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September 25, 1987     The Message
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September 25, 1987

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September 25, 1987 View Point The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 By FATHER JOSEPH L. ZILIAK Associate Publisher Mot lel for all priests is Christ, the first and eternal priest " Did you see the CBS television show "60 Minutes" this past Sunday? One of the segments of the program devoted itself to interviews with priests, former priests and lay people about the subject of priestly celibacy. The major stress was on those who have left the active priesthood because of the demand for the celibate priesthood. The program referred to the numbers of those who have resigned from the priesthood over the past 20 years. The general numbers used are about 17,000. Some viewers may feel that such coverage was a real downer after all the positive impact made over the past days with the papal visit. In a way it was, but if we expect and hope for news coverage on public airwaves, we should not be surprised if other questions are raised. I once heard a definition for Monday morning. It is a day that as you arrive at the office, you find a "60 Minutes" television crew in your waiting room. We'll survive the program. When Pope John Paul II spoke to 300 U.S. bishops assembled at Our Lady of the Queen of Angels high school seminary in San Fernando, Ca)if., he made no explicit mention of the idea proposed in some circles that the clergy shortage be turned around by relaxing the rules on priestly celibacy, according to news reports. He also made no specific mention there of women priests or allowing the return of married, resigned priests to active ministry. St. Joseph ALL OF THOSE thoughts apparently were in the pope's mind as he indicated that the church must use "prudence and pastoral realism" in assessing the situation, but "at the same time we know that today, as always, there are prophets of doom. We must resist them in their pessimism, and continue in our efforts to promote vocations." The report from NC News continued. "The basis Of our hope" in looking at the present prospect of future vocations, said the pope, "is the power of Christ's paschal mystery. He is strong enough to attract young men even today" to the priesthood. The matter rests there. One of the strongest feelings I had as I viewed the "60 Minutes" seg- ment was one of sympathy for bishops. These are issues that affect them daily. How many gray hairs, how many signs of aging, how many hours spent in prayer, how many restless nights have they en- dured in facing the problem of clergy personnel? Anyone who heads a business or department knows that personnel are the greatest source of comfort or the major source of difficulty for com- pletion of any tasks. A bishop has to rely on his priests to minister to the needs of people scattered throughout the territory of a diocese. Priests are an uneven lot. They are human beings, not much dif- ferent from anyone else. We know, therefore, that they will vary in talent, emotional stability, physical fitness, per- sonality and intellectual capacity. Some will have private skills of dealing most effectively with peru ple in one-to-one situations of counseling and spiritual direction. Others will have public skills of speaking or organizing groups. On and on could go the list of ways in which this specialized group will vary. THE COMMON DENOMINATOR is their dedication to doing their part in carrying God's Word to his people. They are ordained priests and thus play a particular role of leadership in a com- munity of faith. They are the orderers of their peo- ple in matters of the Spirit and God's Word. No one is a clone of any other. The model for all is Christ, the first and eternal priest. To what degree each one matches that ideal is largely an unknown. We leave that up to the Lord: A bishop is the point of unity as the head priest in his diocese. The other priests make his presence known and felt in the individual parishes. A bishop is heavily dependent on the training and skills of his priests in the parishes and other specialized ministries. He cannot use massive force. He must allow some areas of flex- ibility and personal responsibility for his priests. It was for that reason that I felt that the bishops across the U.S. may have felt a heavy sadness if they viewed "60 Minutes." A good resolution would be for us to remember our priests and bishop daily in prayer that they be prayerful, compassionate, loving shepherds and servants of their people. Continued from page 11 : Lampert, Bernard Hurst and Alois Haeberle. In 1837, another 24 familes arrived. The first church was a log structure at 7th and Newton Streets, completed in 1838. When the first resident pastor, Father Joseph Kundek, arrived September 28, 1838, there were 39 families; by year's end, 50. By 1840, the 110 CLIP AND SAVE THIS families needed a bigger church. The brick church, patterned after the Cathedral in Vincen- nes, was completed in 1841. By 1844, the number of families had more than doubled, to 242; and more German families poured into the surrounding area. Father Kundek began parishes in Ferdinand, Celestine, Rockport and Fulda. COUPON : ?:. This price includes all special options $64 '5 SCH0000IUM JEWELERS 12 N. Weinbach Ave. 476-2755 OFFEREC EXCLUSIVEU B R. JOHNS, LTD, | H ml In 1854, he persuaded the monastery of Einsedeln, Switzerland, to send two Benedictine monks to found St. Meinrad" Abbey. Father Bede O'Connor, O.S.B., and Father Ulric Christen, O.S.B., took over pastoral duties at St. Joseph, after the death of Father Kundek in 1857. The next resident pastor, Father Fidelis Maute, guided the construction of the present church building. The decision was made in 1867; the sand- stone was quarried and transported to the site, for the foundation completed in 1871. The walls were built in seven years; pillars, rafters, roof beams and the roof itself follow- ed, with the building "completed" in 1880. Still to be added were pews, plaster- ing, a heating system, the mar- ble altars, the steeple, and the bells. After the death of Father Fidelis in 1897, Father Stephen Stenger, O.S.B., began collec- ting donations for the stained glass windows which were in- stalled in 1898. Im- provements to the church con- tinue. The pipe organ was in- stalled in 1920. A new terazzo floor was added in the 1950's, as were walls and columns newly veneered with St. Meinrad sandstone. Today, a drive is underway to replace the tiled roof, with its distinctive cross pattern. Changes to the building are designed to preserve the historic structure and provide for its ongoing service to the worshipping community. "Where customers send their friends!" Open nightly til 9 p.m. hop Scn OLD US 231 SOUTH - JASPER, IN - 482-2222 " 99 00.}ONTINUING 00ARE CENTER Changes in the parish structure also reflect a need to preserve a tradition while reflecting the needs of a changing world. An announcement in October will be made about the retire- ment of Father Richard Hoff- man. Another announcement will deal with a change in the weekend Mass schedule. The growing need "for peo- ple to minister to one another" is growing more obvious at St. Joseph, says Father Davidson. That is why St. Joseph was the first parish to adopt the Stephen Ministry, he says. The priests and staff have taken "a team ap- proach" at St. Joseph, where more than 5,000 parishioners now have two active priests. On staff also are Sister Jacqueline Kissel and Sister Michelle Mohr, O.S.B.; Sister Agnes Sermersheim, O.S.B., Director of Religious Education, and "much more than that," accor- ding to the pastor. The newest staff member is youth minister Beth Nord. "We're on the cutting edge," says Father Davidson. "This is the Church." $CHNEL L VlL L E FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE H.G. FISCHER RT. 1 ST. ANTHONY NEIDIG