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August 27, 1993     The Message
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August 27, 1993

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27,1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 One week in August will tion of Christian leaders." d Youth D resident experienced Catholic Church as never before forever special to Dale Michael Eppler. As one of 250 delegates in the In- ternational Youth Forum, Ep- iler had a once-in-a-lifetime y to work and pray young adult Catholics around the world. He )resented the International Committee on Scout- a special treat since is close to his heart. "I was one of only seven cans to represent a movement," explained ller," and I brought the of the Catholic ommittee on Scouting, are religious education the youth and the forma- But he experienced tile Catholic Church as never be- fore when talking about faith in action with international members of his work group. "These were not just regular people," he said. The Croat- ian member spoke of her fam- fly's recent test of Christian- ity. When a Bosnian soldier came to their home and threatened them, they invited him in to pray. The soldier joined the family for dinner and prayer, and soon became a friend. He later converted to Catholicism. Eppler was especially moved by the representative from Hong Kong. "He told us how the Catholics the, re are preparing for when the Chi- nese take control of Hong Kong (1997). They're making plans to go underground, to continue their faith lives under Chinese rule." "These people are dying for their faith!" he marveled. And then I look at my life in the American Catholic Church, it seems so... " and he shakes his head. "You know, each of those people by themselves is powerful. But together they formed a synergy -- one that's greater than the sum of its parts!" The week held other mem- ories as well. Eppler was one 00ousands visited St, Meinrad's booth [ Youth Day celebration, Saint Meinrad Enrollment egians tray- of Enrollment. During the three days the booth was open, mre that 500 youths signed up for information on Saint Meinrad and ac- , was one of only cepted literature. Hundreds more took 45 organizations awarded booth sites at cai'ds with them tO mail in later. Thou- Plaza -- the hub of activity sands took posters home with them. While the trip was considered an over- whelming success for Saint Meinrad. those who worked the event were most touched by the youth. "It was amazing to see that number of teens so respectful, so motivated, so value-oriented and from all over the world," remarked Father Kieran. "It had a joyful, prayerful, faithful atmos- phere about it." he said. "You could see the Spirit." events at Cherry Creek State Park. From their location on the plaza, Saint Meinrad representatives met and spoke with thousands of young people about the programs offered at Saint Main- red. "It struck us that this would be an ideal place to promote the programs in the Col- lege, especially the new Catholic leader- ship track, and our programs for priest- of only 20 delegates to re- ceive communion from Pope John Paul II at the delegates' Mass on August 14. Later, each delegate spoke person- ally with the pontiff. "We could talk for only two min- utes, and security told us we couldn't touch the pope. But I gave him a big bear hug and he loved it! His eyes lit up and he looked right into me! It was great not just because he is the 'pope', but because he is the successor of Peter!" Despite all the excitement of meeting the Holy Father, Eppler kept coming back to what he felt was the real sig- nificance of the Denver events: the work of the Inter- national Youth Forum and the prayers of the participants of World Youth Day. The prayers, discussion and hopes of the 250 delegates were presented in their letter to the youth of the world at the August 15 Papal Mass. But Eppler noted the work of the forum didn't end there. "The forum is still continu- ing," he said. "What started there with discussion, thoughts and prayers  that goes on today, tomorrow, and each day until the next Inter- national Youth Forum!" Looking back. Eppler sa- vors his role in a truly won- derful experience, but with perspective. "'The Spirit was moving there in the work of the people -- and that Spirit wo'nld have happened whether or not I had met the pope. The forum and the Papal Mass were the corner- stones of tile whole ewmt. World Youth Day was a cele- bration of the Universal Church, a celebration with the pope." Nmv that life is returning to normal for Eppler and he's re- turned to his work in the En- rollment Office of Saint Meinrad Seminary, he's de- termined not to let the spiri- tuality and power of the event just fade away. He plans to remain active in spreading the good news about Catholicism to those who will listen. "I can evan- gelize people when they want to hear about these experi- ences with the pope. I want to share with them the won- derful prayer we shared as an international body a truly Catholic body  and the sim- ple lifestyle each of us knew all along, but that we need to return to. This spirit can and will live on in each of us who were there." Michael Eppler is a mem- ber of St. Mary Church. Evansville. and Assistant DRE at Mary Help of Chris- tians, in Mm'iah ttill. Youths spend time in Denver uses encouragement, not boosting faith, making friends By IULIE ASHER nion from a priest of a differ- Catholic News Service DENVER (CNS) -- "In the youth there is a richness, and it is contagious," said Juan Pc.lion, who accompanied about 20 World Youth Day '93 