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Evansville, Indiana
September 27, 1996     The Message
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September 27, 1996
 

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1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 --- Bishop's Forum- Goodbye Father 'Chum' Last Saturday we had two inches of rain. I drove in it to St. Meinrad to concelebrate the funer- al Mass of Father Dunstan McAn- drews who was almost 90 years old at his death. As the weather was singular, so was Father Dun- stan. He was a faithful monk and wonderful exmple of priesthood, especially for those of us aspiring !to be priests. The steady downpour of the rain was symbolic of his steadiness and gusto for life and all that it had to offer. I believe he would have gone to the moon if he had had the chance. Of course, he would have been compelled to build his own rocket first. He was curious. He was like that. In my high school days at Saint Meinrad Dunstan's monastic assignment was multi- ple. That was not unusual in those days or even now. He was a teacher in the Minor Seminary. He was responsible for all the physical education facili- ties and programs. He was also my teacher of World History. For those of us who had him for World History there are fond memories of his teaching. Who could forget his diagrams of Roman battles?! I learned more about right and left phalanxes than most strategists of war But what I remember most was his excitement about it all. Always in a hurry to get to the next diagram, he never wasted time using an eraser, he erased the chalk with the heel of his hand. The content was certainly there, but I am convinced he taught me more about genuineness, generosity, curiosity and goodness of what priest- hood has to offer than all the detail about Roman armies, wars and their place in history. Father Dunstan was a "go getter!" He was an innovator. He also had us in physical education class. For me who had had no opportunity to see a real football or even know what a soccer ball was, Father Dunstan in.troduced me to them. We learned how to play soccer when soccer was new to St. Meinrad in 1949. The only equipment was the ball. By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER The rest was Father Dunstan, a few chalk lines and us. Football goal posts had to do as did work shoes or tennis shoes. He loved the sport -- or at least he communicated that to us, for his physique and speed did not portray that of a soccer player. Of course we did not know that then. From this innovator, we learned the game of"capture the flag." (The flag was a bandanna handkerchief.) It always took place on a hike, so they were known as "Capture the Flag Hikes." In hind- sight it is a game where two sides square off. (Local groups now play the game with paint guns.) He knew how to provide opportunities for adolescents to work off lots of physical and psy- chic energy and have fun at it. It was also an excuse, with approbation, to get dirty and bruised. Showers removed the dirt, but the bruises were bat- tle scars, some of honor some of "modified disgrace." There is one area, besides soccer and "capture the flag," for which Minor Seminarians for many years will remember Father Dunstan. That is the "waterfront," but for us and him it was more com- monly known as "the lake." It was his domain. He loved teaching swimming. I flunked several times but finally passed his test. He was kind. Father Dun- stan claimed the lake and its environs. For modesty's sake, he taught us how to change from pants to swimming trunks under our cassocks; which were our daily dress. Who needed a shower room??? The cassock was a portable cabana. For us kids, our swim was our bath for the day. It is fitting that his final resting place is only a few yards from the lake where he spent boundless energy for the rest of us. Father Dunstan taught us by his example how to participate in community affairs. We became accustomed to his athletic pursuits and he seemed at home there. But he was also.a practitioner of the fine art of music. He was in the St. Meinrad Band. He played the tuba. He played it with the same gusto that he had for life. The cello and oboe were in his repertoire. He loved music and it showed in his countenance. His less than graceful physique and ambulation belied both his interest and partici- pation in music. Since music is an absolute mystery to me, other than my appreciation of mystery, I am not able to pass judgment on his ability or execu- tion. He shared the best of himself nonetheless with enthusiasm. The hands of this man were like small hams. It was a total surprise to me, while working on a stage play, that he was an expert with the sewing machine. With hands like his, how does one thread a needle? He volunteered, nonetheless, to sew together nylon straps for a harness.for a "hanging scene" in Father Geoffrey's play "The Fallen Grain." At one point in the play, one of the prisoners of war, in despair, hanged himself. We had to "make it look real." With Father Dunstan's help we succeeded without any accidents. But the real Father Dunstan, the one We love the most, is the priest who would come up behind us and with his ham-like hands and "pat" us on the back. As we went flying, he would say: "Hi, Chum!" That was his way of expressing his love for us. At the funeral Mass on Saturday, Father Eric Lies, O.S.B. was the homilist. Before Mass he shared a classic "Father Dunstan-ism." that exem- plifies his wry sense of humor. In my time, the Minor Seminary used the "quarter system" for grading its students. Quarterly exams were part of our existence and, more to the point, were their out- comes. Whether we stayed in the seminary or not were the stakes. The professors had a common fac- ulty room where they would gather between class-" es. What went on in the faculty room was not only unknown to us, but mystery