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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 5, 1993     The Message
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November 5, 1993

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The Message7 fop Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i:.'dv, I joined fellow parishioners and some .: rofi pst as Nativity Chui'ch celebrated its ";$tie:hiversary. As a charter, member, I fou/fths to be a very emotional dy. There were :/pi,u' display Of past haplenings at the parish, but I didn t need them! $6 many family : memges came flashing back: children starting ,,schqo,'ist Communions, graduations, weddings, " g l'. acbildrenbaptized, my twenty-fifth wedding annive'sary:celebration, and the sad times when I attended funerals. The late Father John Foster taught me "these are your brothers and sisters" and I've missed only three funerals due to being .... Today; the church was filled as Bishop Gettelfln- "ger hor/ored us by presiding at the Mass. Concele-  brants were Father Joseph Ziliak, former pastor, and Father Henry Kuykendall, our present pastor. Father William Deering assisted with the service. After Mass, a brunch was served for all in the cafeteria and charter members were recognized. Official ceremonies were concluded with the years of memories celebrated at Nativity chu burning of our pariah's mortgage. It was fitting that Father Henry was the one to set the paper to flame, as he has been instrumental in making it possible. After 30 years, Nativity is debt-free. It has been a struggle. Our parish was opened just before we saw a decline in Catholic school enrollment and since we were within walking distance of three other Catholic schools, ours evenfually was closed. More hard times fell on Nativity, but as I said, we are alive and well here, thanks to Father Henry. He came here with a vision, seeing a place where all would feel welcome. When he arrived, he told us he needed 10 hugs'a day and he opened his arms to us. And they are still open to comfort us in our trou- bled times and .to share our joy. They are open to those of you who feel lost, unhappy where you are, unchurched, unbaptized, divorced/remarried, or for whatever reason you are not in church. (Right now, we are sponsoring a program called "Come Home for Christmas." If you need help with coming back to church, call Dottle at 476-7186.) Many of you reading this might say 30 years is nothing, but some younger ones will sa you stay in one parish so long?" Believe years have flown by. I think this comes an active member from the start: not just up for Sunday Mass, but becoming decision making, holding an office, mittees, working on money-raising projects, tending Bible study classes, and numerous things throughout the years. And during all this time, I've loved and close to the members of our community. The priests have come and gone (and my strengthened by each of them), but I will until my brothers and sisters bid me bye. I can only wish the same for you. Thirty years. I don't know how many have here at Nativity, but I will treasure them. Nativity California firestorm spares Catholic church buildings By MIKE NELSON destroyed, parishes in the area their lives and millions of Catholic News Service LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- No Catholic churches, schools or other institutions were dam- aged by the first wave of more than a dozen wind-swept fires that destroyed hundreds of Southern California homes. As of Oct. 29, fires in the dio- ceses of Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego and the Los Angeles Archdiocese kad.lutoyed as, many as 700 homes. Although many injuries were related to the fires, no deaths had been attributed to it. After two days when most of the damage occurred, winds died down temporarily and hu- midity increased Oct. 28, giv- ing the thousands of fire fight- ers a chance to contain most of the.hazos. t t"he hot Santa Ana wi'd:were forecast to pick up aga Oct. 29, and authori- ; ',:ts :ected a renewed battle ..,:to ave property on the dry hillsides. 'e.:Altadena fire in the hills  noKh of,Pasadena came within 50,Yards:,of a 62-year-old re- treat h.lse operated by the Pagsiqigt: priests. A monastery on the grounds of Mater Dolorosa was so se-  vee!:adg'ed in a 1991 b,  darthgtike 'that it was razed.  "But survived '5bth't'h e quake and the fire. ".: At oe'point we had 60 peo- !-ple on :th fire 'line last night 'keeping theTIames away," said i M!j:LbuBuler, business de- : #elbpmenf director at Mater Dolorosa: But weekend re- treats we going to continue as planridd We'd out of dan- gei; nOW:" " : ' Alverno and La Salle Catholic high schools in Sierra Madre and Pasadena, respec- tively, were closed for two days because of smoke and ashes in the area, although both were distant from the fires. Father Richard Prindle, pas- tor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Altadena, returned early from an archdiocesan priests' as- sembly in Palm Springs. By Oct. 28, the day after more than 100 mdena homes were were collaborating to collect food, clothing and bedding for affected residents. Northwest of Los Angeles, a fire near Santa Paula forced the closure of roads near Thomas Aquinas College be- cause of dense smoke. At one point flames were burning just across the street from the col- lege, said public affairs direc- tor John Hollecek. The largest fire physically in the region was near Hemet in the San Bernardino Diocese. It burned tens of thousands of acres but because of the area's low density rate, compara- tively few homes were de- stroyed. In the Diocese of Orange, Bishop Norman F. McFarland asked people of his diocese to offer "in a neighborly fashion" whatever assistance was nec- essary to residents of the hard- hit Laguna Beach area, where the entire city was evacuated at one point and hundreds of houses, many expensive, burned to the ground. "We have witnessed a human tragedy of devastating proportions .... The enormous loss and personal suffering that have afflicted so many in our 'area, as they saw a great portion of their lives devoured by flames, call forth our deep sympathy and prayers that they may find the strength to cope," he wrote. "At the same time, We ex- press our admiration and grat- itude for the heroic efforts of the firefighters during this or- deal, and we thank God no lives were lost,  he added. "We have had a vivid reminder of how fragile is our existence on this earth...." St. Edward Parish in Dana Point and St. Catherine of Siena in Laguna Beach served as evacuation centers for La- guna-area residents. As residents of the damaged areas worked to re-establish Southern Californians coped with the smoke and ash from the fires, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony asked for prayers for firefighters and vic- tims. He also announced that emergency financial assistance was available from the arch- diocese's Cardinal McIntyre Fund for Charity. "Seeing the pall of smoke hovering over so much of our area causes us to raise our hearts and minds to Almighty God in prayer for our neigh- bors who have been made vic- tims by this monstrous disas- ter," he said in an Oct. 27 statement. "Together with the priests of the archdiocese gathered in as- sembly, I ask all people of good will to join us in praying for the brave men and women bat- tling these blazes," he said. The cardinal asked for prayers for those who have suf- fered injury and property loss as well as those experiencing anxiety and insecurity, and asked that God "grant us more favorable weather to help ex- tinguish these blazes more rapidly." The McIntyre fund is avail- able to those in need of hous- ing, food, clothing, medical support or other assistance. It is maintained through an an- nual collection at all 284 parishes in the archdiocese. President Clinton declared five California counties as dis- aster areas, which qualifies them for federal recovery aid. The counties are Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Ventura. Contributions to the Cardi- nal McIntyre Fund for Charity may be sent care of Catholic Charities, 1400 W. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015, Atten- tion: Director Susan Weight. Golden Jubilarians Barnabas and Veronica (Theising) Heldman will their fiftieth wedding anniversary with giving at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 at St. Celestine Churcla,  A dinner for family and guests will be held tine Community Club; an Open House will 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The couple requests no married Nov. !O, - 1943, at Sacred Heart lville, by Father Henry Ebnet. They are the Germaine Blessinger , Carolyn Schipp, Sherril Lueken, all of Jasper, Kathleen ingburg, Gregory Heldman of Greenwood, Heldman of Evansville. They have 10 We're Here To Serving all families with dignity personal attention for over one-half Wade Funeral Home 119 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt, IN 768-6151 Call about pre-need ding. Robert J. Wade