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October 7, 1994     The Message
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October 7, 1994

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October 7, 1994 The Message  for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -- Bishop's Forum -- Annually we are reminded that there is to be set aside one week for encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Pardon me, but that is simply wrong if we are to think that we should do this only one week out of the year. The matter of vocation, the calling to a permanent and endur- ing COmmitment to a particular way of life should be the prayer of each one of us every day. Today, Sunday, October 2, 1994, we celebrated the golden ju- bilees of those married 50 years and more. In fact we honored couples married 70 years. What a divine revelation! Fidelity to commit- ment is possible. -Almighty God Vocations are a special gift of They require a hearing. They require a response. *hey require a commitment They require fidelit to that COmmitment. " Y I am afraid that we have been mislead -- be- cause of prosperity __ that we need only to pray for Vocation week ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETrELFINGER vocations to priesthood and religious life. I believe that approach to be flawed. Vocations begin in the home. The vocation to marriage is the first. It is not a way of life one chooses be- cause everything else is difficult. Fi- delity to a marriage commitment is very difficult. Only love, purified with suffering, will make it remotely possible. Marriage is the seed bed for all vocations. The true calling to marriage begins with family life. The calling to priesthood for boys and young men will fall on deaf ears unless their parents have been generous in their caring and compassionate service to the community, be it civic or religious. Home is the first seminary. The same can be said of the call to religious community life for young men and women. Commu- nity living has great demands. Boys and girls who are left to "do their own thing" with little considera- tion of others will never be able to hear the call. The discipline of "looking out for the other person" does not come naturally. There is mystery in how God chooses to "sprin- kle" the different calls to marriage, priesthood and religious life. In the intimacy of family life, there is no mys- tery in the consideration of another when there is only one bathroom. In 'the caring household, ur- gency gives way to personal convenience. We all ap- preciate our earthly needs. We heed the calls of na- ture without question and we all understand and are considerate of each other. Equally, I doubt that there is any one of us who denies the spiritual needs that each of us has. Do we really recognize they demand the same sim- ple and personal generosity as sharing the family bathroom? Sometimes God's call is earthy. Sometimes it is blunt. Sometimes it is not so clear. In all cases, it calls for an honest and generous response. In every family in our diocese there should be a daily prayer that the young in all our families will respond to God's call to the vocation of married life, priesthood, or religious life with the same generos- ity that Jesus showed in dying that we might live. U.S. bishops' pro-, ife chair urges respect for life COMMENTARY by CARDINAL ROQZR00o00 o years ago, just ore the Roe v. Wade abor- triggered an un- assault on human nation, the Catholic m the United States the Respect Life Pro To Roe' s assault on dlgnity, the Church to respond with a of, and renewed to, the dignity of person. This year- -.. beginning ever each year Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October, Unfortunately, for many in our society, "respect life" re- mains a mere truism. After all, almost no one openly pro- pounds a principled position of contempt and disrespected for human life in so many words. Some might be tempted to ask what the fuss is all about. Yet at a time when abortions number over 1.5 million annu- ally; when some judges can claim that euthanasia is a con- stitutional right; when many policymakers can only respond to increased violence in our streets by building more pris- ons and inflicting more death on prisoners; when population controllers seek to establish a global right to abortion, and scientists seek to create embry- onic human life as raw mater- ial to be destroyed in bizarre experiments -- at such a time we must move beyond respect AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS I STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS I 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER I EUGENE WELP, OWNER a MILLER & MILLER "A family name you can trust" 424-9274 [UBOIS COUNTY BANK MEMBER OLD NATIONAL BANCORP Memr FDIC IR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK Q nvenie Fur n t Locations WEST CHAPEL 3033 W. MARYLAND ST. for life as a truism. This why the Respect Life Program is so important and so necessary. It leads us to re- flect ever more deeply on the mystery of God's gift,of life and the sacredness of the human person. It calls us to make re- spect for life our overriding vo- cation and ministry, reflected in all we do. The corrosive effects of the Roe decision have gone far be- yond abortion. Our civil society is rent by divisions over the most basic principles of moral- ity. As a result the family, in particular, has been battered. Even before Roe v. Wade and the onslaught of legalized abor- tion, popes and bishops pre- dicted that the abortion license and an ideology of sex divorced from commitment and procre- ation would have devastating effects on marriage and the family. Those predictions have proved true beyond most peo- ple's wildest expectations. Therefore it is altogether ap- propriate that this year the Re- spect Life program takes as its ! FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLViLLE, IN 389-2418 iiii theme the family, which the Holy Father has called "The Sanctuary of Life." The family is where children first learn the virtue of respect for life. The poet Robert Frost once remarked that the family is the place where, when you show up, they have to take you in. We do not choose our family members. Rather, we receive them, unconditionally and in love, as the greatest of God's many gifts. We accept mem- bers of our family, care for them and love them, simply be- cause they are family, not be- cause they measure up to some arbitrary standard of useful- ness or of being "wanted." This is even true of spouses, whose commitment is based not on complete knowledge about each other but on a mutual leap of faith and trust. But this unconditional love is most es- pecially needed in our relations with the youngest and oldest members of our families with children who cannot yet care for themselves, and with parents and grandparents who i  iml Vincennes Bicknelt ..... Sandbom Monroe City Princeton Patoka Member F.D.I.C. i u I cOMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE" Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 II I II I III II I III I I II I I IIII I Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J, Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 IIII I I I II I II I II I I I I II I/ 111 II I Ill IIII I Ill L I Ill II [ II Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc. Residential, Industrial & Commercial Heating & Cooling Installation Sales & Service ["'422'9'242 .... i Operated by Michael and Patricia Koch 15 S. Third Avenue, Evansville I II I lill Ill _ I _ II_ _ Illll _ I can no longer do so. When their need calls out to us, we must respond in love. Without this response, "family" has no meaning. In and through the family we learn that love and respect for human persons is not an option, is not a choice. Rather, it is a fundamental duty we owe by our very nature -- as human beings created God's image, and as brothers and sis- ters bound Io each other as God's children. Rather that supporting this duty to respect life, our society continues to devise new ex- cuses for avoiding it. We are told some people can be re- jected as unwanted, others as too old and burdensome, as having outlived their useful- ness, while still others are seen as failing-to measure up to an , arbitrary and ill-defined notion of the "quality of life." But the value and worth of the human person cannot be conditioned on such arbitrary standards as age, stage of de- velopment, state of health, or economic usefulness. Our society cries out for an end to the violence and hatreds that tear it apart. But this can only haIpen through the redis- covery and reaffirmation of the respect and dignity owed to all human life. This begins when we respond to the Church's call to make the family a sanctuary of life. Our task then is clear. I urge all Catholics to reflect ever more deeply on the truth re- garding the sacredness of the human person. As ambas- sadors of Christ, let each of us become repositories of this truth, guarding it and protect- ing it as we undertake the great task of rebuilding society on the firm foundation, of re- spect for life. Support your local pro-life organizations J ,L ., ....