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Evansville, Indiana
September 25, 1992     The Message
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September 25, 1992
 

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana International CFM gathering to be 'earth RepresentativEs from Chris- bilchatun, a Mayan archeo- gates are local CFM leaders . tiaa family organizations logical zone that ousted hemp from all over the world will farmers; and Xcanatun, where gather at an international some of the best farmland in "earth summit" to be held in the area was created by recy- Merida, Mexico, October 29 cling. "We wanted delegates to November 2, 1992. to see for themselves both Sponsored by the Interna- sides of the ecological issue," tional Confederation of Chris- the Cantillos said, "and how tian Family Movements action for change can impact (ICCFM), the World Assem- families positively and nega- bly of Families will provide a tively." forum for parent and clergy "Our Assembly," said the delegates to report on their Hamiltons "is meant to be a country's environmental gathering of Christians who problems and solutions, re- are beginning to see that so- flect on world ecology in the cial justice goes hand in hand light of Scripture, and pool with concern for the earth's ideas for grassroots actions, resources. Many times the (Paul and Jane Leingang of poor are forced to burn the Evansville are among the del- rain forest or overgraze the egates from North America. land in order to provide for Paul Leingang is diocesan di- their families." rector of communications; The biggest problem, the Jane Leingang is Newspaper Hamiltons said, is trying to In Education coordinator for help third-world delegates get the Evansville Courier Com- to Merida. "We believe it's pony. The Leingangs are very important that they members of the CFM national come. Many have govern- board.) ments which are more con- Wayne and Sue Hamilton cerned with development of Ann Arbor, Michigan. who than ecology, yet these dele- are presidents of ICCFM and head of the planning commit- tee, said that the goal of the World Assembly is "to inform NEW and inspire local leaders so they can return home and do something in their own com- munities. All of us, third- O" world as well as first-world families, need to become bet- ter educated as to the grave dangers our planet is facing. Many of our churches aren't taking a leadership role in this, so it is important that Christian families fill the gap. Part of the work of the World Asernblv will be to , process the resu(ts of an eco- _' , logical qlestionnaire that was 0 sent out to CFM leaders on ' every continent. Action groups met to consider the ' questionnaire, which led to a new awareness on the part of many parents. "At first," said a CFM couple from Malta, " "we didn't realize what the  , - ecology had to do with family  . , :: life. Now we realize that our " planet is a gift that must be , treasured for the sake of our children. Care for the earth is part of family values." The three assembly speak- ers will reflect the perspec- tive of Asia, Latin America, and North America. A scien- tist and sociologist team, Roque and Teresa Magno of the Philippines will present the facts about environmental degradation. Dr. Kenneth Weare, a theologian at the University of Dayton, will speak on the earth and social justice, and will later moder- ate a panel representing first and third world viewpoints. The last speaker is biologist Rafael Robles de Benito, Sec- retary of Ecology for the State of Yucatan, in which Merida is located. His topic is "Saw ing the Earth for Future Gen- erations." With the he Robles, the local : " ngcommi'in arranged three for assembly attendees. - Jose and Silvia Cantillo, program chaircouple in Merida, explained that dele- gates will tour one of three sites: La Cienega, a salt marsh being pollUted by families too poor to live in the city; Dzil- who want to learn more about the dangers of over-develop- ment. We need third-world delegates for a second reason we can learn from the wis- dom unique to their indige- nous cultures, which in many cases have existed harmo- niously with the land for centuries." The Hamiltons explained that the planning committee worked hard to keep costs.to a minimum for delegates. "Local families in Merida have generously offered to open their homes and pro- vide meals and lodging dur- ing the conference. But air- fare from some African countries can be as much as $3000 per persanfar be- yond the means of many of our CFM leaders there." Asked how the "Families of the Earth" conference com- pared to the United Nations Earth Summit held in June in Rio de Janeiro. the Hamiltons explained that the family conference was a counter- Q O weight to the UN meeting. "Where the UN conferepce involved head of state,' our ICCFM meeting involves local parents and clergy from every continent. Where the UN hoped to forge global pol- icy, we hope to educate and involve people personally. Where the UN conference was secular in nature, our as- sembly is a gathering of peo- ple of faith -- the universal domestic church." The five-day assembly will also feature liturgies planned by different continents, the Parade of Nations, and sev- eral events typical of Yu- cateco culture. ICCFM is an organization which promotes, encourages and aids Christian Family movements and their mem- bers witness to essential Christian values both in the home and in the world. It is an ecumenical organization representing about 120,000 couples, chaplains, and sin- gle parents in aver forty countries. "We believe," the f O September 25 Hamiltons said, "that is an example of the domestic church of s! faith-communities that transforming family lif well as the church anc world." Founded in ICCFM is recognized by1 Pontifical Council fort Laity, as well as a ernmental Org the United Nations. This article was Vernie Dale, who husband Tom is part of planning committee. more information about World Assembly, call Wayne Hamilton at 8822 or the Dales at 4878. For more information the World Assembly, send donations to help world delegates attend, tact ICCFM at 505 Street #607, Ann Arbor, 48104. .!