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October 4, 1996     The Message
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October 4, 1996
 

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4 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October ---Taking the time to make a difference-- A familiar face, a forgotten name I was rushing back to my car after paying for a tankful of gas, when I saw a familiar face. Unfor- tunately, I couldn't come up with the name of the person whose face was so familiar. It was a rainy day, I had two more stops to make before I got back for work, and I was already behind schedule. A woman, some- one I knew I should recognize, was pumping gas into her car just a few feet from my car. There was no chance to avoid a meeting, even if I had wanted to. She smiled and said, "Hello, Paul." I said, "Hello," but it was quite obvious to her that I could not address he by name, as she had been able to do when she saw me. At times like these, I am usually tempted to try to get by with a sincere, "How are you?" or some- thing similar. I always feel a little foolish when I do that, as if the other person in such a situation would fail to notice that I did not come up immedi- ately witha name. Sometimes, when I can't come up with the name, I can begin to make a connection with a place or an event. So I can say, "How are you?" and add, "I haven't seen you since the big conference last spring," or something like that. By PAUL It. LEINGANG EDITOR The meeting at the gas station offered me no clues. I did not know her name, and I could not come up with a connection. I decided to be honest and admit my ignorance, at the same time as she took the initiative and said, "You don't know who I am." I said something about her face being familiar, while admitting that I did not know her name. When she told me her name, I was a little embarrassed. She had worked for me as a temporary sec- retary. We talked for a few minutes, and when I asked, she told me that she was working in an office not too far away. When she told me she had been at her current job for three years, I felt a little better. It seemed o.k. "to struggle with the name of someone I hadn't seen for three years w especially since I had never once seen her on a rainy day at a gas station. If she had been sitting at a desk with a telephone and a computer terminal -- that would have been different. When I drove away, I felt pretty good pleased with the pleasant conversation, and not too guilty for having struggled with her name. The thought struck me, that the simple fact of knowing another's name can have a great impact on that other person. At least, I know for sure it has a great impact on me, when someone my name. I have often wondered about the passages the New Testament, describing how Jesus disciples. I bet he didn't say, "You there, come me." And I am sure he did not try to get by, asking Peter how he was since the last time he ing. * * * Take the time today to get to know one other person by name. You might consider trying to recognize a you deal with regularly, at the grocery store, or at the bank. Perhaps you may try to get to know the name of a friend of your son or daughter, or the names of the neighbor's children. Think about what happens in your church congregation, to welcome visitors Join in the effort to make someone new feel wel- come. Make an effort to learn the correct tion of a name that is foreign to you or to your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to someone who ten your name. Renew an old acquaintance. Take the time to make a difference. Comments about this column are welcome at prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. ::: i ------Washington Letter School of Americas manuals, released by Pentagon, angers pacification." A Pentagon spokesman said training in such methods, which were against U.S. Army policy and law, was discontinued after a 1992 review of the instruc- tional materials. A Vietnam-era Navy veteran himself, Father Bourgeois has led a campaign to close the school because of the role some of its graduates have played in assassinations, torture and var- ious human rights abuses in Latin America. Among the more notorious events connected to the school's graduates by U.N. investigations were the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, E1 Salvador; the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in a university rectory; and the 1980 slaughter of 1,000 peasants in a remote Salvadoran village. In a phone interview from prison, Father Bourgeois said he's angry the Pentagon lied to him about the type of training conducted at the School of the Americas. rhey have consistently denied having anything to do with atroc- ities," he said. "They have always said, q/Ce can't take responsibili- ty for what our graduates do when they go home.' "Not only were lies told, what really angers me is that 13 of us went to prison for a nonviolent protest .... I really feel that the people who wrote those manu- als should take our place in prison." For six years, Father Bour- geois has worked almost exclu- sively on trying to close the School of the Americas. His efforts have included lengthy fasts on the steps of the U.S. Capitol as well as regular "protests at Fort Benning. Sev- eral protests have resulted in his arrest and imprisonment. By the end of his current sentence, the priest will have spent a