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Evansville, Indiana
August 26, 1994     The Message
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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August Looking for that ideal mate? Join SWoP today! Do you ever fantasize about winning the lottery and never again experiencing financial worries? Many people do; some even buy lot- tery tickets! On the other hand, most of us realize that our only in- come will be the result of our hard work and dedication, not the pop- l By JUSTIN CLEMENTS DIRECTOR OF STEWARDSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT corn-like antics of several dozen ping-pong balls. And our chances of finding Ed McMahon's Prize Patrol on our doorstep or receiving a surprise mil- lion dollar inheritance are as likely as being struck by lightning. Which brings us to a new, sure-fire-can't-miss way to rais e money for our parishes, schools and other diocesan organizations. It's NOT based on luck or chance, and requires only a minimum of ef- fort. This fundraising idea came to my wife, Shirley, and me in a burst of creative insight as we were folding clothes one evening. (Single peo- ple and celibates need to know that folding clothes is one of those special intimate sharing moments for "empty-nesters" like us!) Our brainstorm hit us in the middle of match- ing socks. We were singing the usual "Matching Socks Blues", wondering what happens to all those lost socks, when we decided enough is enough! It's time for someone to do something about the world's missing sock problem! Our plan is to start a support group for every- one who experiences the weekly mystery and heartbreak of unmatched socks. We will call our organization "SOCKS WITHOUT PARTNERS" or "SWoP" for short. And we will use SWoP as a vehi- cle for raising money for our parishes, schools and i other diocesan organizations. Here's how SWoP will work: annual membership dues for "SWoPsters" will be $5. Ten per, cent of these dues will be used to cover SWoP's administrative and marketing expenses. The rest will be donated to each SWoPster's favorite charity (we hope that's a Catholic parish, school or other dioce- san organization). SWoPsters will bring their unmatched socks to giant weekly "SWoPMeets" in places like Reitz Bowl and Roberts Stadium in Evansville,. the Hoosier Dome (RCA Dome?), Busch Stadium, etc. There will first be time for sharing poignant and humorous sock-matching anecdotes and to offer one another support and encouragement in deal- ing with this problem, Everyone will then display their unmatched socks and look for partners. For every match, SWoPsters will contribute 25 to their favorite charities (10 for unwashed socks). Imagine the possibilities! Missing socks is a global dilemma. We can envision "SOCKS WITH- OUT PARTNERS-INTERNATIONAL". Every five years we could declare an international "YEAR OF THE LONELY SOCK" and select a host country (a la the World Cup or the Olympics) for a week-long colossal International SWoPMeet. SWoP's prospects are limited only by our imagi- nations, not only as a way to raise money for charity, but also as a source of inspiration and solace for all who suffer the personal anguish of lost socks. However, even when SOCKS WITHOUT PARTNERS reaches its full potential, our parishes, schools and other diocesan organizations will still need our financial assistance. Or, put in the context of Christian Stewardship: we disciples of Jesus will always need to express our gratitude to God for God's many blessings by returning a portion of our time, talent and treasure to help spread the Good News and build the kingdom, no matter how successful SWoP becomeS. To be sure, good stewardship is not only about giving money to our church -- far from it! Good stewardship is a way of life that, for most of us Catholics, requires a change of heart, a conver- sion that begins with acceptance of the belief that everything we have comes from our God. We are but stewards of God's gifts, and God expects us to be responsible stewards of those gifts. Who is a "good steward?" In a parish, a good steward is someone who feels welcome andappre" ciated, and who wants to participate as a valued member of the parish family. Giving time and tal- ent to God's work in the parish is second nature. In fact, generous sharing of time and talent is a much more accurate measure of true stewardship than the ephemeral activity of simply writing a bigger check. But our parishes and schools will always need a portion of our treasure too. When was the last time you increased the amount of your Sun- day offering? Have you ever looked at your total annual income and consciously decided what per- centage you will give back to God in gratitude? Yes, "SOCKS WITHOUT PARTNERS" has great fundraising potential. But it will never re- place our need, as good stewards and disciples, return a portion of God's gifts to help our Church grow and flourish. Outreach to unborn, newborn and families Members of Nativity Church, Evansville, have decided to share a