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August 14, 1998     The Message
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August 14, 1998

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14,1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 By GREG McCANN Catholic News Service PINCONNING, Mich. (CNS) 'Michigan Polka Hall of Fame Jim Lepeak says that always been his first :'69-going-on-30-year-old" Anthony of Padua Fisherville first played when he was 10 Lepeak plays 10 instruments and sings : folk songs in Eng- German, French and Polish. five albums and on a "gold- Dow Chemical retiree, Lep- has built a reputation with polka hall of famer strikes right chord at masses performances all over Michigan, appearing at nursing homes, hospitals and parish festivals', where he occasionally plays a polka Mass. But Lepeak says his biggest reward comes when he gazes into an audience and sees the appreciation for what he is doing, especially at polka Masses. "I feel our Lord is with us at these Masses," he said in an interview with The Catholic Weekly, Saginaw diocesan news- paper. "I can feel his presence and I know he enjoys it because I see it in the people's faces." Lepeak played his first polka Mass 11 years ago at St. Agnes Church in Pinconning, and recently returned there for the parish's annual outdoor polka Mass, which drew more than 300 people this year. "This is the biggest crowd we've ever had," said St. Agnes pastoral administrator Barb Walkley of the summer tradi- tion. "It's so enjoyable to see so many people from other parish- es across the diocese celebrating Mass with us under the trees." Lepeak often performs as a one-man'band, complete with accordion, keyboard and bass drum. But when he's at St. Agnes, musicians and singers from the parish and neighbor- ing St. Michael Church join in to add to the musical celebration. Ellen Graham of Bay City, a close friend of Lepeak's, also adds her vocals whenever pos- sible. "Ellen's beautiful singing voice has really enhanced the experience," said Walkle): Graham said she has always felt comfortable singing in church, and Lepeak "lets me come to the Masses because I enjoy it." But as enjoyable as it may be, it's important work. "We're not there to put on a show," she said. "Worship is the reason we're here. If people can get some entertainment too, that's wonderful." Lepeak, who nearly entered the seminary as a young man, said he feels "the best way to praise God is through words in song." But he said God had some- thing other than the seminary in mind for him. Lepeak said he was at a friend's wedding when he first saw Illamae Butts. He was so mesmerized by her, he said, that he walked right into a door. And after 44 years of marriage and four children, Lepeak said he still walks into doors when he sees her. Lepeak may not have become a priest but he still answered the call: the call to make music for the church, the community and for God. To him, the result has been just as rewarding. urged to ring bells mark end of World War !! (CNS) -- Legion has asked heads of 44 major U.S.-based organizations to local houses of wor- to ring their church bells at .m. (local time) Sept. 2 to of World War II. G. Jordan, national of the American made the request in a to the religious leaders, Bishop Anthony M. of Cleveland, president .of National Conference of Bishops and U.S. Conference. time chosen for the ring- ',0f the bells is the moment representatives of the government signed the surrender treaty ending World War II aboard the battle- ship Missouri, Jordan noted. "The restoration of peace after a conflict that claimed tens of millions of lives is too important to our nation to become a foot- note in the history books," he wrote. "Many of us believe it was the direct intervention of a Higher Power that guided us as individuals and as a people through those bloody and tumultuous years." Jordan said the ringing of bells at "all churches, syna- gogues,, mosques and other places of worship" at the same time would "help preserve the memory of that time of testing and deliverance." Is' education institute in 1999 PARK, Minn. "---The 1999 session of the Diaconate Institute for Education has been for July 25-28 at the , of Notre Dame. O ' " f next year s sesslon " Proclalmm and Living dates and theme were at the close of the July 26-29 at and attended by than 270 deacons and the institute, Bishop U. Kmiec of Nashville, Tenn., and John Pistone briefed participants on developments involving the diaconate in the past year and detailed progress on the new norms for the U.S. diaconate. Bishop Kmiec is to end a three-year term as chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Diaconate this November, and Pistone is a deacon who serves as executive director of the bishops' Secretariat for the Diaconate. Theme of the 1998 institute was "Collaboration in Min- istry." will say ,mea culpa' in 2000 CITY (CNS) -- ohn Paul II is expected to a formal "mea the year 2000 for the of Christians, but will avoid accusations individuals or groups, a said. pope's statement, Wednesday in will be based in two Vatican-sponsored to investigate )onsibility for anti-Judaism and of the Inquisi- told Aug. 10. and other areas, "the and reflection of the church allows us to recognize today that such actions should not be committed and should not have been committed," said Father Cottier, a papal theolo- gian and a leading member of the year-2000 planning commit- tee. "It is not a matter of accusing the past," he added. One impor- tant consideration, in fact, will be the historical context in which Christians lived their faith. Father Cottier said it must be recognized that the "mental- ity of the times" had a great influence on these people even saints of past centuries committed acts that we now dk,pprove, he said. First Communion Celebrating First Communion at Sacred Heart, Schnellville, May 17 are, from left, front row, Server Carrie Hopf, Chad Jacob, Nicholas Hoppenjans, Colten Hasenour, Matthew Schnell, Seth Linne, Joshua Greener, Server Zachariah Mundy; second row, Server Shalynne Mundy, Abby Hopf, Melanie Mundy, Sarah Stet- ter, Kirstie Bayer, Cherie Lampert; third row, DRE Donna Mundy, Catechist Nancy Rohl, Father Firmus Dick, and Server Chase Mundy. Continued from page "8 fie different to different people. But can't we give the word "spirituality" some specific meanings? How does spirituality interact with liturgy; with morality, with doctrine, with ordinary lifestyles? How zvould you explain the meaning of the term "'spirituality" to a young person? December 4 Resources for Spirituality Today. Let's talk with some contemporary "practi- tioners" of spirituality  people making an ongo- ing effort to develop in spirituality -- to fred what resources aid them. Are there books that guide them, communities that support them, mentors and guides who assist them? To develop in spir- ituality, it isn't necessary to "go it alone." Tell how you were guided in your spirituali by a resource or spiritual counselor. December 11 I'm Feeling Inspired! At times it seems that others receive inspira- tions from the Spirit to execute needed services in new and positive ways, to find the way for a community to surmount polarization or to com- municate the Gospel effectively. But what about me? Does the Holy Spirit give any inspirations to me? Inspirations for what? Describe a situatian in which Wu believe inspira- tion front the Spirit -- the breath of God  motd someone you know to do something valuable. December 18 (Our Christmas issue) Grace and the Gift of Christmas. No doubt, Jesus Christ acts in our behalf in ways that are powerfully effective. No doubt, the reality of this grace is inherent to the meaning of Christmas. The Lord's invitation to us is not casu- al, not lacking the clear intent to reach us and touch us. Yet, mysteriously, it remains in our power to reject God's offer, to block the workings of grace. How powerful is grace? What is a favorite,aory..r you a past Christnuzs? January 1, 1999 (Message Mailed Tuesday 12/29/98) Linking Past and Future: Preparing for the New Millennium. Why invest energy and time preparing for the coming of the new millennium? In particular, why has the pope asked the church community to make an examination of conscience related to his- torical failings in regard to others. Let's take a look at some key dimensions ff the current peri- txt of preparation for the }ubilee of the Year 2000. What can or should the people of C,l offer to the uorld in the year 2000?