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Evansville, Indiana
September 13, 1996     The Message
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September 13, 1996
 

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MESS 26 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana"   i i VOLUME 27 NUMBER2 E September 13, 1996 Gospel: Enrollment hits 7542 students By MARY ANN HUGHES Message staff writer School enrollment is up in schools across the Diocese of Evansville, helped in part by the growing number of students enrolled in pre-kindergarten pro- grams and at the high school level. According to the Catholic Edu- cation Office, there are 7,542 stu- dents enrolled in Catholic schools this year. Secondary school enrollment has increased over 1995-96, with 1,712 students currently enrolled at Memorial and Mater Dei high schools in Evansville, at Rivet High School in Vin- cennes, and at Washington Catholic High School in Wash- ington. Phyllis Beshears, director of schools, noted that many parishes with schools are cur- rently in the planning stages of building projects and that there are schools in the diocese that have waiting lists. "It is a great problem to have, but it does present challenges to the parishes. In 1991, there were 6,485 students enrolled in the schools of our diocese. This year's total enrollment is 7,542. "Some of that increase is due to the addition of pre-school pro- grams in many of our schools. According to Nell Meitler in the September, 1996 issue of NCEA Notes, there are other reasons for the current favorable trend: More school-age children make up the U.S. population, with a projected increase of 12 percent from 1992-1993 to 2003- 4. Families who move from northern states to the southwest and south ask, "Where is the Catholic school?" and they are frequently willing to help start a new school. Increasing concern about secular trends in society and a desire to provide a value-based education for children. A conservative trend in the country that has led to increased interest by many families in spiritual values and the desire for a Christ-centered education for their children. A strong economy and the increasing ability of many fami- lies to afford Catholic school tuition. Beshears added, "Within our diocese, we know that parents are proud of the tradition of excellence in our schools. Our academic standards are high along with the expectations we have for appropriate behavior. We place great emphasis on the spiritual growth of our students and continue to assist parents in the formation of their children in our Catholic faith." Here are the official 1996- 1997 enrollment figures: There are 619 students enrolled at Mater Dei High School, Evansville. Mater Dei has 168 freshmen this fall and 164 sophomores. There are 130 juniors and 157 seniors. Eight-hundred-and-sixty-five students are enrolled at Memor- ial High School, Evansville. Two- See ENROLLMENT page 10 mon Ground' initiative continues to draw reaction By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service tiable and must be a presuppo- sition for any common ground among Catholics. As a framework for-his initia- .tive Cardinal Bernardin released a statement, "Called to be Catholic," which described current divisions among U.S, Catholics as paralyzing the church's energies and threatening its future. It urged constructive, civil dialogue as a way to restore mutual under- standing and a sense of mission and common purpose. A committee of fellow bishops and other prominent Catholics from various walks of life is assisting him in the project. "All would agree that everyone should reach out and relate to each individual as a brother or sister in Christ," said Philadel- GTON (CNS)- ficago Cardinal Joseph L. ,rnardin's launching of a Common Ground Pro- to end polarization among IS. Catholics has continued to varied reaction from urch officials. Several bishops who com- nted on it in their diocesan expressed support :d a hope that Cardinal ernardin could achieve his ,al. Others, expressing concern issues facing church could become a for dissent, warned that of faith.are non-nego- a priest consecrates enough hosts ahead of time, will a Life Coordinator be able to distribute Communion? -- from a letter to the Message In the Diocese of Evansville, a non-ordained person may be designated as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion. On weekdays m but never in place of a Sunday liturgy a PLC who has been designated as an Extraordinary Min- ! ister may distribute Communion, using the ritual provided in the document, "Eucharistic Worship Outside Mass." COmmunion Services are not celebrated on Sundays because a large number of hosts would have to be conse- at a previous Mass. The approved practice of the hurch is to consecrate only enough hosts at a Mass for who are .present and only enough extra for the sick and the shut-ins. -- Response from Father William Deering Diocesan Director of Worshtp/RCIA phia's Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua. "However, when divergent opinions On theological matters are examined in a public forum, by a group, most of whom are not theologians, then reported sec- ondhand in the media, confusion among Catholics grows." He criticized the use of "Catholic common ground" to describe the project, saying it "is not ecclesial terminology. It is an ordinary, everyday term, open to uncontrolled interpretation, including even the meaning that 'Catholic com- mon ground' signifies 'lowest common denominator."' Cardinal Adam J. Maida of Detroit said the ',Called to be Catholic" statement "may create some confusion for people since it seems to suggest that Catholic teachings are open to dialogue and debate." "Dialogue is a helpful tool and step in a larger process," he added, "but of itself it cannot solve religious differences. Gen- uine dialogue among Catholics can happen only when we begin with Scripture and church teachings and keep our minds and hearts open to conversion." Archbishop Francis B. Schulte the project "will deepen our knowledge as Catholics of the 'common ground' which we already possess, our Catholic faith." He praised Cardinal Bernardin and his "very worthy goal, to heal divisions in the church and posi- tion the church to discharge more effectively in the next century the mission entrusted to it by our Lord." "It would be unfortunate," he said, "if some persons or groups would view this project as a means of changing church teach- ing in areas where they would seek change. This, ] know, is cer- tainly not the intention of the sponsors." Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark, N.J., said Cardinal Bernardin "would be the first to agree that (dialogue) cannot lead to compromise on matters of faith .... In matters of faith, dialogue should lead to understanding. It cannot lead to compromise." "Dialogue and discussion can be tremendously helpful in leQding to a greater or deeper undUrstanding of' church teachings, he added. "It cannot change them. They are not ours to change." of New Orleans said he hoped He praised Cardinal Bernardin i ii ii Official From Bishop Gerald A. Gettelflnger Rev. Kenneth R. Herr, Sacramental Min- ister of St. John Church, Evansville, con- tinue as Chaplain at Memorial High School, Evansville. Effective immediately, II 11 iii ii1 I1 I1 II II ii as a "thoughtful and articulate leader of the church" with "a gift for building consensus from dia- logue.  But he said the issue of whether such consensus would involve compromise on matters of faith "is the key to the question." Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., praised the ini- tiative as an attempt to over- come an atmosphere in the church "so highly charged that literally people may not be able to hear one another because of the din of vindictive and often abusive language that poisons all sides."