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October 10, 1997     The Message
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October 10, 1997
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October 10, 1 Experiencing prayer By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor The monks filed in quietly, in procession. They bowed to the altar and walked purposefully to their places in the choir stalls. They walked past the visitors to the archabbey, making no sign of acknowledgment. My wife and I were among the visitors at St. Mein- rad Archabbey. We had gone to see the newly remod- eled church building, and we stayed for Vespers. The church is beautiful, warmly decorated and well-lighted. There is no doubt about its purpose: it is a house of liturgical prayer and celebration. • It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and the beauty of the day added to the experience. Inside and out, a kind of holiness filled the senses. On either side of the church, stained glass win- dows added color and beauty -- but their splendor was matched by the colors of early autumn staining the clear glass windows of the main doors. The late afternoon sun streamed across southern Indiana hills into the church, bringing natural beauty into harmony with the work of human hands inside. Music, song and the proclaimed word filled the church, and then quiet returned. Sweet smells of incense lingered. The thought struck me that we had experienced a kind of monastery-family prayer. We were visitors welcomed visitors, but nonetheless visitors. And yet we were participants, too. Liturgical prayer is like that. It can't be con- fined. What is your experience of family prayer?What is your experience of worshipping as a family ? Often, it seems, spouses bring very different traditions and experiences to a marriage. And the traditions of prayer and sacramental celebration are no exception to the stresses brought about in blend- ing and building new practices for a couple. If there are children in your home, what are their experiences of prayer? Prayer at home m even as it is at a monastery is filled with things from the inside and from the outside. The space reserved for prayer at home may not be as inspiring in and of itself, yet it is in the home that the human and the divine touch each other. In years not too long ago, the outside world seemed to participate in the weekly rituals of wor- ship, as stores closed and even factory engines wound down for a quiet Sunday. What contributes to the prayer environment your family today? What detracts? Take the time today to examine the op ties for prayer in your life, and in the lives of family members or friends. Judge what you find in the light of Christ's teaching. Is there time in your schedule for a retreat? Or an hour to pray in the garden? Reflect on the traditions you have kept from your youth, and the ones you have discarded. If you are saddened by the loss of a habit of prayer I celebration, take the time to restore it to your Reflect on the traditions you are building for your children. Take the time to solidify ences of real-life prayer -- at the table or time or the appropriate times in your home. Get involved in the teaching of religion. the time to bear witness to your peers or generation. Invite others into the prayer life of your Welcome a visitor into the sacred space of home. Comments about this column are welcome at prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Muddled masses: Tangledimmigration bills on the porarily from a three-week delay in the end of a program that allows certain visa appli- cants to stay in the United States while their cases are processed. Of course, when the three weeks end, they may still find they have to leave the United States and family members to regularize their status from their home countries. There was good news for for- eign religiousworkers, howev- er, with the last-minute, three- year extension of a program which sets aside 10,000 visas a year for nonclergy. The measure also included a waiver of the usual application fee for reli- gious workers who will work with the poor. The Senate had voted to extend the visa program per- manently. But House Immigra- tion subcommittee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R- Texas, said there were reports of fraud in the program and pressed for new restrictions. The three-year extension was developed as a compromise. But it seemed likely that Smith would press for further investigation of just who is using the visas, besides the Mis- sionaries of Charity. Their founder, Mother Teresa, wrote to Congress this summer urging an extension of the program under which many of her sisters come to the United States. Even more muddled was the situation of hundreds of thou- sands of illegal immigrants who are applying for legal residency. The bill affecting them would revive a provision that allows eligible applicants who have been here illegally to pay a $1,000 fine and stay in the Unit- ed States while their cases are pending. Just hours before it expired Sept. 30, Congress approved Stateme. of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Act of