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October 7, 1994     The Message
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October 7, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference-- - What are significant days in your life? "Davies was almost home. At least he thought he was. But sud- denly a thick fog arose over the barren downs, and what had mo- ments ago been a familiar land- scape now melted away into blind- ing grayness." That is the beginning of a story told by Anneli Rufus in "The World Holiday Book." Her story is about a bell-ringing celebration in the Eng- lish village of Twyford, Hampshire, every Oct. 7. Perhaps you can guess the con- clusion of the story. Davies was wandering in the fog, according to the story, when he heard church bells ringing. He realized that he could get his bearings by listening carefully to the bells, and the direc- tion the sound came from. Davies pulled his horse up short to listen care- fully -- and discovered to his horror that he had been just about to ride over the edge of a cliff. The bells saved his life. When Davies died in 1754, he bequeathed money to be awarded to his village's bell ringers. One pound a year was to be awarded every year on the anniversary of that life-saving event. Every year on Oct. 7, the bells are rung at 6:30 a.m. and again at 7 p.m. Bell ringers and their friends then toast Davies at a banquet commemo- By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR rating his adventure. The author of "The World Holi- day Book" has compiled a complete collection of holidays and festivals for every day of the year. Events are recalled and stories are related from a variety of cultures and tra- ditions, religious and secular. What the author has done in drawing together significant occa- sions from around world family is what someone ought to do in every family, it seems to me. I used to rely heavily on one of my sisters (and I should still rely on her, if truth be told). She always seemed to have her calendar complete. She could tell me the date of a niece's birthday, a nephew's wedding anniversary, and just about every signifi- cant date in our family life. I am embarrassed to say that I have missed more opportunities than I have recalled. Cards are sent late, if at all. Yet every year, on my birthday or anniversary, I realize how much I enjoy receiv- ing cards and phone calls. How about you? What are the significant days in your life? What holidays did your family celebrate? Many families have particular traditions about birthdays -- from the kind of cake that is served to the effort that is made to get together for a party. Many families observe other feast days. The day we moved to a new home. The school. Confirmation. Graduation. Are there occasions in your neighborhood, your community, which commemorate si events? Or are there traditional times to gather for "important" reason? The annual block out on the Fourth of July with family or In every case, no matter the occasion, should be an important part of every family life. Each card or gathering, phone ter, banquet or quiet reminiscence is in fact firmation that someone else is important in lives. It is an opportunity to ference to someone -- at home, in among your friends and neighbors. That's every day of the year. The World Holiday Book: Celebrations for Day of the Year, by Anneli Rufus, is Harper San Francisco. Paperback, $14. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. ----- Washington Ld Health care reform: What ' happened and what's By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Was the death of health care reform this year the result of a political miscalculation, a spe- cial-interest sabotage or the media's dereliction of their duty to inform the public? All of the above, say. Catholic officials who have been im- mersed in the health care pol- icy debate since long before President Clinton announced his reform plan in September i993 and who will continue their work despite the obituary for health reform announced by Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell. "It is clear that health insur- ance reform cannot be enacted this year," the Maine Democrat said Sept. 26. Each of the actors in the health care drama was quick to assess blame in the un- timely demise of health care reform in the 103rd Congress. The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kertucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pubsher .............. Btshop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Edito ............................................ Paul Leingang Producon Manager ........................... Phff Boger Circulation ................................... Amy H0usman Adverr ................................... Paul Newtand Stafff wnter ............................ Man/Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription (ate: $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 Publication  I g94 cad Press o Evansvb Democrats blamed Republi- cans, and vice versa. Others found fault with an adminis- tration they viewed as out of touch with what most Ameri- cans want and what American business can afford. Still oth- ers placed the blame on spe- cial-interest groups or the media which gave them so much time and attention. "It was a very confusing de- bate," said John E. Curley Jr., president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. "There was an absence of a real educational effort to bring those in Congress and at the grass-roots up to some common level of understanding of the October 7, 1994 Statement of Ownership, Manage- ment and Circulation. (Act. of Aug. 12, 1970: Section 3685. Title 39. United States Code.) The office of publication and general business office of the Message is lo- cated at 4200 N. Kentucky Ave., Evans- ville, Indiana 47724-0169. Publisher: Most Rev. Gerald A. Get- telfinger, 4200 N. Kentucky Ave., Evans- ville, Indiana 47724-0169. Editor: Paul R. Leingang, 4200 N. Kentucky Ave., Evansville, Indiana 47724-0169. Owner:. Catholic Press of Evansville, Inc., 4200 N. Kentucky Ave., Evansville, Indiana 47724-0169. The purpose, function and non-profit status of this organization and the ex- empt status for Federal income tax pur- poses have not changed during the pre- ceding 12 months. Average number of copies printed issues involved." "Probably what sunk health care reform most of all was the ability of the opponents of re- form to incite fears about gov- ernment bureaucracy, poten- tial job loss and rationing issues," said Patricia A. King, U.S. Catholic Conference pol- icy adviser on health and wel- fare issues. "There is a significant dis- trust of government" among Americans today, Curl ey noted. "But the irony is that many of the people who dis- trust government have no problem with Medicare or So- cial Security," government-run programs that benefit millions of senior citizens. Special-interest groups, in- cluding the insurance industry, "had their long knives out" during the health care debate in Congress, often promoting "false or alarmist" views, Cur- ley said. "It's much easier to be against something than for something," he added. Special interests also had plenty of money to muddle the debate. A report earlier this year by the private Center for Public Integrity said groups directly concerned with health care re- form poured $25 million into congressional campaigns, hired nearly 100 lobbying or public re- lations firms and spent $50 mil- lion for television ads. Curley also said newspapers government today is so bad" and by the recent recession, which left many people vulner- able to arguments of possible job loss caused by employer-fi- nanced health care reform. The abortion issue remained on the back burner during the debate, but the Catholic Church's strong emphasis on keeping universal coverage and eliminating abortion "had an impact on making leaders stop and take a look at how government was treating abor- tion," she said. Ms. King also faulted the Clinton administration for its failure to be clear about the fi- nancing mechanism that would be used to pay for reforms. But the death of health care reform this year "demonstrates that people could not agree on a mechanism," the USCC offi- cial said. "It doesn't mean that people don't favor the goals" of reform, such as universal coy, erage. "What we failed to do is have a debate in which the issues of the common good were the cen- tral concern," Ms. King said. "It was a debate muddled by partisanship, ideology and nar- row self- interests." Sister Catherine Pinkerton, a Sister of St. Joseph who works as a lobbyist for the Catholic social justice group Network, agreed with that as- (net press run) of each issue duringlhe preceding 12 months (Oct. 1, 1993- Sept. 30, 1994) -- 12,514; actual num- ber of copies printed Sept. 30, 1994 -- 8,810. Average number of mail subscrip- tions which constitutes the total paid cir- culation -- 12,302; actual number for Sept. 30, 1994- 8,631. Average number of samples, compli- mentary and other free copies m 75; ac- tual number for Sept. 30, 1994 -- 75. Average number for office use, left over, unaccounted or spoiled after print- ing -- 137; actual number on Sept. 30, 1994--104. and television "missed an op- portunity to serve the public interest" by clarifying the is- sues surrounding health care reform. "Newspapers and TV failed to cut through the shout- ing match," he said. "They are often engaged in a cynical em- phasis on conflict, rather than trying to explain." Ms. King said efforts to achieve health care reform were complicated by the fact that =people's experience of next? sessment. "The major sion in the health debate was a the common good,"' "The nated the airwaves and counter-ads and misinforming about the realities ous plans that any or responsibility mon good had been None of the is ready to give up of comprehensive, and affordable form, however. "We believe our not been in vain, ready to begin much determination health care the agenda of the gress," said Kathy; Thornton, dinator for Network.: A key to the willbe this term elections and campaigns that Ms. King to tell candidates the federal level state and local that they want form as soon as "Catholic citizens this issue at the keep it rooted in of human di Bishop's sched The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger.