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August 22, 1997     The Message
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August 22, 1997

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22, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 Bishop&apos;s Forum- Sesq u icenten n ial In recent years there have been very interesting book titles have inspired television mini- They were sagas about fami- g many generations. tennial by James Michener, by Colleen McCullough Roots by Alex Haley are but a The latter traced the ancestral of Kunte Kinte. It alone renewed interest in and the tracing of family back through the centuries. we humans have an to know from whom and we have come and the cir- of our ancestral homes. Last Sunday, Aug. 17, the Daniel Gettelfinger at St. Bernard Church in French- Ind., for a family reunion. The parish of St. was founded in 1849 just a few years after father had immigrated from upper Bavaria l Germany. He ultimately settled in Harrison Indiana. He had emigrated from Germany escape Prussian conscription. It happened, by reason of family tradition, that up in the home of my paternal grandparents. father, Gerald Adolph, was the youngest of his Oral tradition has it that it was his respon- as the youngestsibling, to remain at home for his parents in their old age. " In doing so, my siblings and I had the privilege dubious -- of growing up in the home of grandparents. Though relatively easy I know that it was not always so for my father cl mother. However, none of us eight children could fault our parents for ill treatment of my grand- By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER parents. Our mother was extraordi- narily magnanimous in the way she cared for Grandpa and Grandma Gettelfinger. Grandpa died at 87 and Grandma at 92. My father had to be proud of her. As for us, our mother gave us a very good example that will be most difficult to follow faith- fully. She'taught us well. As I drove to my home parish in the country of northwestern Harrison County just east of the Blue River on State Road 64, I had occasion to ponder the extraordi- nary happenings in the 150-year span since Daniel's father arrived in Harrison County. Divisions in our saga might include sections on faith, social upheavals, wars, developments affecting family life and the changes in the style of life to name but a few. For this family of the Roman Catholic faith, the establishment of St. Bernard Parish and the building of a church just three miles away in 1849 was significant. In 1854, the Dogma of the.Immaculate Concep- tion of our Blessed Mother was declared to be a matter of faith and in 1954 the Dogma of her Assumption into heaven. The first and second Vatican Councils were held nearly 100 years apart, the first in the late 1860s and the second in the 1960s. The Doctrine of the Infallibility of our Holy Father was an outcome of the First Vatican Council while the teachings of Second Vatican Council ushered in a renewal in the Church. The Great Social Encyclicals in the late 1800s spelled out areas of human rights, particularly of the worker. A century later, building on those that had gone before were the great teachings of Paul VI and John Paul II. The renewal in the Sacred Liturgy brought sweeping changes in practice but not in teaching. The most striking at first was the change from the traditional Latin to the vernacular. For us, it was Mass in English. The passing on of the faith was a matter of great concern. In 1884, at the Third Council of Bal- timore, the bishops of the United States set out the plan to have a Catholic School next to each Catholic Church. In the 1940s, since having a school at every parish was not always possible, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was begun. Its purpose was to assist parishes dthout Catholic schools -- especial- ly in rural areas with a religious education pro- gram. Our family received our religious education through this program as supplementary to the teachings we obtained at home. In 1972, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States gave us the Pastoral Letter, "To Teach as Jesus Did," reminding parents that they are the primary teachers of their children, that religious education is life-long, and that Catholic Schools are still the best way we have to assist parents to communicate the message of Jesus, to build faith community and to practice ser- vice to our neighbors and to be faithful not only to personal prayer but communal prayer in the Sacred Liturgy. Most recently we have the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Next week, we will consider briefly the other issues that affected the Gettelfinger Family -- and all others -- in our country over the last 150 years. It is amazing what has transpired. ing address to nurses: Love is the heart of nursing Clinton Hirsch pre- the following address for to the Alumnae of St. School of Nursing, Aug. 10. call this gathering today, There is some- g about the "homecoming." That word you feel "we belong --- a feeling of home, a Where you feel welcome, a you like to come back to. you are welcome, and glad to have you back. have come back to the of home" -- to days of training, of uniforms, to the daily .ri the "blue goose," of reg- that seemed so irk- at that time, and now as part of the forma- Your life as a St. Mary's Ah yes, what a glow this on now. It is good to iYou here for this home- to renew acquaintances gone by, to exchange stories about your families, homes and endeavors -- and yes, to realize how much more mature looking everyone else has gotten! Indeed, you do belong here! A homecoming is a trip down memory lane -- remembering those precious moments, some happy, some sad; and yet this is all a part of our human condi- tion. It is true we should not live in the past, but reflecting now and again on the good memories of