total of three and a half years in prison for his efforts. "And not one graduate of the school has spent one day behind bars for his role in the atroci- ties," he noted. Other opponents of the school have been quick to hold up the training manuals as bolstering their calls to close it. U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D- Mass., said in a Sept. 25 press conference he would push for President Clinton to close the program by executive order because legislative efforts to cut its funding have been unsuc- cessful. He also said he would ask the president to commute the prison sentences of Father Bourgeois and two others still imprisoned for last November's protest. "President Clinton would do an enormous amount of good by, taking swift and sure action to close it," said Kennedy. Democratic Reps. Sam Farr of California, Marty Meehan of Massachusetts and Carolyn B. Maloney of New York all called for the school's closure and investigations of its programs and graduates. "I frankly don't care what sort of bureaucratic measures the military says it is now under- taking to right the wrongs of the School of the Americas," said Farr. "It is not enough. How many killers has the school trained? How many acts of tor- ture has it been responsible for? It is simply insufficient for mil- itary bureaucrats to say that they're sorry and that it won't happen again." Kennedy's office reported later in the week that a package had been delivered containing thousands of signatures of sup- port for his efforts to close the school. Many were gathered this summer during a protest at Fort Benning by more than 300 nuns attending the national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The information in the docu- ments came as no surprise to Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador, who told CNS Sept. 27 that Salvado- rans "all knew this." "In El Salvador, there was no surprise at the release of this infor- mation, because this was some- thing we knew and assumed," he said during an interview in Wash- ington. "To publish it really just made it clearer." Father Bourgeois said it would be a boost to his efforts if more U.S. bishops spoke out about the school as a way of helping the victims of torture Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the sched- ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: '  I mlu II I | I i* i III I By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) m When the Pentagon released materials that seem to support Father Roy Bourgeois' claims that the U.S. Army's School of the Americas teaches its stu- dents how to oppress, torture and kill, he wasn't in the best situation for a celebration. The Maryknoll priest was in a federal prison in Atlanta, halfway through a six-month sentence for civil disobedience conducted last fall at the school, located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. Excerpts of instruction man- uals release d by the Pentagon Sept. 20 show the school trained Latin American military officers in techniques for execution, tor- ture, blackmail and other types of coercion. One section referred to "active roles in terrorist operations" by Catholic priests and nuns. Another talks about increasing the value of an "employee" by means of"arrests, executions or The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Publi$hed weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansvi#e Pubr=her ............ 8ist Gerald A. Gettinger Effor ...................................... Paul R. Lngang Pr0d0, Tochncm ............... Joseph Dietrich ...................................  Wie/ taft Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all Communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $1 7.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post office in Evansville, IN ,47701. Pubtica. tion number 843800. ....... Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Pubhcatmn CoRmg 1996 CaCd Press of Evar'le I and the survivors of were murdered deal their grief. Atlanta Archbishop Donoghue visited Father geois late this summer an he would write a letter published in the letin, his archdiocesan educate the people of the diocese" on the priest said. "This is what we really said Father Bourgeois. majority of the U.S. silent on this. "But Archbishop silent too, until he responsibilities of his demanded he speak who had no voice." October 4,1996 Statement of Ownership, ment and Circulation (Act of Aug. 12, 1970: Section', Title 39. United States Code) The office of publication and business office of the ed at 4200 North Kentucky Evansville, Indiana, 47711. The address is P.O. Box 4169, Indiana 47724-0169. Publisher: Most Rev. Gerald telfinger, 4200 North Kentuck, Evansville, Indiana 477t 1. Editor: Paul R Kentucky Avenue, Evansville, 47711. Owner: Catholic Inc., 4200 North Kentucky Evansville, Indiana 47711. The purpose, function it status of this poses have ceding 12 months. Average number of (net press run} preceding 12 months (October 11 September 1996): 8,! for September 27, 1996: 7,537. Average number distributed mall: 191. Actual 27, 1996: 191. Average number of paid tions delivered by the total paid circulation: 8,226. number for September 27, 1996: mentary and other free al number September 27, 1996: Average total distribution: al total distritpt4tion 1996:7,433. ..... Average number for office over, unaccounted or s ing: 104. Actual number 27, 1996: 104. ..... '