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September 20, 1996     The Message
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September 20, 1996

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iItember 20, 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -- Bishop's Forum -- Volunteer catechists are a golden gift This past week we celebrated next generation. Ours is neither an best of catechists, be they trained or untrained, be the feast of St. John Chrysostom .................... iHis nickname "chrys0stom" really means "golden mouth." He is noted for his ability to eXplai n clearly ings of our faith. Both his writings and his piZedching were exceptional, but the name Comes his preaching, his passing on of the faith Orally as do catechists. It is fitting as we celebrate Catechetical Sunday annually that we honor'those who assist parents and pastors in fulfilling Jesus' command, "Go and teach .... " These are the folks who volunteer to teach the faith to children and young people. It includes those in parish religious education pro- gram s be they in school or out of school. They are g01d to u.. " ....... AS pastorand chief teacher in the diocese, I wish to express my gratitude to all who step for: ward to shoulder this critical responsibility in the life of our Church which you share directly with me, the passing on of the faith to all, and especially the By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER easy task nor one that has an end point. Teaching and learning the faith is a life long venture and con- tinues generation after generation. St. John Chrysostom exempli- fied, as priest and bishop, the man- date given to him when he was ordained a deacon, priest, and bish- op. "Believe what you read; teach what you believe; and practice what you teach." He suffered much because he remained faithful. So it is and must be with our faithful catechists. As volunteers our catechists may not have as much preparation as they would like, however, the Lord uses their personal and public example to teach the truths of our faith as lived out day by day. Such fidelity is not easy in a world that proclaims 'that "if it feels good, do it!" and "if is hard to do, don't!" I commend our catechists to your prayers. To parents of children and young people I offer this reminder. Unless you are teaching the faith at home by word and example, there is little that the they priest or religious, can do to pass on the faith unless it is reinforced. Parents must be the first -- and lasting teachers of their children and young people. The fact is parents teach their children more than they can ever imagine. When parents teach the truth, the truth is learned; when parents teach otherwise, "the otherwise" is learned; when parents practice fidelity, the fruits of fidelity are enjoyed by their children; when there is parental infidelity, the fruits of infidelity are suffered. I commend all parents who are faithful in see- ing to it that their children and young people avail themselves of the religious education programs out- side the home. For those who do not, I must hold them accountable for what their children do not learn because of their own personal failure. On behalf of all the children and young people whose lives will be touched by our volunteer cate- chists, I extend our gratitude for your willingness to share the bishop's and pastors' official responsibility to teach. I urge parents to thank the catechists who assist them in their primary responsibility to pass on the faith for they are indeed a golden gift. on-public school teachers demand equity of signatures and of letters from non- schooI teachers through- Indiana have deluged the a Professional Standards Commentary By GLENN TEBBE Non-Public Education Association nan eff0rt, t o };verse a which denled ecluity  to rotor teachers in non-public Parents and others are ing asked to write the Gover- , his assistance in rec- the injustice. The Indiana l Standards Board nied a rule change which )uld have permitted mentor to be compensated as in State Law. On June the Board voted to keep the current rule even though the Indiana Attorney General, the Board's staff and legal counsel supported the rule change. A mentor teacher is assigned to each beginning teacher to help him/her acquire and develop competency and excellence in the profession. Each new teacher is expected to successfully com- plete a Beginning Teacher internship as part of Indiana's licensing requirements. Mentor teachers work with the new teachers in addition to and out- side of the supervision of the school principal. The mentor teacher role was established by the legislature as part of the Internship program. The Intern- ship Program is administered by the Indiana Professional Stan- dards Board which is responsi- ble for teacher licensure. The Board has the authority to change its rules. Earlier this year, the .board agreed to change the mentor rule. And, the governor's office and the state budget agency agreed to transfer the necessary funding. The change in direction came after ISTA and other pub- lic school groups put pressure on board members. The (7-9) vote split the board on the issue. Two members of the board were absent from the meeting. Argu- ments from those opposed to the rule change included the sepa- ration of church and state issue, but legal counsel and precedent in other state