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Evansville, Indiana
October 30, 1987     The Message
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October 30, 1987

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..-J Faith Today Supplement, The Message, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, October 30, 1987 3 FQmily ties ly that family relationships also reflect how "the Christian family of churches should relate," Father FIotchkin said. The pope spoke of the "family dynamic" important for successful community living: "a n ?M for patience, for sharing hard times and joys, and the forbearance necessary if each member is to flourish," Father Flotchkin added. The unity that exists among Christians was emphasized throughout the prayer service, Father Hotchkin said. eA group of 40 children Presented flowers to the Christian leaders who then blessed the Child-n. The simple ceremony Was a reminder that many people hone to hand on to their children "a'church renewed and filled with POssibilities (for unity) we didn't have," Father Hotchkin said. eLed by Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, participants together renewed their baptismal Promises. This demonstrated "the fundamental unity in our relig!ous faith," Father Hotchkin said. It s deeper than anything separating or dividing us." Even in planning for the event, "there was no way we could suc- eeed...without a high percentage of cooperation from Christians of Other denominations," Father ltotchkin said. :' / Another sign of the unity among Christians -- a concern for social Jttstice -- was stressed at the Dope's Columbia meeting with 26 Christian ecumenical leaders. Noting "a heightened con- SCiousness of the profound prob- lems of the world and our na- tion" I hunger, poverty, racism and militarism were among those mentioned -- the Christian leaders asked, "In what concrete ways is collaboration possible with the Roman Catholic Church to pro- mote justice, to exercise compas- sion and to search for the peace of the resurrection?" In a statement read by African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Philip Cousin, president of the National Council of Churches, the leaders noted that "the prayers and the hopes of many American Chris- tians uphold us in this meeting that it may represent another step in the journey of reconciling the divided people of God." The Christian leaders' statement "puts before us important ques- tions" regarding collaboration, Pope John Paul responded. "These issues challenge all of us. Together we must seek to discov- er the concrete ways in which we may respond in common." He made it a point to mention the Christians of various denominations who had welcom- ed him to the United States in 1979 and those who have visited him in Rome. "This could be a model for us on how to reach out to get to know our fellow Christians per- sonally," Father Hotchkin sug- gested. He thinks, for example, that through personal contact "we often find we can be much more imaginative and creative in finding ways to promote justice causes." (Ms. Btrd ts associate editor of Faith Today.) I i Faith Today * Page 3 FOOD... I I IIIIll I Illl Think about a situation in which the desirability of greater Christian unity became clearer to you -- the wedding of two people from divid- ed Christian communities; a discussion in which people were uncom- fortable about expressing their true values; perhaps a situation involv- ing misunderstandings between children. Why is the ecumenical mow'- ment important ? Pope John Paul I1 makes a special effort to reach out to people who belong to religious traditions other than Catholicism. Why does he con- sider this st) important? In his meetings with ecumenical leaders in Columbia, S.C., what themes did the pope stress? Why did he choose these particular themes? If people wcrc to follow the pope's example in reaching out to those of differing religious traditions, what might they do? ecOrld Helpll3g$. To many onlookers, it seems that after ccmurics of religious division and isolation the churches have "in a remarkably short time...responded in some significant ways to the movement of the Spirit," writes William Rusch in Ecumenism: A Movement Toward Church Unity. The ecumenical movement has achieved much in terms of changing the rela- tionships among the churches and tearing down some of the wails separating the followers of different Christian denominations, he says. In addition, "the days of caricature and polemics appear to be largely behind us" thanks to the ecumenical movement. "Certainly good will and cooperation between churches have occurred on many critical issues," he writes. A Lutheran, Rusch says his book seeks to explain ecumenism to Christians and others who often "are amazed by and bewildered at the ecumenical movement." (Fortress Press, 2900 Queen Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19129. 1985. Paper- back, $6.95.) Sister Teresa could save more souls O0 but she has a little sole problem of her own. Sister Teresa hikes six or seven miles a day. Her boots, with over 5,000 miles on them, have been patched dozens of times. Sister is typical of the nuns in Gallup, New Mexico, who stop at nothing to reach their flock, walking door-to-door to spread the Faith, and providing food, counsel and compassion. Whatever it takes to keep body and soul together. Help us help them. The Extension Society has served the poor in home missions throughout the U.S. for 82 years. Send us a donation. Ask for EXTENSION Magazine. Help us extend the Faith through missioners like Sister Teresa. Give despair the boot. :' l r 37