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August 16, 1996     The Message
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The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 16, 1996 --- Taking the time to make a difference-- Life on Mars, life on earth By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR Mars. The talk show host will ask, "Do you think this proves there is life somewhere else in the universe?" As if public opinion had some impact on what is true and what is not. Eventually, in my reflection, I come back to the beginning. What difference does it make? The discov- ery of life on Mars would have made little or no difference in the lives of my parents and our family of origin. Their concerns, I am sure, were much more immediate -- having much to do with daily necessities and little to do with such scientific speculation. I am certain, too, that the possibility of life on Mars would not have had any serious impact on their faith. God is capable of all things, they taught us -- and that includes those things that we can imagine and dream, and those which no one of us has ever been able to imagine. , " , * Talk with your family or friends about the world of their childhood or youth. What was the shape of the world at that time? When I grew up, my world was vastly different than it is today. For example, when I was young, the Russians wanted to dominate the world, meat was the major ingredient of a balanced diet, smoking was I don't know what my parents would have thought about the pos- sibility of life on Mars. The subject never came up. In recent weeks, we've seen and heard some fascinating details about a rock found in Antarctica. That rock came from Mars, some scientists say- a chunk of that planet which was dislodged by a collision somehow, and which fell to earth as a meteorite. In the rock are traces of what could possibly be the traces of the presence of some tiny forms of life on Mars. Nothing is conclusive, yet, of course, but the prospect is certainly exciting. The discovery allows us to think about life, and the God who gave it to us. And maybe to something or some- one else. My first reaction is of amazement and wonder: Could there be life elsewhere in the universe? My second thoughts, though, probably stem from the fact that I have read more than a few columns by the late Erma Bombeck. I wonder, ifa weed can grow upin what seems to be solid concrete, why should anyone be surprised to find signs of life on Mars? Quickly my rational processes degenerate, and I start to laugh at what I know will happen on radio talk shows. A talk show host will ask listeners to call in, and tell what they think about the rock from a sign of maturity, drunkenness was funny, and Latin was the eternal language of the Catholic Church Times have changed -- and not only in regard to diet, language, habits and world-wide conflict. Today, at least from my perspective, my world is populated by people with troubling perspectives such as the politicians who seem firmly convinced that people are poor because they deserve to be, and that young people can not possibly abstain from sex- ual activity. . $ $ Take the time today to re-consider the world you may have taken for granted. Perhaps within your family, there is one person who "always acts like that." Or perhaps there is a neighbor who "really doesn't belong on this block." Or a section of town where "you have to expect things like that to hap- pen." None of that is true. Take the time to allow others to live in a world where discoveries are possible, where times may change, where life is not confined by our thinking, but is limited only by the limitless majesty of our God. Take the time to let another person make a dif- ference. Comments about this column are welcome at prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. -----Washington Letter ence, statet I Cauc Kiesk with 2 Her p land, 6migr Frenc locale Food banks: Aiming to educate as part of their hunger outreach ff By NANCY IIARTNAGEL Over the next six years, food bank is based in Washington's spective, are demanded of us." ington, "out of a faith traditWn, , :: Catholic News Service stamp cuts may total $27.3 bil- northeast section in a huge, for- "When you read Matthew 25, Brantley said. lion, according to the Center on mer liquor warehouse and is the onus isn't on the poor," she She believes educational oat" i: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Budget and Policy Priorities in part of Second Harvest. said. "The onus is on people who reach is a way to shape the Food banks, already a big busi- Washington. Brantley told Catholic News can help to feed the hungry, to thinking of future voters and a :/[. hess when it comes to distribut- Last year, Brantley's food Service that she began to see ed- clothe the naked.., people that way of"cross-pollinating PelL ] ing food to the hungry, will be bank distributed 12 million ucation as part of the food have the ability to share." pie" from urban and rural sty[ L tings and different cultures Wll0| facing even greater demand as pounds of food to 374 agencies bank's work when the current Though the Capital Area food x c- a result of federal welfare re- in the District of Columbia, Congress came in full of plans bank is nondenominational, it have different economw e pe,": form enacted this summer. Northern Virginia and two "to tear asunder so many things grew out of the Interfaith Con- tations. . i In addition to having to meet Maryland counties. The food that, even from a religious per- ference of Metropolitan Wash- See WA.HINGTONP a# "L ?: : that demand, some food bank of- ficials now see educational out-reach as critical to their mission. : : : ..... During 1995, the 181 regional food banks in Second Harvest, a Candidate ,- -- --- - Chicago-based national network explains nls position on aDorl:lU million pounds of salvaged and To the Editor: ' cal a roach to address this cri- enforced, ancl would robabl re three fold a roach that inv JU', PP - P Y " - PP ourCl" umor, donated food and grocery prod- Over the past several months, ss. As a result, we are chal- sult instead in legal challenges, a both our government and . a;"CTar'v ucts to some 50,000 nonprofit I have read a great deal of erro- longed to answer the question: basic disrespect for the law, and izens. First, we must pronU[u _,=.. agencies. In turn, the agencies neous information about my Reahstmall. y, what is the best underground abortion mills. It equate funds and the oPP.UiSevm.l.,,.= .,.,a, helped feed 26 million people in views and beliefs. As a human way to avoid abortions or to pro- might also mean that people nity for women to bng liana c their soup kitchens, homeless being  let alone a political can- vent them? Some, who are deeply would ignore the causes of abor- pregnancy to term. ThOr= etag nor shelters, food pantries and other didate-- I am simply not willing concerned about this issue, sup- tion, rather than addressing and be viable alternatives far w:si  con programs, to allow others to define me or port a constitutional amendment eliminating them. I believe that to help them deal with:aOting'] l For Lynn Brantley, since my positions on important is- which will overturn Roe vs. the legal prohibition of all abor- pregnancy. I realize tlatb0Chtdl  t] 1988 the executive director of sues, and I would appreciate it if Wade as the primary means to tions is not a plausible solution, many institutions, the -":b epp and f, the Capital Area Community you would publish this letter in Food Bank in Washington, the its entirety in the Message. potential impact of food stamp As a Roman Catholic, I openly cuts in the welfare bill is "scary." accept the Church s teaching on abortion. I share its moral oppo- sition to the procedure and I be- The MESSAGE lieve that, as a nation, we must work together to radically reduce 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 the number of abortions in our Weekly newspaper of the country. It is important to remember Diocese of Evansville -tinu Published weekly except last week in that the Catholic Church, while constitutional amendment have II ,,,, |00er lon Decemberbythe CatholicPress of being very firm in presenting its the bestofintentions, suehan Bishop's schedU=00. Evansville moral case against abortion, does amendment would merely legis- Publisher ............. Bishop Gerald A, Gettelfinger not advocate one specific politi- late what could not be efficiently [ f Editor ...................................... Paul R. teiang The following activities and events are listed on the s ' Iau Production Technician .............. Joseph Dietrich , ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: of Advertising ................................... Paul Newiand ............................ Message policy regarding political activity o, Address all communications to P.O. The Message is the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese ant Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 of Evansville. The policy of the Message is to observe the rules Subscription rate: forbidding 501 (c) (3) organizations from engaging in partisan $17.50 per year political activity, col Single Copy Price: $.50 The Message continues its long-standing policy of publish- Entered as periodc.al matter at the post ing news reports and commentary about political candidates s office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tionnurnber843800, and issues, and about their relationship to morality and Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Catholic social teaching. : ha Office of Publication Political advertising is accepted at the Message from all bona c_mx Press  Evamv fide candidates on an equal basis. 81 i i L i - i it i n ii i I