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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
October 6, 1995     The Message
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October 6, 1995

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference-- 'Touch somebody's life with your life' This is a story of love and pain and truth. The story is told in a letter from Mary Lou, from Chicago. If you read it, you will never forget it. "Back in the 50s when we first belonged to the Christian Family Movement our two older daughters Linda and Gail were looking at a flat tire I had on my car, when their younger five-year old brother Greg saw them and dashed out across the street to join them. He failed to see a car coming along at about 20 miles an hour. He was struck by this car and thrown against another car that was parked by the curb. "Our girls came screaming to ou r apartment to tell me. I found Greg lying unconscious on the street. "Our neighbors were all very helpful. One called an ambulance and another took our daugh- ters, 9, 7 and two-and-a-half under their care. "We covered Greg with a blanket and what seemed like forever waited for the ambulance. I can remember praying hard in the ambulance that Greg would keep tossing his head, then I knew he was still alive. "The wonderful part of this sad story was the part our CFM chaplain played in it. Father Bill Clarke had been a good friend of ours at St. Jerome parish in Rogers Park, a community in Chicago By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR where we lived at the time. "It seemed we had just arrived at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston when Father Bill was there at our side. He stayed with us all night praying and watching this pale lit- tle boy in an oxygen tent, fighting for life. "It was late the following morning that the doctor told us that Greg's vital signs were im- proving and he would pull through. Not until then did Father Bill leave us to go back to his parish duties. "-We will never forget Father Bill and his generous offer of time to pray with us during this crisis in our young mar-. ried life. We are sure Greg pulled through and was able to enjoy 23 more years of his precious life due to the prayers of this generous priest. Yes, Greg drowned near his twenty-eighth birthday but we will be forever grateful to Father Bill that we were able to enjoy his company as long as we did. "Greg touched many lives with his strong faith and there is a plaque dedicated to him at St. James School that speaks a message from him. It reads: 'Touch somebody's life with your life. 'Touch somebody's heart with yours. 'Give the gift of God's love to everyone you meet. 'Touch somebody's life with yours." * * * When have you touched somebody's your life? Who do you love enough to spend time Who -- or what -- gets most of the time in your day? On your weekend? If you have children, ask them about the pie who have touched them. What are the occasions in life, in a a friendship, when one person touches heart? When do you pray with other people? i Take the time today to spend an minute or more with someone you love. Take thei time away from the tv, the paper, the noise in neighborhood or whatever else distracts you. Seek out opportunities to spend time with your families. Take advantage of such time. Visit somebody in a hospital or nursing Spend a little time there, in prayer, or in tion, or in silence. Take your children with you, i you can, on such a visit. Take the time today 'to thank someone who has touched your life. Take the time to listen to the others in' family, in your household. Take the time to somebody's life with yours. Questions and comments are welcome at Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Washington Letter Everybody's talkin',,, about the Catholic Church WASHINGTON (CNS) -- From the White House to the Capitol, one thing has become clear in recent days -- politi- cians love to quote the Catholic Church In September, Catholic stands were cited in congres- sional debate on issues as di- verse as land mines and wel- fare reform. And at the White House President Clinton was quoting the U.S. bishops' 1995 Labor Day statement in a meeting with Catholic editors. Even Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich mentions the church -- although not in a particularly complimentary way -- in his new book, "To Renew America." "The irony is that at differ- ent times we are quoted by people on different ends of the political spectrum," said John Carr, secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference Depart- ment of Social Justice and World Peace. "We don't fit the political cate- gories of our day -- Democrat or Republican, liberal or conserva- The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher ............. Bishop Gerald A. Getteffinger Editor ............................................ Paul LeingJg / .................................... Paul Nearl S Wnf ............................. Mary  Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in EvanSville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Pubtcation C, 1995  Press of Evamv tive," he added. "We're for family choice in education and family leave in employment. We sup- port children in the womb and those on welfare. We're in favor of unions not only in Poland but in the United States." The welfare reform debate found some unlikely political allies making similar com- ments on the Senate floor and elsewhere about the expertise of the Catholic Church on that issue. When he announced his plan before the National Governors' Association in Burlington, Vt., Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole cited Catholic Charities USA and the USCC as having the "greatest experience in pro- viding guidance" to the teen mothers who were the topic of much debate. "Along with the U.S. Confer- ence of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Charities and other groups have urged us not to put the unborn at risk in our important efforts to remove any incentives for illegiti- macy," Dole added. Although he is a strong op- ponent of Dole's welfare re- form proposal, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., also had good things to say about the Catholic Church in a Sept. 14 speech on the Sen- ate floor. Mourning the silence of the Clinton administration and many advocacy groups on the welfare plan's "abandon- ment" of poor children, Moynihan said representa- tives of the Catholic Church were the only ones to raise a protest. "One group was in Washing- ton yesterday and I can speak with some spirit on that," he said. "This was a group of Catholic bishops and members from Catholic Charities. They were here. They were in Wash- ington. Nobody else. None of the great marchers, the great chanters, the nonnegotiable demanders." In his book, Gingrich was noticeably less enthusiastic about the Catholic involvement in the debate. The House speaker said wel- fare reform -- and specifically the demand that the system in- .clude a penalty for illegitimate births -- was the part of the GOP's "Contract With America" that faced the most resistance. After the House began work on welfare reform in early 1995, "the bombshell ex- ploded," Gingrich recalled. "The Catholic Conference of Bishops and the National Right to Life organization both decided they would oppose wel- fare reform because it might lead to more abortions. "Between them, those two or- ganizations could probably carry away 30 or more votes," he wrote. "We had no way to com- promise because other pro-fam- ily and conservative social groups were just adamantly con- vinced that the bill would lower the number of abortions." Eventually the House vote went against the Catholic posi- tion, but the Senate removed the provision. Its final fate de- pends on conference committee negotiations. Less controversy surrounded another issue on which the Catholic Church was quoted recently. During Senate debate on land mines, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., entered into the Congressional Record, with the unanimous consent of his col- leagues, a letter from Bishop Daniel P. Reilly of Worcester, Mass., chairman of the Inter- national Policy Committee, on the subject. A moratorium on U.S. use of anti-personnel land mines would be "a reasonable re- sponse to a serious problem that affects millions of lives around the world," Bishop Reilly wrote. The president's Sept. 15 ture, trying to remind we have more in we have dividing us." meeting with editors and writ- ers of the Catholic press gave him an opportunity to high- light the areas of convergence between his views and those of the church. He praised "the role the Catholic Church has histori- cally played in this country . in defending the interests of those who are not defended by anybody else, in looking out for the poor, looking out for chil- dren, looking out for the fu- The bishops' Labor Day 1995, he could evon serve as form for my re-election paign." Clinton also Catholic Church "has done more to help the than any other America. and to hel who And these days, he have to look far to finde one who would agree Bishop's schedu The following activities and events are listed on schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger ! :