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October 18, 1996     The Message
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October 18, 1996
 

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1996 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -" Bishop's Forum -- # The celebration of the Feast of All Saints is upon us. Unfortu- the "feast" of modern day seems now to overshad- understanding of veneration of the saints 1st. The Eucharistic given way to the feast of a candies. Maybe that is not all bad. This aberration of the sacred gives us a Chance to refocus, an opportunity l::each, after we ourselves re- 'o" .ne meaning of the Feast of :," oamts. Just maybe we can turn taat all around with a little effort. In the Preface for Funerals, we are reminded the death of a family member "life i not ended." Yes, the body dies, but the per- in eternity. We believe that Jesus died at each of us who follow him in death will also om him forever in eternal happiness. All human beings who, having died, have accepted God's mercy, won by Jesus' death on the cross, are saints. We honor all of them on the Feast By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Saints Alive of All Saints on November 1 each year. Since I have been bishop it has been my privilege to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in parishes on the Feast of All Saints. Usually the class members responsible for the liturgy that day are dressed in costume for some of the more popular saints. I regularly expect that sometime in the celebration we have the refrain of "When the Saints go Marching in." It is wonderful -- notice the word wonder in wonderful! Children wonder at the curiosi- ties. They stand in awe of the mys- terious. The fact is we all wonder at mystery. We all stand in awe at God's mysterious presence. I stand in wonder at death. I am even more in awe of the promise of resurrection. My parents and my maternal and paternal grandparents all have gone to eternity. They have been joined by three of my nephews. It causes me and I am sure my siblings -- to wonder at the thought that our parents, grandparents, and nephews are saints; they are with God! Although we do not dress in costumes that remind us of them, we look at their pictures and their stones in the cemetery and we rejoice.. Oh yes, we miss them, but we celebrate the feast of the Eucharist recalling their lives. Halloween -- the eve of all hallows -- provides an opportunity for parents to remind themselves and their children of the meaning of the "feast." I suggest that they children might mask themselves in the costume of their personal patron saint instead of a ghoul, a politician, a carloon or com- puter character. My dear parents, you are the first teachers of your children. Teach them about the name you chose for them in baptism. Tell the stories of the lives of their patrons and patronesses, the saints we honor on November 1 each year. Begin by telling them the story of your own patron or patroness. It is chance to do some life-long learning if you don't already know. Ponder this thought: We wear the masks, the characteristics, of our parents and grandparents throughout life! Parents and children, you are the saints alive! Harlem becomes Mecca for tourists of P a fascinating phe- New known this centu- as one centers of Afro- United center was the at was )rrners what the in Nashville mUsic singers its share of proud resi- ffully rebuilding neighborhood glory Even the i s returning to -- honor. L Is being restored not unique or Strai- ns from gton Page 4 as much as we said the '. 1992 pas- A Disci- Is one of the around, COngrega. it, Ronsvalle ironic note: cs don, t know it life to death and back to life are happening in urban areas all over the United States. What makes Harlem's rebirth distinc- tive is its booming tourist busi- ness. According to a recent report on National Public Radio, foreign visitors by the busloads are descending on the churches of Harlem. Asians and Euro- peans are flocking to Harlem's churches to join in the spirited worship: the music, the congre- gational participation, and the welcoming and hospitality all provide a religious experience that is totally."foreign" to the foreigners! And they love it! During the NPR report, sever- al ofthe visitors from other coun- tries were asked what church services were like in their home lands. One young lady from Ger- many summarized all of the responses quite well. She said: "In our churches people are very stiff, no one talks or looks at one another, and there's almost no one there except old ladies. It's boring.  