news Rubin said, "Their basic By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service hunger, environmental destruc- tion, religious persecution, land mines and conflicts with reli- gious dimensions. It has led to the development of a kit of materials parishes can use to broaden people's global under- standing and expand parish involvement abroad. WASHINGTON (CNS) With the major media outlets reducing international news coverage and politicians press- ing for less U.S. involvement abroad, the State Department is country, where the audiences are not necessarily chosen for having an established interest in global policies. The department maintains one of the most helpful and cur- rent Web sites in the govern- ment, www.state.gov. It offers information on everything from world of Capitol Hill and the major news media, that barrier might as well be as large as the Great Wall of China. A study called "The Foreign Policy Gap" released last fall by the Center for International and Security Studies at the Univer- sity of Maryland found that bucking the trend and stead- fastly trying to involve the American public in global affairs more than ever. Though it sometimes seems otherwise, the professional diplomats aren't the only ones who want Americans to pay more attention to the world beyond their borders. The U.S. bishops last fall unanimously approved a state- ment calling parishes to global solidarity. They urged American Catholics to pay more attention to global politics and how peo- ple are affected by genocide, i 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper __. of the Diocese of . st /n Decrnr Ecrmr ......................... ...Paut  I.gang ..............................  Nsnd Addre,= all communtions to p.o. Box 4169, Evanille, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50  a= perCd rna at e p0 e m Ev-'=v, tN 47701. PublCa.gon number 843800. : Return PO0 lures 3579 to 0 o!  lojSS  Pss o Eva But for the last decade or so, outside the circles of religious and social justice advocates, the concerns of supporters of glob- al involvement have been drowned out by those who insisted the American public wanted their country to reduce foreign aid, to stay out of con- flicts around the globe, and to generally "disengage" from the international scene. Since Madeleine Albright became secretary of state in Jan- uary 1997, however, she has worked to counter the percep- tion that Americans don't want to be involved in what's hap- pening around the world. The State Department is aim- ing directly at mainstream America in several ways: Albright has hosted sever- al town hall meetings and speaks frequently at colleges and conferences around the how to get a passport or visa to extensive human rights reports, help in conducting business abroad and links to Web pages about many other countries. Its media relations staff has been reorganized to reach out to media beyond the beat reporters who cover the agency on a daily basis for major net- works and big-city papers. "I am increasingly convinced that there's no difference between foreign and domestic policy," Albright told a group of regional and specialty press reporters this summer. "We are operating in a world where, with the threats that we're look- ing at  drugs, climate or envi- ronment, disease or (weapons) proliferation issues  the barri- er between domestic and for- eign policy is practically nonex- istent." But in the policy-making Letter to the editor 'Import' priests for five years To the editor:. The anticipated "priest short- age" is alarming. I cannot under- stand why we in the Evansville Diocese cannot "import" mis- sionaries from other countries [such as the] Philippines, for a five-year tenure. The recent apostolic letter, Dies Domini, from Pope John Paul II reaffirmed church teach- ing that Catholics, to remain "in good standing," must attend Sunday Mass. Please advise me if anyone in the diocese cannot find a Sun- day Mass within a 30-minute drive from home. Jerome Schneider Jasper although policy-makers believe and act as though Americans want their country less involved in international affairs, that per- ception bears little resemblance to public opinion. As a result, foreign aid and State Department budgets have been reduced and Capitol Hill rhetoric in recent years regular- ly refers to how "isolationist" the public has become. But "The Foreign Policy Gap" and a subsequent study by the university's program on inter- national policy attitudes show that the United States is far less involved in international affairs than the American people say they want it to be. The reports noted that recent- ly U.S. policy-makers have cited public opinion in opposing involvement in Bosnian peace- keeping, in refusing to pay back dues to the United Nations, and when reducing foreign aid. James Rubin, assistant secre- tary of state for public affairs, acknowledged the shift in inter- national news coverage in mid- dard is becoming 'if a war, it's not an interest."' ,, But "The Foreigr finds that despite such. sumption of isolat is a striking tack of evidence this view." In fact, it found worth of public opinion show generally port for the United States an active part in world a "The evidence su polic) understanding tudes about America'S the world and that understanding has had influence on U.S. cy, the study concluded' Among possible reaSOr the "gap," the study trust of polls; giving too credibility to the vocal opponents of involvement; or a "self-reinforcing information with who reflect what the makers say, which what the media says. Philmont, Scout trek, through Aug. 20. Installation of Father William Tra the Baptist Church, Vincennes, Saturday, Mass, National Leadership Training Conference, al Catholic Commission on Scouting, Nashville, Tenn., day, Aug. 23, 8:30 a.m.