participants to Denver from Lima and Trujillo, Peru. "We are receiving the bene- fits of increasing our faith," he said, "and we feel lucky because we had the opportu- nity to see the pope." Youths and adult chaper- ons in Denver for the interna- tional event that drew about 186,000 young people from some 70 countries had vari- ous ways to express what the experience meant to them but most felt they had boosted their faith and made hun- dreds of new friends. A few were disgruntled with the experience. One St. Louis man who would not give his name said "charity abounded" among the volun- teers and staff but he felt the event was too disorganized. A Canadian group was upset be- cause their bus had brought them late to the closing Mass site but they had to leave for home before they saw the pope. Maria Grassi, an adult chaperon from St. Rita Parish in Tacoma, Wash., had to walk on crutches over the un- even ground at Cherry Creek State Park. And it took her nine hours to find her up out there but the difficulties are not whetshe !1 remember. Hearing the different fan, guages and taking "Commu- ent country," she said, brought home to her ttie meaning of "the body of Christ" and what W}rld Youth Dav '93 was all about. "'It's been'the best thing, even the negatives," she said, adding that any inconve- niences came because "God was just testing us. God has humbled me." "It's incredible and ,,veil worth the effort," said John Vercillo. who said he had a ticket that got him to within eight feet of the pope. "He's the most important person on the whole planet and I was eight feet away." Paul Marquis watked bused, cycled and walked By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service DENVER (CNS) -- Pope hn Paul II brought no >or-ship- out mes- ge for dissident Catholics he came to I)enver for Youth Day, nor did he a cold shouider to politi- ions who favor legalized His words to thousands of Catholics and to the Baptist president of United States were deliv- in a spirit of encourage- not condemnation. The message was the same the one expected sometime fall in his new encyclical moral theology: The moral prescriptions 'e not designed to limit freedom, but to guar- that freedom is used for good of individuals and 1%eedom when exercised to a child or to kill a ter- !nelly ill person under- the most basic good: right to life from concep- to natural death. "All the great causes that yours today will have ruing only to the extent you guarantee the right and protect the human the pope said to the and to President when he arrived in 12. defend life so i:ii: , in United States remarks, showed the pope as a concerned father calling his spiritual sons and daughters and all people of good will to more consistent moral behav- ior. The pope's approach ill- clnded a recognition thai such consistency might not always be politically expedi- ent. Instead of trying to dictate political direction to the pres- ident, Pope John Paul told him, "the church seeks a sin- cere and constructive dia- logue" on the best ways to protect human life and pro- mote human development. Impromptu remarks showed that the pope was aware how many people in the United States disagree with some church teachings. After cheering and chant- ing had interrupted his air- port arrival talk about the need for education on values and respect for human life, the pope asked members of the crowd if they were shout- ing because they agreed or disagreed. They assured.him they were with him. The pope's remarks to the Catholic young people at World Youth Day events and to Colorado Catholics at a separate mooting were more direct, but even there his message was an appeal to the heart and not a threat of con- detonation. that you inav live in peace and t(armonv(" tim pope said in his Aug. 15 farewell ad- dress to an audience that ill- eluded Vice President A1 Gore. Tile p'ope's message to tile president and vice president was, "You can't do every- thing through economics aId politics -- you have to have the third element, ethics," said Joaquin Navarre-Vails, the papal spokesman. Pre-trip publicity focusing on Clinton's support for legal abortion and polls showing dissent among U.S. Catholics led many to expect Pope John Paul to come as a scolding fa- ther. But that is not the pontiff's style, said Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state. "The pope does not come to condemn, but to propose," the cardinal said in an exclu- sive interview with Catholic News Service. "Even some pro-choice people want to preserve cer- tain values on which we can agree," he said. "But we are convinced there is a supreme value to life which must be defended." While Pope John Paul and Clinton obviously did not agree on everything, Vatican officials saw their first meet- ing as "breaking the ice." The pope's remarks about his mature age and Clinton's youth, as well as his prepared some more to cover the 2,000 miles from Vancouver to Den- ver. "It was a good old-fash- ioned pilgrimage," he said. "I- came for the amendment of my life and to get closer to God .... It's been better than I ever even imagined." ............... Robert Torres of Holy Rosary Parish in San Antonio said, "It's just great to see everybody united together. I'll never forget this. I came for my faith to get stronger : and stronger and to pass it on," Michael Dodd, from the same parish, said that he and" his friends hear only negative things about his generation, "like we're all the Motley : Crew, Here youth are gath- ered from all over te world ... together in peace, love and : hope. 1 love it, i wish them could be more things like s, ...... :: J