A Catholic parishioner recent- ly overheard her pastor telling a couple of his close friends how much of a "pain" it is to prepare for and celebrate Mass for his congregation every weekend. Needless to say, the parishioner was quite upset and confused by her pastor's remark. Her com- ment was: "I hate to say it, but I think my pastor has made a poor career choice!" More and more parishes in our diocese are taking on the challeng e of total stewardship conversion. According to our diocesan vision of a total stew- ardship parish, one of its char- acteristics is that it is ALIVE! (that's "ALIVE!" with capital letters and an exclamation point) There is a noticeable spirit of involvement and activ- ity among its faith-filled people. Even first-time visitors or new- comers immediately notice its vitality. According to Father Thomas McGread, pastor of one of the premier total steward- ship parishes in the U.S., St. Francis of Assist in Wichita, there are three characteristics of such a parish: 1) it is a wel- .................. place, 2) it is a prayerful community, and He was always ready to touch to seriously and prayerfully 3) it gives outstanding service their minds and hearts with a evaluate how we plan and pre- to its people, story or a miracle, pare for our liturgical celebra- As a prayerful community, In the same way we as Jesus' tions. Our parish community everything revolves around the disciples today need to take may be in need of some type of total stewardship parish's advantageofthe fewopportuni- spiritual renewal or renais- Eucharistic celebrations. Much ties we have to hear and spread sauce. The Harlem tourist phe- time and energy go into plan- the Good News of salvation. For nomenon described above seems ning, preparing for and cele- most of us, clergy and laity to indicate that many people are brating each Mass particularly alike, those opportunities are looking for forms of worship that those on Saturday and Sunday greatest when our parish fatal- touch their minds and hearts. when most members gather to lies come together to worship. What can be done to improve be fed and nurtured through the If celebrating or attending the liturgical celebrations in Sacred mysteries, instructed Mass is a "pain" for us, it's time your parish? and motivated by the Sacred Scriptures and homilies, and g fig e.00r00.ed by the oft.e Encoura es continued ht community gathered to worship r and praise God. Furthermore, against partial birth abortion recent stewardship of treasure research indicates that good As National Director of Priests lobbying, we observed the final liturgies and homilies directly For Life, I joined a large contin- arguments and votes in the Sen- and positively impact parish gent of other religious and pro- ate Chamber. Just before the vot- income as well as parishioners' life leaders in Washington on ingbegan, a baby's crying pierced willingness to share their time September 26 when the Senate the chamber and continued for and talent, several minutes. So what is the lesson in these COMMENTARY The failure of the Senate to somewhat disjointed thoughts? By FATHER FRANK A. override the veto does not settle Perhaps it is found in the PAVONE the issue of partial-birth abor- answer to one of the most fun- Priests for Life tion. Rather it raises it to a new damental Christian questions: level of urgency. In addition to "What would Jesus do?" When a voted on whether or not to over- constant prayer I urge that we small group of people or a large ride President Clinton's veto of do the. following: 1. Contact and crowd gathered to listen to His the ban on partial-birth abor- challenge those who demand a words or watch His actions, tions. After a prayer breakfast "health exception" to the ban to Jesus never disappointed them. press conference, and last-minute produce one piece of medical expert medical testimony demon- strating that there is any reed- Time out! ical condition requ,ring partial. birth abortion; 2. Inform others about partial-birth abortion and People relate to time in many three days in coming to the home about who has voted to keep it different ways: referees call time; of Mary and Martha; but this legal; and 3. Support efforts to prisoners serve time; musicians delay would enable Jesus to exer- get the truth about partial-birth mark time; and sometime we cise His Divine Power by calling abortion into the media (such as waste time. Lazarus back to life. the Child Protection Fund, 900 But Jesus also knew the value Second Street, Suite 118, Wash- Commentary of'taking some time off.' He did ington, D.C. 20002). By MSGP CLINTON so from time to time. Jesus knew Partial-birth abortion is crime H IRSCH that not every moment could be against humanity. When our " given to work .... "Come away government sanctioned it, it did How did Jesus relate to time? into a quiet place by yourselves, not do so with the consent of the He was punctual, knew when to and rest a little." Mark: 6:31) governed. We have come to the act. "When the hour arrived, He Two small girls stood by a duck point where the very legitimacy took His place at table, and the pond at the zoo. Impatiently, one of our current government has apostles with Him.  (Lk: 22:14).. said, Come on[ m We're wasting to be seriously questioned. . The redemption of the world time;" "I'm not wasting time," As far as I am concerned, the was on schedule: "the hour has said the other girl. "rm watching line in the sand gets drawn here. come for the Son of Man to be the ducks"... The most produc- If this evil cannot stir up the glorified." (Jn. 12:23) tive people know how to relax, strongest possible efforts to The Lord was not a procrasti- Make sure your schedule includes restore justice for all, then noth- nator. IfHe put things offit was leisure time .... "Take time to ing will. by design not neglect. After the -watch the ducks!  . .. The Lord No battle-ends here, it only death of Lazarus, He waited would approve, bens