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Evansville, Indiana
October 22, 1993     The Message
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October 22, 1993

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Synod delegate concerned about youth The following column was submitted in response to the ques- tion, "Why do you want to be a del- egate to the Synod?" It is wonderful that the dio- cese is looking to improve and on- Guest Column By _MARK A. MESSMER Coordinator of Campus Ministries University of Southern Indiana courage its members to take such an important role in the "updating" of current diocesan priori- ties. I have one reservation, however, it is the fact that the younger people of the diocese do not have much of a part in the Synodal process. I understand that the parishes choose their own representatives and delegates to attend as- semblies and the Synod respectively, but I don't think the parishes and diocesan leadership realize how very important a role the young people should have. I was the youngest participant in the Evans- ville West Deanery Synod Assembly held on Feb- ruary 20. I almost felt as if I shouldn't have been there considering that I was almost completely ig- nored, and that it seemed that some of the parishes didn't want me to be there. It seems that the parishes as well as the dio- cese feel that Newman Ministry is in no way im- portant to the diocese as a whole, and that if they (the diocese and parishes) ignore it (Newman Min- istry) long enough, it will go away, something like a toothache. I cite three reasons for this feeling: (1) several of the parishes' comments towards my presence at the assembly, (2) I was not allowed to speak pub- licly as the other parishes were, and (3) I was not invited to the meeting in the first place. Some of the parishes' comments included "What are you doing here?" and "I thought this was only for i parishes." Also, while I was ac- knowledged by [Sister Louise Bond] and others as being present, I was not invited to speak, nor was the op- portunity presented to me -- since the parishes received invitations to the meeting and informational pack- ets to facilitate the presentation of ideas. All in all, I felt the meeting was important enough to attend. I was excited to learn of the Synod, and was thrilled at the possibility of serving Newman Min- istry as a delegate. Given the possibilities for change, my thoughts are many. During USI Newman Ministry's intbrmal cen- sus of University Housing, we found that an alarm- ing number of students no longer attend services regularly -- no matter what denomination. USI Newman Ministry holds Sunday Mass wherever the University finds room - we have no established space, for the University is a growing place and its buildings can no longer accommodate everyone who wants a consistent space. This leaves USI Newman Ministry to search out spaces suit- able, and must be satisfied with far from ideal loca- tions to hold its services. This in turn, discourages, in two ways, the college students, faculty and staff that want to worship regularly with Newman Min- istry. First, the students, faculty, and staff must find out where Newman Mass will be held this week. Second, it makes the creation of a sacred place for worship and the development of a wor- shipping community almost impossible. Even with this disadvantage, Newman Mass still survives and draws new students every week. Namely, because of the enthusiastic staff, music, and peer ministers. My work at the University of Southern Indi- ana has shown me that the church (parishes diocesan leadership) has the power to tinguish the flame of the Spirit in the young of the diocese. My six years of experience man Ministry has taught me to not give up, andt constantly strive to improve upon the past. fore, if it is so easy to alienate me from the think how the rest of the Diocese's youth see it as the Diocese essentially robbing the Spirit of its fuel - simply by ignoring them ( youth). Although the diocese is allowing young gates to participate in the Synodal process, it that it will be an insignificant role by including them on the list of delegates, and failing to them in any of the preparation. The bers of the Diocese are uniquely qualified to lighten us on where the Diocese is missing when it comes to them and issues troublin it any wonder that if the diocese is no ing to these people that we find ourselves and more disillusioned Catholic youth, and less people considering the religious life? can continue to expect these things if we Fail t the Spirit alive in our young adults!!, t The young members of the diocese toda the leaders of tomorrow, and without from the very start, in the end, nothing will be complished. So why are they left out of this process? I am concerned about the issues facing the Catholic Diocese of Evansville and want to help continue to serve its members well. This is want to be a Catholic Diocese of Evan, Delegate. HAUBSTADT  ELECTRIC Licensed Bonded * Insured Industrial, Commercial and Residential P.O, Box 405 TONY NAZARIO Haubstad, IN 47639 812-768-5207 1-800-766-2787 Peoples Trust ,Company SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. 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