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Evansville, Indiana
October 3, 1997     The Message
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October 3, 1997
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October 3, 1 Priests of diocese return from convocati By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Did you hear the story about the man whose motto was "Vent, vidi, velcro?" It means, in not-quite-Latin, "I came, I saw, I stuck around." That&apos;s the kind of joke an observer was likely to hear at the 1997 Presbyterate Convocation for priests of the Diocese of Evansville. It's a priest thing, to laugh at Latin jokes and other bits of the life of Catholic clergy. They prayed and they played and they listened to presentations. And they celebrated. Those are priestly things, too. Priests are back in their parishes following four days at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Kentucky, the site of the convocation. The theme was "Priest: Steward of the Mysteries of God." The main presenters were Auxiliary Bishop Robert E Morneau of Green Bay, Wisc., and Bishop John J. McRaith of Owensboro. It was Bishop Morneau who told them about the "Vent, vidi, velcro" story. He was also the presenter of a series of presentations: "Toward a Theology of Stew- ardship: Priest as Steward; .... Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pastors/Stewards;" and "Good Stewards: Caretakers of the Soul, Caretakers of Society." Bishop McRaith also talked about Stewardship. He and Bishop Morneau were among the committee mem- bers who worked to prepare Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, a pastoral letter on stewardship from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was published in 1992. Bishop McRaith told the priests how the stewardship committee had rejected the "quick fix" of raising money for the church, in favor of a true stewardship which rec- ognizes that everything belongs to God. The things of this world are only ours to use, he said. Jesus asked Peter to "feed my sheep," noted Bishop McRaith. The sheep still belong to Jesus, not to Peter or to the priests who serve the people today. Peter and the priests of today are called to be good stewards of Jesus' flock, he said. Most of the priests of the diocese, along with Bene- dictine priests who serve parishes in the diocese, par- ticipated in the convocation. The days were filled with prayer services, Masses, confer- ences, meals and recreation periods -- more of a retreat atmosphere than some of the earlier convocations, said some of the par- ticipants. Rainy weather dampened some plans for the recreation periods around the lake, but also added a more reflective atmosphere to the proceedings. It was time to read, talk Priests at a conference table discuss a Steewardship presenta- tion by Bishop McRaith. They are, from left, Fathers Michael Madden, Hilary Vieck, Michael Allen, David Nunning and Albert Scheller. Message photos by Paul R. Leingang Bishops Gerald A. Gettelfinger, left, and John McRaith, right, talk over a conference presentation with Bishop Robert Morneau. LinCo Coffee Services Total Beverage Distributor Indiana-lllin0is-Kentucky 46 Varifies of Coffees and Teas Shetler ovir & Storage Evansville, Indiana 812-421-7750 Priests concelebrate Mass during the <: with friends, play cards, and to reflect on the of the convocation. A special celebration on Wednesday, of the convocation, was held to honor priests ing anniversaries. Honored priests included Joseph Erbacher, celebrating his twenty-fifth sary of ordination this year. Benedictine Father Jeremy King and Jeff Ward, leader from St. Joseph Church, Evansville, led singing at Morning, Mid-day and Evening Prayers, at the Eucharistic Celebration. Bishops Morneau McRaith praised the liturgical celebrations for beauty and their prayerfulness. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger presided at the final day of the convocation, In his homily, acknowledged that there is risk in being a steward, there is reward -- knowing "that we have done we know how." 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