Aug. 12, 1970: Section 3685. Tle 39. United States Code) The office of publication and general business offce of the Message is located at 4200 North Kentucky Avenue, Evans- ville, Indiana 47711. The mailing address is P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, Indiana 47724-0169. Publisher: Most Rev. Gerald A. Get- telfinger, 4200 North Kentucky Avenue, Evansville, indiana 47711. Editor: Paul R. Leingang, 4200 North, Kentucky Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 4771 t. Owner: Catholic Press of Evansville, Inc., 4200 North Kentucky Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 47711. The purpose, function and non-prof- it status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes have not changed during the preceding 12 months. Average number of copies printed (net press run) of each issue during the pre- ceding 12 months (October 1996 to Sep- tember 1997): 10,467. Actual number for September 26, 1997: 39,250. Average number distributed free by mail: 204. Actual number for September 26, 1997: 785. Average number of paid subscriptions delivered by mail, which constitutes the total paid circulation: 10,059. Actual num- ber for September 26, 1997: 38,167. Average number of samples, compli- mentary and other free copies: 254. Actu- al number September 26, 1997: 835. Average total distribution: 10,313. Actual total distribution September 26, 1997:38,515. Average number for office use, left over, unaccounted or spoiled after print- ing: 154. Actual number on September 26, 1997: 248. and President Clinton signed a three-week extension of the pro- vision, section 245(i) of the immigration code. It is support- ed by the Immigration and Nat- uralization Service, which notes the procedure has cut down on heavy workloads at U.S. con- sulates abroad and given the agency needed revenue. Several U.S. bishops also spoke or wrote on behalf of retaining the system, saying it helps keep families together in situations where one or more members are U.S. legal resi- dents or citizens. In the meantime, would-be immigrants outside the Beltway tried to decide whether they should leave the United States in case 245(i) isn't extended and they have to pursue their visa applications from outside the country. Also worried about leaving the country were hundreds of thousands of people whose eli- gibility for legal residency could be jeopardized if they didn't leave by Sept. 27. They fall under a part of the 1996 immi- gration law directed at anyone who stays in the country ille- gally for more than 180 days after April 1, then leaves, even if only to retrieve documents. Anyone who tried to come back into the United States after overstaying that grace would be prohibited applying for legalization least three years and up to years if they overstayed year or more. In the Diocese of Iowa the" staff was advising people might be covered by the rule to leave the 27  180 days after April 1. "A lot of people are find out too late that ed to leave before the Martha Yerington, ethnic istr) told The Catholic newspaper of the "They ask, 'How will know I'm here?' Well, have filed your the waiting list for a visa) know you're here." Roseann Micaleff, migrant services for Charities of New York, archdiocesan paper New York that fi what advice to give was confusing. "If they leave and gress extends 2450), have trouble returning to country," she said. in anticipation and does not do it, then they their chance of tus." ; By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Would-be immigrants, religious workers and their advisers have been trying to decipher a con- fusing assortment of laws whose status in late September seemed to change almost hourly. As Congress recessed for a long weekend Oct. 1, left behind unfinished were bills and amendments affecting hun- dreds of thousands of refugees and people who are in the coun- try illegally. One bill, to extend the stay in the United States of Central American refugees  which for some reason surfaced as an amendment to the District of Columbia budget  was tied up in a filibuster as the Senate left town for Rosh Hashanah. Some illegal immigrants, meanwhile, benefited tem- 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weeidy newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Putad we except /ast week n December by the Catholic Pre of Evansville Editor ............. . ........................ PaCR. PrOduCti TsctOan ............. .Joseph Dietrich Sta wrr ............................ Mary n Hughes Address =11 ˘ommunicattons to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-O169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as perKxlcal matter at the post office in E,cstl. IN 47701. PubticatJo nUnlb 843800. Postmaster: Return POD Iorms 3579 to Off of Copyright '1997 CarbolicPress o Evansville Health Care Meeting, Mater Dei Provincial House, ville, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Priests Personnel Board, bishop's house, Wednesday, 15, 1:30 p.m. Mass, Sacred Heart Church, Vincennes nerstone Celebration, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m. Afternoon of Renewal, Catholic Center staff, Friday, 17, noon to 5 p.m.