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Evansville, Indiana
October 17, 1997     The Message
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October 17, 1997

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October 17, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 I Open letter from ICC:, Critical needs of the poor The following is an open letter to Indiana Governor O'Ban- strengthen families, encourage productive work and • The percentage of children who lack health • non, his administration and state legislators from the Board protect vulnerable children. We strongly advocate an insurance will continue to rise. of Directors of the Indiana Catholic Coterence. approach that promotes responsibility while offering ° Reductions in food stamps will affect nearly all concrete help to families• Genuine reform hould rely households including families with children, the work- policy and care for the poor on incentives rather than penalties• ing poor, the elderly and the disabled• • Corporations will ignore recruiting and hiring poll- More than a half million Hoosiers -- 161,687 or 15.2 We advocate reform that: cies for former welfare recipients. percent of them children -- live in poverty. At the same A. Protects human life and human dignity • Persons will move from welfare to "working poor" time, most Hoosiers benefit reasonably well from the ° By supporting efforts that safeguard children, but with no real opportunity to become self-sufficient. abundance of God's creation• The w'orcls of Jesus pro- do not reinforce inappropriate or morally destructive claim the necessity of love of neighbor and a special behavior. Concern for the needs of the poor. • By discouraging teen pregnancy through absti- Catholic implementation In today's society, Catholic leaders continue to hence with at least as much urgency as smoking and As concerned citizens, we share a responsibility ¢vith Uphold the moral and Christian obligation to see to it substance abuse prevention• others to serve the needs of the poor. Poor families are that the state:s public policy places a priority on the B. Strengthens families not an abstract issue for us. They are in our shelters and critical needs of the poor• A theme of the Catholic • By affirming the importance of marriage, strong soup kitchens and are served by our agencies• In 1995, Church's Second Vatican Council, held from 1962-1965, intact families and personal responsibility, diocesan agencies in Indiana served 101,078 persons vW e duty of public and private institutions and indi- • By focusing on helping families stay together• with an expenditure of more than $14.6 million. Hos- uuals to promote the well-being of all persons, par- • By including strong child support enforcement• pitals under Catholic auspices in Indiana provided mil- ticularly the poor. (The system should be insistent with parents who lions of dollars in charity care. c ,The recently published Catechism of the Catholic abandon children and easier on those left to care for Catholic Charities, the largest nonprofit social ser- -.urcn states: "The duty of makin oneself a the children.) vices network, aims to reduce poverty, support fami- RlcgobOr to others and actively serving them C. Encourages and rewards work lies and empower communities. More than 60 percent rues even more ur,-ent when it involves the • By encouraging those who can work, to work. of Catholic Charities' funds come from government disadvantaged, m wha You tever area this may be. 'As • By offering employment with adequate wages and sources and CathSlic Charities" agencies serve in col- did it to one of the least of my brethren, you benefits to those currently on welfare, laboration with other private and public agencies. But, did it to me.' (Mt. 25:40)" (1932) • By enabling a person to exchange a welfare check in spite of these public resources, the number of vul- In a 1996 statement, "A Catholic Framework for Eco- for a paycheck by providing transitional help, such as nerable families are rapidly increasing much beyond ,n,°ieC Life," the U.S. Catholic bishovs reminded us that medical coverage and child care. our agencies' capabilities. Approximately 45 percent of COnomic life should be shaped by moral princi- D. Preserves safety net for the vulnerable our clients also receive government assistance. pl. ECOnomic choices and institutions must be •ud ed • By maintaining a system of support for those who ofYh° w they protect or undermine the life and idlty cannot work or whose work history is sporadic. me lUraan person, support the family and serve the • By providing an essential safety net for vulnerable Formal public/private partnership good. All people, to the extent they are able, children and adults. We, the Board of the Indiana Catholic Conference, their f_uu.t.y to work, a responsibility to provide for believe a reformed welfare system should rely more broadrmmes and an obligation to contribute to the We are concerned that: fully on the skill and responsiveness of community econora°.cety. A fundamental moral measure of any • Many more children will be added to the pover- groups and increased involvement of corporations, ,)o0ciety y is how the poor and vulnerable are faring, ty roles, nonprofit organizations and religious institutions; but hasa moral obligation, including governmen- • Children will be excluded from receiving benefits these should never be seen as a substitute for govern- talactic tu,, un Where and when necessarT, to ensure o or- because: ment commitments to assisting the poor. ., . ,, PP ,, meet basic human n d n ursue "ustice in * they were born to a mother on welfare, an unmar- e",ornic life." ee s a d p l The Indiana Catholic Conference  the public policy It Is aga .... ,_..  