programs demon- strated that in this case the sep- aration argument did not apply. The stipends are paid to indi- vidual teachers for services ren- dered to the state and do not benefit the non-public school -- religiously affiliated or not. A mittee member answers uestions about the RCIA What'is the Adult Cate- or RCIA? This is the process by which become members of the atholic Church. The process is )ncerned with the total forma- of the person into believing Commentary By BEVERLY OKEY RCIA Steering Committee the Church community, liv- with the Church community, with the Church cam- and serving with the community. This is a development that cul- in the celebration of the sacraments of bap- tism, confirmation and the Eucharist. Who is it for? The Adult Catechumenate is primarily for any unbaptized adult who wishes to become Catholic. It aiso invites those adults who, though previously baptized in another religion, to become members of the Catholic Church by their full profession of faith. How does it work? The core reality of Christian initiation and of Christian iden- tity is conversion. This is the ongoing process of turning one, self more and more directly into the presence of God which is the vocation of every Christian. Stewardship by the Book Good stewards follow the advice of St. Paul and conduct themselves -- by wise Use of their time and talents -- in a way Wgr-thy. 9.f t.h-e..Ggspe.1 of. Ch fist.. ......... . This gradual movement toward Christian initiation is a process and not a program. It - should not be compared to "adult education," or any other parish renewal program. Rather, it is the way for the Church "to be" -- it is the ongo- ing process of each member's faith journey. The initiation of new members is the concern and responsibility of the entire com- munity. By the quality of its life of faith, the community is evan- gelizing. By the active living of the faith, the community is cat- echizing. By the prayerful cele- brating of the faith, the commu- nity is formed liturgically. The emphasis rests on communal living and sharing of the faith. In many parishes now, this RCIA process is underway. If you have further questions or would like more information, please call your parish office. Beverly Okey is the Director of RCIA, St. John the Baptist, Newburgh, and a member of the diocesan RCIA Steering Com- mittee ............ similar program in Kentucky pays all mentors in public and non-public schools. Since the internship program began in 1988 over 1,750 teach- ers have completed their intern- ship in non-public schools. Each year approximately 10 to 15 per- cent of the beginning teachers are.employed and begin their teaching career in non-public schools. Throughout a teacher's career, one may teach in several schools and school systems. Many teachers who now teach in the public schools began and developed their skills and com- petencies under mentors in the non-public system. Teacher licensing is broader than a pub- lic-private school debate. It is a professional question that affects all school systems and tran- scends state lines. Letters Reader: Write the bishops about sex and violence Continued from page 4 To the editor:. The sex and violence that is being portrayed by the TV and movie media is of grave concern to many of us. It is so prevalent that the average person has become tolerant of bad moral behavior. The entertainment industry is, to a great degree, responsible. A letter which I wrote several months ago was accepted by the Bishops'Advisory Council. How- ever, their feeling was not one of great enthusiasm, though it is felt that abusive sex and violence is an extremely serious matter. I urge you readers to discuss the problem with each other and your parish priests. Please write the Bishops' Agenda Committee. Remember, they not only have enormous power but also a tremendous obligation. Their address is National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 3211 Fourth Street N.E., Washington, D.C., 20017- 1194. Jack Lavens Evansville Indiana Citizens for Life encourages veto override To the editor:. Last spring, Congress brought up a ban on a specific later-term abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion. This hor- rible procedure involves deliver- ing the entire baby, except for the head, jamming surgical scis- sors into the baby's skull and sucking out the brains of the child. Despite the fact that over 70 percent of Americans, according to two separate polls, oppose partial birth abortion, President Clinton still vetoed the ban on this horrific procedure. But this procedure is never needed, not even for the health of the mother. Dr. Martin Haskell, who has performed over 1,000 partial birth abor- tions, admits that ?80 Percent are for purely elective reasons." Dr. Pamela Smith, director of medical education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mt. Sinai Hospi- tel in Chicago said, "There are absolutely no obstetrical situa. tions encountered in this coun. try which require a partially delivered (child) to be destroyed to preserve the health of the mother." This month, Congress will be voting to overturn Clinton's veto. Indiana Cities for Life has prepared a special free packet of information available to any Indiana citizen. To obtain a copy, please call Indiana Citizens for Life, (317) 574-1896. Steven Ertelt thtblic Affairs. tor Indiana Citizens for Life