those days should help us live courageously in the present with fond hopes for a bright future. May it be so! It is most appropriate for you to begin your homecoming activities around the Altar in the shadow of the cross. For it was on the cross where the Son of God proved his love for all of us by sacrificing his life. Love was the hallmark of the Son of God, and love, the love of neigh- bor is the very heart, the very core of nursing. Without it nurs- ing can easily become empty, unsatisfying, and mainly mer- cenary. But caring for the sick, with motives of love -- as you were taught in St. Mary's School of Nursing -- makes nursing most rewarding, as it then reflects and accentuates the memorable words of Christ -- "what you do to the least of my brethren you do to me." The nursing profession is as old as Christianity. In fact, it is one of the tangible results of Christ's teaching "to love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole soul, and our neighbor as ourselves." Conse- quently, there were women ded- icated to the care of the sick long before hospitals were built and schools of nursing estab- lished. However, love and com- passion for suffering humanity prompted the pioneers in nurs- ing to build training schools to better demonstrate this love for their sick neighbors. In our meandering through life, we both contribute some- thing to society and at the same time receive benefits from the community in which we live and work. I think the same can be said of graduates from a school, be it high school, college or uni- versity. And here I am referring in particular to Alumnae of a School of Nursing, and more precisely still -- to St. Mary's School of Nursing. Although the school has not been operative for a number of years, the impact of that training is still felt here at St. Mary's Medical Center. Having been an instruc- tor of Ethics and Christian Doc- trine in the School of Nursing, my viewpoint may be suspect, but I honestly think some impact of the school is still rec- ognizable here in this medical complex of St. Mary's. It seems to me, that much of the tone, the character, the soul of a hospital is derived and sus- tained from the spirit and ded- ication of its nurses. I salute you for this! And I think your com- ing along this way has been beneficial to many persons -- to the patients primarily, but also to the physicians along with the other health care personnel. St. Mary's has had an inter- esting heritage, has made a large contribution to the nurs- ing profession in this area. And I know there are many among you who still miss St. Mary's School of Nursing today. And I guess, if your wishing it would make it so, St. Mary's School would have a rebirth at this time. But instead of that reality, we must content ourselves to rely on you, the Alumnae of St, Mary's to keep its spirit alive. In concluding, may I again thank you for coming today to this Homecoming event. I'd like to think that through the years you have derived strength for your daily lives from the fact that you belong to the select group of professional women,* dedicated to the care of the sick. You are the group known as the Nurses of St. Mary's. May God keep all of you and yours safely in his love! " an spokesman says pope has no plans for new Marian dogmas CINDY WOODEN News Service CITY (CNS) -- continuing requests for Paul II to proclaim dogmas, a Vatican said no such procla- pr even being Is not under study by any Vat- ion or commis- uin Navarro-Valls, al spokesman, told Service Aug. 18. Pope will mt soh, mnly Mary "('orredemptrix  ;tlld Navarro-Valls said. "This is crystal clear." Navarro-Valls made his remarks Aug. 18, after publica- tion of a Newsweek magazine article reporting on the number of requests sent to the Vatican requesting that Mary be declared Co-redeemer. At the Vatican's request, an international theological com- mission studied the question beginning in August 1996. Its unanimous recommenda- tion against such a move was published in early June by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osserva- tore Romano. ,"5l,;(ji;) !:iy" ..... .:The restonsc of the commis- Ad'<-cate, sion. !myOoei'ullv briof, wa: unanimous and precise: It is not opportune to ]abandon the road marked out by the Second Vati- can Council and proceed with the definition of new dogma," the newspaper said. Marianist Father Johann Roten, who served on the com- mission, said Aug. 18, "We sim- ply talked about the Co- Redemption at this pointF Father Roten, who heads the International Marian Research institute at the University of Dayton, said the commission met two or three times in one week. He described it as "an impromplu consultation more than mlytbing else." He said he was t_ot awar o|" any Vatican commission study- ing Marian dogma, but added if the pope were to make a decla- ration about Mary, he would be likely to appoint a more formal study commission. In June, Laservate Romano published lengthy commentary on the theological commission's response. Father Salvatore M. Perrella wrote that the documents of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul's 1987 encyclical "Redemptoris Mater" and his recent audience talks explain bv the tern', "Co-Redeemer" has ben avoicted for 50 vear iu papal teaching4. creature, not even by her active cooperation, can be named on the level with the Word of God in his particular redemptive function," said Father Perrella. In September 1995, Pope John Paul began an exhaustive series of weekly audience talks on the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in salvation histoD: During his Jan. 3 address, the pope said his series would sing the Virgin's praises, but in "the proper context. * He said the Second Vatican Council "strongly urges theflo- gian and preachers of the divine word "to be careI/ Io refrain . . from all raise exa- geraiicmY .................