as well. We presumed, however, that some used it to grade test papers. Father Eric reported that one fall, at the end of the first quarter, Father Dunstan entered the facul- ty room in his own inimitable way. In frustration, he asserted with appropriate hyperbole: "The smart ones leave. The dumb ones quit. The mediocre ones stay'." Father "Chum," I'm proud to be one of your mediocre ones! The relationship between the ttholic Church and the Boy and Girl Scouts of Amer- is an important way that Commentary MICHAEL EPPLER Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry minister to their youth. ring is an important Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Evansville Scout or Girl Scout Unit, they provide the context for young people to develop their Duty to God, Duty to Country, and.Duty to Self and Other People. In the Diocese of Evansville, the Catholic Committees for Scouting provide year-round Catholic religious education and spiritual formation programs for youth and their adults. From retreats to formal catechetical religious education, the Catholic Committees for Scouting are committed to the spiritual, social, and educational aspects of the young people they serve. One way that Scout leaders can ctechize and educate their young people through Scouting is the Religious Emblems pro- grams. In Boy Scouting there are youth can earn. The Light of Christ Award is for Tiger Cubs (age 5-7). The Parvuli Dei ("Child of God")Award is for Cub Scouts (age 7-10) and teaches about the Family as the Domestic Church. The Ad Altari Dei ( 'roward the Altar of God") Award is for Boy Scouts (age 11-18) and is cen- tered on the Sacraments of the Church. The "Pope Pius XII" 14-18) and is centered on voca- tion discernment and life choic- es. And the St. Dominic Savio Recognition is a local award for boys who have spent several of their scouting years attending retreats, earning the religious emblems and attending the annual Vocation Awareness Day. Will Rogers once said aptly, "The problem with Scouts,.. is parishes sponsor a Boy day-long and weekend-long five religious emblems that a Award is for Varsity Scouts (age that there's not enough of them." io bishops say riverboat casinos not in citizens' best interest I]y PAT MORRISON ment Sept. 16. amendment, "State Issue 1," in limits on the. games casinos meaningful citizen participation Cathblic News Service TOLEDo, Ohio (CNS)  Pas- of a state constitutional allowing riverboat os in Ohio "would in the best moral, social, economic interest of the cit- of our state," Ohio's said in a state- The bishops did not directly condemn riverboat gambling, but urged voters to consider the issue from economic and ethical perspectives. The statement was released by the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the bishops' public policy arm. Citizens will vote on the ington $1,500 per schools. an analysis of the proposal by the Alexis de Institution, the fed- .Portion Would be funded by projects in the Education. under Educational 1996, part of legislative ini- by Republican of Oklahoma and James M. Talent of Mis- souri. The legislation, titled "Saving Our Children: The American Community Renewal Act of 1996,  would establish an educa- tional choice scholarship program including private and religious schools in "renewal communi- ties." Scholarships would range from 66 percent to 100 percent of the per capita cost of educating children in the local public schools, according to an analysis of the legislation by the Heritage Foundhtion. ~ the general election'Nov. 5, unless a petition challenge to block it succeeds. If passed, the issue provides for up to eight permanently docked riverboat casinos, three in Cleveland, two in Cincinnati, and one each in Lorain, Mahon- ing County and Hamilton Coun- ty. There would be no wagering Msgr. McDade said that despite the campaign talk of fed- eral aid, "We are more likely to see action on the state levels, where there is more involvement in elementary and secondary education." He pointed to Cleveland where, this fall, 2,000 students used scholarships from the state of Ohio to pay tuition at 51 private schools, 33 of them Catholic. It marks the first time in which tax money is being used to pay tuition at elementary and sec- ondary religious schools. offered. In their statement, the bish- ops encouraged voters o study the issue carefully and proposed six questions to guide their deci- sion-making. They asked voters to reflect on whether passage of the amendment would: -- Entice significant numbers of individuals to consistently gamble away more than they can afford to lose. Aggravate human weak- nesses of greed, materialism and compulsive behaviors. -- Cause communities to develop an unhealthy depen- dency on tax revenues from for- profit casino gambling. Enable communities to properly monitor and regulate casino gambling to minimize criminal and immoral behavior. -- Result in an increase of social ills such as addictive gambling, substance abuse and crime. Assure fair competition, appropriate state oversight and through specific operational pro- visions. The bishops expressed con- cern about one provision that "would require the state Legis- lature to develop and maintain a casino industry 'competitive with gaming in other areas of the country. ' They also acknowledged that the church relies heavily on bingo and Las Vegas nights for revenue, noting that Ohio Catholic schools and churches raised more than $43 million in 1995 from these sources. The bishops said they would prefer and have encouraged Catholic institutions to "raise needed funds through alternate forms of fund raising because there are a variety of social ills which can also become associat. ed with charitable bingo.  But they said charitable bingo is vastly different from commer- cial casino gambling and the industries that surround it, with 100 percent of the net pro- ceeds going to charities.