ried mother or an underage mother arm of the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Indi- teachin-.  mls background of Scripture and Church • a parent failed to fulfill state agreements and  offers this open letter to all people of good will in - - 6 mat we nlace our examination of welfare • the parent is not a citizen the belief that with your prayers, reflection, service, and orrl2, fl).e state of Indiana We, the Board of the lndi- •a parent can't find work or no work is made action, the public policy of our state will place a higher "--molic Conference, strongly support reforms that available, priority on the critical needs of the poor in our midst. To the edi • ,_ tor ei_, ue priest is about trent oiloYrS o f ag.e. He had on i oat, shoes in the same pdlt!ons, trousers all etched s • y hinaself P • . hlrt, whi - "The collar of his ca Was in ra s un aroutdL. . g ,h g 'We have neck.', He replied, chtlrch • only a log hut for our rtih  , hQUse, and school. At a be.k we Spread a mattress on Otlr Coy ancl there, wrapped in rest n_  rmgs We take a httle si°nar'e We are away on mis- Y uUties, we sleep on hay A-Sunday reflection: We were once "the missions" z page 4 said, because effect when one down from previ- to protect principles of t, focused to those repression, disaster, are Worldwide, the more wealthy are not willing to a small number of expect others to or straw or sometimes under a tree.' "What a Cathedral! Our barn at Soulaines is better orna- mented and more neatly kept.. •.. It is a brick building with large windows without cur- tains; most of the panes of glass are broken .... a poor wooden altar, a railing unfinished yet seemingly decaying from age. The Bishop's seat is an old red chair which even our peasants would not have in what they consider a nice room. To con- clude I have seen nothing equal to the poverty of the cathedral... " This is not the observation of a mission in some far off land, it is the observation of Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin as she arrived in Evansville and later Vincennes in the year 1840. Yes, this is our humble beginning and without the zeal, hard work; and reverence of these early French missionaries, and funds from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith and ordinary lay persons, we would not have the benefit of the Din- cese we have today. It is very easy in today's world to take for granted the ease of attending Mass at our close-by church. Or communi- Invitation to find 'Jewish roots' To the editor:. I want to invite everyone in the Diocese of Evansville to attend a great event. Saturday, Oct. 18, will be a Holy Spirit Conference. The theme is "Find- ing our Jewish Roots." Two nationally renowned speakers will be featured: Father Art Cooney and Sid Roth. The Davidic Dancers will dance and explain the seven Jewish festi- vals. Registration begins at 8 a.m. We are asking for a $5 donation per person or $10 per family. Baby-sitting will be provided as well as interpreters for the hear- ing impaired. This event is sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of our diocese. You will have a great day of blessing. Please feel free to come any time during the day. The event will end at about 9 p.m. God has something wonderful for you. Don't miss out. Ann Gries Evansville cating with the clergy and fel- low parishioners by phone, fax, and e-mail. Yes, there are still places in the world and even our own backyards where peo- ple are longing for the word of God. And yes it is our duty and responsibility, whether we be clergy or lay people to continue the work of the original mis- sionaries chosen by Jesus and spread the word of our Lord Jesus and the teachings of the Catholic Church. So, please don't think of World Mission Sunday as sim- ply "another special tithing day," but use the day for reflec- tion upon our past, present, and future. Remember, we are all missionaries not on just this one day, but every day of the year. Give that extra dollar, say that extra prayer, use that extra hour of talent spreading the good news of our lord Jesus Christ in our own Church, Diocese, neighborhood; country and world. Your reward will last for an eternity. Jeff Scherrer Jasonville Thanks for Youth Day 35 To the editor:. Hats off to Mike Eppler and the Diocesan Youth Team for the tremendous success of "Youth Day 35" which was held at the Catholic Center Sept. 28. You are to be commended for a very well-organized event, as well as one that held the interest of nearly 400 high-energy teenagers and young adults. It was most gratifying to witness their exemplary conduct as they shared their faith, participated in the liturgy of the Mass, and en{oyed the company of new-found friends at the dance. May God continue to bless you who work so tirelessly for the spiritual development of our youth. The chaperons from the Catholic Community of Washington, Margaret Allison, SL Mary Church Terri Hilderbrand, Washington Catholic High School Chad Lueken, Washington Catholic Hish School Charles Wickman, SL Mary Church