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September 20, 1996     The Message
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September 20, 1996
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September J -- Taking the time to make a difference--- Growing up: Signs and status When did you grow up? A story I heard the other day prompted that question. A friend was telling me about a moment in his family history. It was not his own experience, but the expe- rience of his sister. Their parents, he explained, were always very clear about what lan- guage they would tolerate -- and what words and expressions they would not tolerate -- in their house- hold. I didn't ask for specifics. One day, though, he said, his mother "cussed" in front of his sis- ter. At that moment, the young woman knew that she was grown up. * * * Perhaps "cussing" in front of your kids is not some- thing that ought to be turned into a formal ritual, but the story is certainly an occasion of reflecting on a wid e variety of!roman relationships. How is "growing up" noted or celebrated in your By PAUL It. LEINGANG EDITOR expression. It is not dignified or refined, but it is real -- it is a sign of all human imperfection. And for one person to allow another person an unguarded glimpse into such imper- fection, that is a sign of great respect. It is a kind of intimate equality, per- haps, among grown-ups. "Cussing" is only a sign of grown-up acceptance, as it was in my friend's story, when it is rare, of course. If vul- gar language is an everyday occur- rence, it is clearly a sign of disrespect. Jesus called God, "Abba," or Father. Some say the word is better translat- ed as "Dad" or even "Daddy." Jesus speaks with respectful intimacy. A "childish" word communicates an adult value. The crucified Jesus speaks the blunt and honest words of a psalm to ask God why he has been aban- doned. These are not the words one stranger would speak to another. These words can only be spoken with the framework of some kind of relationship. These are family? How are the faith and practices of an adult not words of disrespect that Jesus speaks, these are Christian different from a child's? What are the signs of adult participation in the life of the community? And what is the level of honesty involved in the communication between any two persons? When you get right down to it, the real value beneath a parent's "cussing" is honest and human words which indicate he has a claim to the attention of his father. *  * If there are children in your household, talk with them about the ways "growing up" were observed in your family of origin. You might recall getting your driver's license, or traveling alone. A child might being able to cross the street alone, caring for a staying up later, as signs of a changing status in family. How does an adult Christian relate to the church community? How did people of your generation "grow up" in relation to their faith? did you? What are your hopes for the today? Being able to vote is clearly a sign of a citizen. What other responsibilities does an have in regard to the city or community? Take the time today to reflect on your own "adult" participation in the family, m the community. What is the language of a "grown-up" in hold? If you are not satisfied with it, Change i t , Who instructs children about the rites of within Your own faith tradition? Take the time to your support to them. ConSider involvement in a voter education Encourage registration and participation in the ical world. At home and in your neighborhood, you can difference. Comments about this column are welcome prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Washington Letter Abortion prayer vigil: Bishops' largest public protest ev By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Nothing-- not war, slavery, civil rights, the Great Depression had ever brought such a large assemblage of U.S. Catholic bish- ops together in a public demon- stration on federal property. More than 60 bishops stood vigil and prayed on the West Ter- race of the Capitol Sept. 12. The group included all eight of the nation's cardinals and at least 10 other archbishops. It included the current presi- dent of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, and all three former NCCB pres- idents who are not retired: Car- dinals William H. Keeler of Bal- timore and Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago and Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincin- nati. Their aim: a congressional override of President Clinton's veto of the Partial-Birth Abor- tion Ban Act. The vigil took place just a week before the House The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pul:tmlmr ............. Bisl Call A, Gettger rmtio+ ..................................... Paul R. Lengang Pmduclion Tm:tmician .............. Joseph Diotri ................................... Pt Newland ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of PulNication I II I II was due to take a veto override vote. Their reason: In bluntest terms, in partial-birth abortion the bishops see the nation mov- ing from abortion to infanticide. And they think most of the nation's print and electronic media have failed to report the story clearly. On no other U.S. policy debate in memory has the U.S. Catholic hierarchy taken such a high pub- lic profile. Over the years the bishops have pressed strongly and per- sistently on many U.S. policy issues -- including, recently, their sharp criticisms of changes in U.S. welfare policy -- but rarely if ever have their efforts taken on such a tone of moral urgency and personal involve- ment by so many high-ranking prelates. "I don't recall anything even remotely like it," said Msgr. George G. Higgins of The Catholic University of America, a first- hand observer of church affairs in Washington for more than half a century. At a press briefing just before the prayer vigil, Cardinal Keeler, immediate past NCCB presi- dent, said the high profile the bishops have taken is "extraor- dinary" and "unprecedented." He later told Catholic News Service that,he has closely fol- lowed the general media cover- age of the issue and "the media have simply not got the message out about the horror of what is involved here." Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston, who as chairman of the NCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities has spearheaded the campaign, told CNS he believed Sister Lucille Mandabach celebrating birthday 95 To the edito I am Sister Lucille Mand- abach, O.S.B.. I am the nior member of the group of nuns in the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand. I entered here, from rmcennes, in 1915 at the age of 14. I received my high school, col- lege and teacher training here at St. Benedict College. I taught school in Evansville, Indianapo- lis, Cannelton, Htmtingburg, Mt. Vernon, Fort Branch, Seymore and Ferdinand. I had the experience of teach- ig all eight grades, but special- ized in Primary Grades. I also taught English to a group of Spanish speaking girls (at Mari- m-i High Academy): .... I'had the privilege ofprepar ing young children for their First Confession and Holy Commu- nion. It was always a pleasure to do so. On Sept. 19 1 will be celebrat- ing my ninety-fifth birthday. May I ask you to help me make it a very special day? I will make it a memorable day be offering all my prayers for you in a special way. Sister Lucille Mandabach Monastery Immaculate Conception Editor's note: The letter above was received Sept. 12, beyond the deadline for publication prior to the birthday. A belated Happy Birthday wish is extended from the editor and staff of the Mes. sage. ........... See LETTERS page 5 the vigil at the Capitol was the first such demonstration for which an NCCB committee was chief organizer 0r,.sponsgr: .... . "We hope that our presence here together in such a unique way will demonstrate the impor- tance of this issue," he said. He said the bishops were pro- voked to extraordinary action by "the extraordinary circum- stances in which we find our- selves, where an act which is practical infanticide runs the risk of becoming legal in this country. It's about as far as we've gone in this nation in adopting a culture of death." The media, he said, have maintained "a very impenetra- ble curtain" of silence on the issue. The prayer vigil -- an hour- long afternoon event under steely gray skies -- was the cul- mination of a long NCCB cam- paign to outlaw partial-birth abortions. It was an ecumenical service that also featured and Orthodox leaders in nent roles. About 1,000 ple, including several gents from area Ca schools, joined the vigil. "This is not a Catholic This is a moral and issue," said the Rev. Anderson, pastor United Methodist Mitchellville, Md., at vigil press briefin B acknowledged ops' leadership on ing, "You have borne of this." Twice the calls for national days prayer for a veto override, summer they launched a sive grass-roots postcard paign urging a veto overri, Before Clinton vetoed islation last April, and Washington Cardinal J A. Hickey led a prayer vigil in a front of the White House. Bishop's schedu The following activities and events are listed on the ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: