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Evansville, Indiana
October 23, 1987     The Message
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October 23, 1987

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r ......................................................................................................... October 23, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 Priests react to letters of affirmation "It was a very supportive, loving gesture on their part," said Father Francis Schroering, about the cards, notes and letters he received while attending the convoca- tion at Kentucky Lake. "I heard from people 1 had not heard from for 10, 20 years or more." The written notes came from all over the diocese, ex- pressing support from parishioners and acquain- tances for the priests. "I think that was one of the most moving aspects of the three days," said Father Ron Zgunda. "Surprise" was the first reaction for Father William Traylor, reflecting on the discovery. "I have real gratitude. It was very touching. It shows a lot of concern. ' ' The letter campaign was organized by a women's group in Evansville, who wish not to be identified. The campaign was a well kept secret. "I was on the convocation planning com- mittee and I didn't know," said Father Zgunda. "Writing to the priests gave people a chance to see the crucial role they play in our vocations," Father Zgunda added. He and other priests commented on the very specific nature of what was written -- of how people had written to them not about vague generalities, but of specific incidences where the priest had minstered to specific needs. Some of the surprise on the part of the priests who received the letters reflected the surprise of the people who sent them. They wrote to say to u that they pre- sumed priests did not need such expression of support, said one priest. They were saying to us, "we assumed you knew you were doing a good job in your ministry." Response to the notes was so emotional,"a lot of priests began, but could not con- tinue, to read what had been written to them," said Father Zgunda. "They had to put them away for a while." Father Zgunda will put his notes away, for safe keeping. "I know I am going to hang on to mine for a long time. I'll pull them out and read them over and over." Father Ron Zgunda reads one of the cards, notes and letters sent to him at the convocation. Parishioners and friends wrote notes of affirmation and support to the priests, many of whom were noticably moved by what they read. Members of "a small group of women" organized the letter-writing effort, anonymously, as a surprize for the priests at the last day of the convocation. -- Message Photo by Paul Leingang RE-ELECT BETTY LOU JARISOE DEMOCRAT CITY CLERK 12 Years Of Experience In Govern- ment. 4 Years City Councilwoman And 8 Years City Clerk. VOTE NOVEMBER 3 Food for the body and the soul Lunchtime, left, allowed discussion to continue and friendships to be renewed. Professor Richard Schoenherr and Father Gordon Myers, right, listen to a priest's comments following Schoenherr's presentation on "Trends in the U.S. Clergy Population." -- Message Photo by Paul Leingang College-level seminary to close By TRACY EARLY NEW YORK (NC) -- Bishop Francis J. Mugavero of Brooklyn has announced that because of declining enroll- ment Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception will cease operations as a diocesan college-level seminary next "Where customers send their friends/" m Open nightly til 9 p.m. 0000lhor Son OLD US 231 SOUTH - JASPER, IN - 482-2222 Illlllll year. In a letter to priests of the diocese, the bishop said thc, building will become a house of formation for future priests do- ing their preparatory studies at other colleges in the area. The house of formation will provide an environment con- ductive to "living, praying and growing together in holiness as befits a candidate for the priesthood," Bishop Mugavero said. The college has only 53 students enrolled for the cur- rent academic year, down from a peak of 350 in 1969,