portion of the parish budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year with the "anawim" -- a Hebrew term for the weak and the unprotected. "Because our name is Nativity we have a particular desire to end abortion and help the unborn, the newborn and their families," said Father Henry Kuykendall, pastor. The parish distributed a total of $3,611 in August. Money has been given to Birthright, the Christian Life Center, the House of Bread and Peace, the Ozanam Shelter, the Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, for emergency outreach at St. John Church in Evansville, to the Nativity St. Vincent de Paul Society, and to provide baskets for newborns in needy families. Knights of Columbus convene Hoosier Knights led by State Deputy Eugene Hendrix were among the 2,000 delegates of the Knights of Columbus, other Knights, family members and invited guests who convened for the ll2th annual Supreme Convention Aug. 2 -- 4 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The convention theme focused on the character of Knights of Columbus as a Catholic family organization. Indiana Knights last year donated over $1.3 million and 37,000 hours i personal service to charitable and benevolent activities. Correction The name of Gertrude Howard of Evansville, one of the members of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council in the Dio- cese of Evansville, was unintentionally omitted from a photo caption, Aug. 19. The Message regrets the error. The new council met for the first time, at Sarto Retreat House and the Catholic Center, Aug. 12 -- 14. Seeking post cards Sister Margaret Mary Lichtfuss, a member of a new reli- gious community, is collecting post cards and unusual stamps. Money from the sale of her collections benefits the 14-member Franciscan Sisters of Christ the Divine Teacher, founded in Davenport, Iowa, in 1981. Post cards of all kinds and special stamps such as hunting stamps and Vatican postage stamps may be sent to her at 2605 Boles Avenue, Davenport IA 52802. II AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS, BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 HWYS0 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELt:I, OWNER I I I Baseball. belongs to kids! Kids of nine and ninety! "It's no longer a game." .- ,= I beg your pardon, it is now a game of money! A little boy of nine who had hopes of going to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play school starts is heart-broken at the strike. He can't understand why the players would for more money. In his thinking, "Who needs to be paid to play baseball?" The national pastime is being taken away from the kids, the fans of tomorrow. In this day c national confusion, sports honestly presented is a need for kids, to give them a deterredtand safeguard from getting involved in drugs and other undesirable matters. Let's give the Game of Baseball back to the kids! Keep it a game and not a struggle and more money, either on the part of the players or the owners. ' : .: Msgr. C Church officials, observers irregularities in Mexican By MIKE TANGEMAN Catholic News Service MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Church officials and indepen- dent observers noted irregular- ities amid a large voter turnout in Mexico's national elections. While "long lines at polling places throughout election day reflected an enthusiastic 70 percent turnout of Mexico's 45 million registered voters, some bishops, priests and lay Catholic activists joined the in- dependent monitoring group Civic Alliance in noting prob- lems nationwide. At a press conference early Aug. 22, Civic Alliance spokesman Sergio Aguayo said that from voter registration months ago right through the Aug. 21 election, the "level of irregularities is highly alarm- ing" and that the "quality of the election" if not the actual vote outcome was "question- able." Early results from the gov- ernment's Federal Electoral Institute placed Ernesto Zedillo, a member of the Insti- tutional Revolutionary Party, in the lead. Early government figures virtually matched the result of exit polls conducted by several groups, including Civic Alliance. Civic Alliance organizer Ro- gelio Gomez told reporters that the organization would not know until nearly a week after the election if or how the num- ber of irregularities on election day influenced the actual vote outcome. In early reports to the Mexi- can bishops' conference, the Caritas-affiliated Center for Social Studies and Promotion, known as CEPS, noted that its, 463 observers nationwide re- ported that many polling places "were opened late and were functioning slowly." But, said the reports, voters had lined up at early morning voters' "great thusiasm" ber of ballots "among the highest tered in our The CEPS re' the tone for official! from the ] Meanwhile, i Bishop Ramon of Guadalajara, tary of the conference, mated 13,000p and religious time in the sult of 1992 church me Const faiths are now to vote in Mexico. In Chihuah Bishop Manue mandari voters "turned oU hadn't for manY yearS.