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Evansville, Indiana
September 11, 1987     The Message
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September 11, 1987
 

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September U, 1987 View Point The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 By FATHER I JOSEPH L. ZILIAK Associate Publisher The pope to see a young, dynamic and well-organized U.S. church The pope is here and it is making daily news in a big way. Today he is completing his stay in Miami and is proceeding on to Columbia, South Carolina. By this evening he will be in New Orleans. Many words have preceded Pope John Paul II's visit to the United States. Many will follow. How many people have been working and preparing for these days? For at least two y.ears, direct and steady preparations were underway, not only deciding on the cities, the sites and the groups to be seen, but also much of the flavor and content of the talks. Preparations were also made in more recent days in the secular news media through special polls of the thinking of Catholics in the U.S. Even Johnny Carson got into the act with a segment on a fictional papal lunch at the NBC commissary in Burbank. I will not be able to attend any of the gather- ings this time. I was present in Chicago in 1979. Some 1,100 of us from the Diocese of Evansville joined at least one million others in Grant Park for a beautiful experience of the presence of a pope in the U:S. heartland. OTHERS FROM OUR AREA will be among the millions to gather at various cities on this trip. It will be a marvelous experience for them. They will remember the details of the trip and what special things happened to make it unique. They will find it an exhausting occasion because there will be lengthy periods of waiting. But that time will itself be memorable. It was a special day for the waiters and waitresses, bus drivers, cabbies and hotel doormen. Life went on, but the topic of conversa- tion everywhere was the presence of the pope in the city's midst. Great ]ride was obvious, no mat- ter what the religious persuasion. It was as though the sun was shining all day no matter what may have been happening on the streets. An overwhelming realization was there that we were part of something really big. We were in- dividuals among over a million others gathered physically at one time, in one place, giving praise to our God, with the head of our church at the altar. It is a magnificent feeling to know that we are not alone in our faith and the expression of our faith. We were all one. How many national heritages were represented there I have no idea. Who knew how much money these people may have in in- vestments and property holdings? Who cared? It was a glorious time of being lifted up into a higher sense of belonging - of belonging to a universal church. Our aches and pains were forgotten that day. We were one in the Spirit. This same type of special experience will be had through these days around this country, and closing with a touchdown meeting in Fort Simp- son, Northwest Territories, Canada, for a meeting with native Americans. We cannot expect such special moments to happen with great regularity and intensity. If we have had such times, we need to be grateful. IF WE ARE 'ABLE TO read accounts of the papal visit, and see some short segments on televi- sion, we will see the diversity of peoples that are the strength of this nation, and the powerful resource of our church. The youth, the schoolchildren, the blacks and black leaders, the U.S. bishops, the priests, the Polish, those of religious communities, Catholic educators, the Hispanics, Catholic Charities and social action leaders, native Americans, communications in- dustry leaders among others. Archbishop Jan Schotte, a Belgian native ac- companying the pope on the trip, said, "In general, the Catholic experience in the United States is a success story." He also noted that the Vatican sees no potential for schism in the U.S. church. The problems the U.S. church faces are similar to those in other Western, industrialized countries. "The Lord never promised his church im- munity from troubles," said the archbishop, who also serves as general secretary for the October Synod on the Laity. "The U.S. church is young and well-organized, dynamic and generous. It is blessed with a devoted episcopate, clergy, men and women Religious, and with a sharing and par- ticipating laity." We know that we have a few problems that we need to work on as well. But the overall picture has to one of great pride in our response to God's call to work in our world. Let us be proud of our heritage and proud of the strength that comes from our worldwide unity in prayer and love. This all is symbolized and af- firmed through the presence of Pope John Paul in our country. May he be inspired and kept safe. May we be strengthened and affirmed in our faith. EVANSVILLE SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE CALL 424-5536 TO GET YOUR BUSINESS OR SERVICE LISTED BELOW. 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Virgirda M-F 9:304:30 (812) 423.4847 STA TE UCESED . . _e ............ : ..... _. -L "L --m L ..... L u ........................... .................... ..,,e....L,.. ....... . St. Peter00 Continued from page 9 except one room. The school' to their departure in 1845. building next to the parish Father Bartholomew church is now an attendance Piers began his 49 years as center for grades K-3. Sister pastor in 1847; he provided a Mary Benet Goodrum, O.S.B., parochial school and soon is the librarian at the elemen- began planning for the con- tary school building and at the struction of the current church Montgomery High School and building. Middle School building; Sister In 1885, the first school Marilyn Market, O.S.B.; building was built at the pre- teaches 2nd grade. The public sent site, and was staffed with school has a released time lay teachers. In 1995, the system so that students in Sisters of Providence came to grades 1-6 may go to religion teach at St. Peter's School; they classes, which are taught by the departed in 1907. Lay teachers Director of Religious Educa- were once again employed in tion, Scott Hedrick. A CCD pro- 1907 and 1908, but in 1908, the gram has been established for school was closed. In 1920, the Grades 7-12. Religion is taught Sisters of St. Benedict came to in the one room at St. Peter St. Peter's; they continue today, School, which is not rented to but with another twist in the the public school system. history of education at the About the parish, Father parish. Clauss says, "The faith is very In 1933, during the Great strong, here." He says he has Depression, the parochial found a real family spirit at St. school began to receive state Peter, where many parishioners aid, even though it remained a live close to the church and at- Catholic school. The Sisters of tend daily Mass. He says there St. Benedict continuedtoteach is quite a long history of there. State aid continued until Catholicism in the parish, 1977, when the public school which continues with strong was reorganized, and the St. traditions into the present. Peter school was rented to the There is strong devotion to public school system -- all of it Mary. i "Where customers send their friends/" Open nightly til 9 p.m. Uebelhor & OLD US 231 SOUTH - JASPER, IN - 482-2222