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October 14, 1994     The Message
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October 14, 1994

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14, 1994 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -'- Bishop's Forum --. World Mission Sunday 1994 In preparing to write today, I de- cided to review the previous years. I found that I had addressed some of my feelings today as I felt them back in 1992. In light of the begin- ning f our golden jubilee year in November, I think it is fitting to re- mind ourselves of the past, so I am reissuing a forum from October 5, 1992 concerned with World Mission Sunday. ByBISHOP The month of October is a very GERALD A. busy month for all of us. It is a GETTELFINGER time that is mixed with all kinds of activities that demand time of faro- school re ilies and individuals. They range from |ated programs and student involvement to harvest hme street and parish festivals. Besides all that ere is the return of the bowling league schedules ng with golf (while the weather lasts) com- by the joy of a fall camp outing or a col- Then there are the annual dedications of the of October that compete for our attention. each year we dedicate to the foster- s. It is respect life month. It is the time of the year we turn our attention ' the personal responsibility to proclaim the to the entire world. It is the sharing of the gift of gifts, faith. bombarded daily with distractions of all kinds. This year we are particularly harassed with the embarrassing dis- play of adolescent name calling what has come to be known as the political process at its worst. News media keep us painfully abreast of stories of tragedies and devastation around the world. There is little that can spark much hope in our lives We, in the hustle and bustle of daily living, can lose our way unless we keep our per- spective. As St. Paul suggests, we must keep our eyes on the goal line, never allowing them to lose focus on the Lord Jesus who makes it all worth while. It is Jesus who directed each of us, through the apostles, "to go forth and teach all nations, teaching them all that I have commanded you." That man- date we cannot escape In the name of the apostles of the past, I urge each of you to take seriously this re- sponsibility. I draw it to your attention as we ap- proach this World Mission Sunday. You may wonder how this effort of the Universal Church, encompassing all nations in world, has touched our lives. We are indeed beneficiaries of the results of World Mission from its very beginning. Msgr. Schlachter, our diocesan Director of the Propagation of the Faith, has reminded us that as early as 1822, the funds from the first collection for the Propagation of the Faith was divided three ways among the world missions of that time. They were China, Kentucky (from where Vincennes was founded), and Louisiana. For the next hundred years, until in 1922 when we were no longer con- sidered a missionary territory, more than $7 mil- lion was given to the young churches in the United States from sacrifices of Catholics from other parts of the world You need to understand that we were a mission- ary territory under the guidance of the Congrega- tion for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome as late as 1927. The faith was brought here and nur- tured by missionaries from other places. They were funded by the contributions from people in other lands who were carrying out the mandate of Jesus. It is continues to be our joy to assist missionaries and peoples in missionary lands to flourish in the faith. We cannot escape the reminder of Jesus: 'Those to whom much has been given, much more is expected.' We indeed have received much. We have been given the greatest gift of all, faith. Without it life would be empty and meaningless. Jesus not only commanded us, we are compelled by the same faith to share it." Let us never forget our heritage. More than that, let us never forget those who made our her- itage possible Pray for vocations to marriage, priesthood and religious life. God will provide all if we but ask! Commentary calls for prayer and sacrifice on Mission Sunday lng feature mater. In the Diocese of Sivagangai, sionary of Mary from New the Church to offer prayer and Good News of God's love. How by the Society n of the COncludes with corn- prayers and mission work all children of His dear Father., life in Chun Cheon, one. She with her and three little girls. she became preg- the first signs of appeared. In the birth of her theMaria's S Korea, was One. he shared a lov- th her husband But when pregnant again, of breast cancer the two years of her fourth girlMaria's of surgeries Stewart of tells the story last-born 'hope dur- mis- Columban and go." He in Scrip. dying and a reality.. It patted away tears at the s of the young believes that One effective the GOspel did, we you want trying to we are led desire to {4 World, the Work is Way to- India, the Indian Sisters of St. Anne are concerned very much with poor families, many of whom live in small thatched huts. Daily, the Sisters visit in the villages, talking with the people and listening. "We spend hours with them," a let- ter from the Sisters says. "They get so accustomed to us that they no more consider us as strangers, rather as friends and confidants." The Sisters pray with the people and speak to them about Jesus. "As time goes on, they begin to accept Jesus and his message of sal- vation. We then prepare them for baptism." Within the diocese of Moshi, Tanzania, the local Sisters of Kilimanjaro serve families in parishes, schools, hospitals and development work, in such areas of need as health care, nutrition and home manage- ment. With at least half of Moshi's population under the age of 18, attention to the fam- ily is critical to the future. In the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana, West Africa, Brother Phillipe Andre speaks of the importance of education to the young of his country. "There is no sense in teaching a child to know mathematics, English, science, geography, etc., to the highest degree, if you haven't shown him that he has a dig- nity to cherishma dignity which Christ gave him. For nothing in the line of achieve- ment is quite comparable to bringing the young into con- tact with Christ." In the Indian Diocese of Vel- lore, a day care center for poor and malnourished babies frees their older school-age brothers and sisters from looking after them while the parents must be away from the house earn- ing their daily living. Sister Mary Anne Williamson, Franciscan Mis- York City and physician at Mwea Mission Hospital in the Diocese of Murang'a, Kenya, describes her vocation in terms of family. "For me," she says, "to be a missionary has often meant to witness, to see with my own eyes and to pro- claim to others, that deep down we are all one...we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus and all children of His Abba, our dear Father." Sunday, October 23, is World Mission Sunday, the special occasion given us by Washington Continued from page 4 the hustings," Thurow said, be- cause people didn't trust even then what politicians said. Today's righteous dudgeon over politicians' peccadillos means'that "our country shows a sense of civic vitality," Royal said. "In France, Watergate sacrifice at the Eucharist for the missionary task world- wide. Please pray especially for the continued blessing of mis- sion vocations to the priest- hood and Religious .life. Through the Propagation of the Faith, some 25,344 mis- sion seminarians and some 9,924 Sister and Brother novices are aided as they re- spond to the call of Christ and prepare to serve in mission parishes, schools and medical facilities, telling millions the I I i I ii would have gone under the gate." Are we getting a lesser breed of office-seeker, one with lower morals? No, Renwick said, but we just know more about them. "Jesus had Judas," Renwick said, "so it's been a problem for at least 2,000 years." can those millions believe if they have not heard? And how can they hear, unless those who do believe tell them? In the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana, West Africa, Brother Phillipe Andre speaks of the importance of education to the young of his country. "There is no sense in teaching a child to know mathematics, English, science, geography, etc., to the highest degree, if you haven't shown him that he has a dig- nity to cherish--a dignity which Christ gave him. 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