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September 26, 1997     The Message
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September 26, 1997

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September 26, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13  By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service Question: I am mother of three children and wife of a good husband. My sincere wish is to donate my organs when I die so others might live. My husband and children all disagree. He says I must return to God the way he sent me on earth, all in one piece with nothing missing. My understanding is that we as Catholics believe donation of our organs is good. Are they right to oppose my wish? (New York) Answer: The tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church totally supports the practice of giv- ing organs of one's body to another, either before or after death. Obviously, several conditions need to be consid- ered before organ transplants take place, all of which can sometimes become complicated. If the donor is living, for example, the physical and emotional dangers must be measured against the benefit to the recipient. If the organ is to be transplanted after death, proper criteria must be used to be certain the donor is dead and that death is not hastened to facilitate the transplant. Assuming these kinds of questions are resolved, as they clearly would be in your family; providing for the gift of our bodily organs is a generous act of" charity. In one way or another we already give our lives to each other throughout our lives. If medical science enables us to make some gift of ourselves to another even after death, it is an opportunity to be generous about and grateful for. Pope John Paul II emphasized the need for this kind of generosity several years ago. Speaking of the shortage of donors for patients awaiting transplants, he said it is a matter of Christ- ian generosity. "No solution will be forthcoming without a renewed sense of human solidarity." Here Christ's own example can "inspire men and women to make great sacrifices in the service of oth- ers" (April 30, 1990). As for your husband's objection, very few of us go back to God "all in one piece with nothing miss- ing." It's how we dispose of our time and all the other elements of our earthly life that tells how good stewards we are of the gifts God has given us. Question: I am Vietnamese, confused about prayers for war. During the war in Vietnam, or any- where else, how did our priests pray? Did they pray for their side to kill more enemy? Or for the safety of their military men? If two sides pray for no casualties, then what? Also, what are we praying for when we bless bombs and bombers and guns? I'm interested in seeing your answer soon. (North Carolina) Answer: I wish I had an answer. It seems to be one of those questions most people never thought about much. Maybe it's simply a feeling that some- how the blessing asks God's mercy and compassion on the whole tragic reality of people killing other people by the thousands or millions. Certainly many men and women, not only in our country, share your puzzlement more often and more vocally than ever before. While some wars may appear more "just" than others, rarely is there a warring nation or group that hasn't somehow convinced itself that "God is on our side." I'd appreciate hearing how readersof this col- umn might respond to your good question. A free brochure, in English or Spanish, answering questions Catholics ask about baptism practices and spon- sors is available by sending a stamped self-addressed enve- lope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Church, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. (Questions for this col- umn should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address.) Golden Jubilarians Albert and Doris Earlene (Atkins) Merkley of Schnellville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at Sacred Heart Church, Schnell- ville. A family dinner will follow at the St. Anthony Communi- ty Center. An Open House and dance will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the community center. The couple requests no gifts. They Were married Oct. 4, 1947, at Sacred Heart Church. They are the parents of five children: Betty Brewster of Bouldel; Colo., Bren- _Merkley of Schnellville, John Merkley of Newburgh, Bill erkley of Boonville, and Tim Merkley of Evansville. They have 10 grandchildren. Mr. Merkley retired from Mead Johnson; Mrs. Merkley retired from Neville's IGA Bakery in Newburgh. Living His Word radio BibA00..nteaching with A Dr. n Gries WVHI 1330 AM Mon.- Fri., l 1:45 to Noon Mon. - Sat., 5 p.m. , your word u a lamp to my feet and a lht to my path." Psalm 119:105 lwl Wo00h mentioning Organ Concert Sunday in Jasper An organ concert titled, "The King of Instru- ments," will take place on the Holtkamp pipe organ at St. Joseph Church, Jasper, on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. The concert name is taken from a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes. from the architect and unlock the doors. Abbot Georg Holzherr of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland will preside at Pontifical Ves- pers. The solemn liturgy of dedication is also an invitation-only event. It will be held Tuesday, The featured artist will be Steven Keitet  St.30,at2p.m.ArchbishoMBu4:h- Shaner. He will be assisted by trumpeter Dale lein will pde. PormerAbbotoF Lassiter in a memorial program commemorat- Sweeny will be the homilist, : :: ing the tenth anniversary of the death of Shan- er's former organ teacher David N. Johnson. Featured in the program will be Johnson's Trumpet Tune in D Major, which has been pop- ularized by National Public Radio, A large projection television system at the front of the church will allow concert-goers to see Shaner play in the gallery. Vincentians to gather in Evansville The St. Vincent de Paul Society's quarterly Mass and breakfast will be hosted by the Daughters Of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul at their Seton Residence Chapel in Evansville, Sunday, Sept. 28. Invited to the Mass at 8 a.m. and breakfast are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Evansville and Huntingburg, Ladies of Char- ity from Evansville and from Effingham, Ill.; Daughters of Charity from Evansville, Hunt- ingburg and Effingham, Ill; and Vincentian priests. The principal presider, homilist and break- fast speaker will be Vincentian Father Ron Ramson from St. Louis, who will speak about the life and contributions of Frederick Ozanam, the recently beatified founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Renovated Archabbey Church to be dedicated The first event in the newly-renovated Archabbey Church will be an invitation only Vespers service, Monday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. The Benedictine monks will carry a statue of Our Lady of Einsiedeln in procession from their temporary "renovation chapel" into the church. Archabbot Lambert Reilly will accept the key Ministry Day Registration available Arthur Zannoni will speak on the topic, "Vat- ican II: The Greatest Story Never Told," at Good Shepherd Church, Saturday, Oct. 18. Zan- noni is a Catholic layperson, teacher, author, theologian, editor and free-lance consultant in the fields of Biblical Studies and Christian']ew- ish relations. Zannoni will speak at 8:30 a.m. A program of musical talent from the diocese will follow at 11 a.m., and lunch catered by Shyler's Barbecue will be served in the parish hall at 12:30 p.m. Ministry Day registration is $5 if pre-paid by Oct. 3, or $6 at the door. Lunch is $3.75 per per- son, which must be pre-paid by Oct. 3. Registration forms and informaflbh're avail,' able at the Office for Adult Formation, Diocese of Evansville, (812) 424-5536, or toll-free in Indi: ana (800) 637-1731 .... Feeder league football continues St. /Good epherd and Holy Rosary/St. John remain undefeated in the Memorial Grade School Feeder League with wins Sept. 21. They'll play for the lead in the league Sept. 28. Last Sunda; St. Theresa/Good Shepherd was led by Tyler Owen who ran for one touch- down and passed to Brad Schuler for another, in the 22-0 win over Christ the King/Holy Spirit. Holy Rosary/St. John defeated St. Bene- dict/Holy Name 13-0. Bryan Croce and Clay Rogers scored for their team. In Flag League play, St, / O. Holy dict/Holy Name 28-0.