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November 6, 1992     The Message
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November 6, 1992

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2 e Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Magic of Words November [ By FATHER : JOSEPtt ZILIAK This article continues reflections shared with us by American Graymoor Father Leonardo Mar- tin, who heads a house of ecumenical studies under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Last week's article contained some of the his- torical influences on Catholicism in modern Brazil. We'll share here some of the traits of today's church in Brazil. According to Father Leonardo, priests have been spending more time denouncing social mis- deeds rather than announcing the faith. He also painted out some approaches toward catechizing the people that take into account cultural tenden- cies. Since Brazilians are used to and enjoy devo- tional practices, Father Leonardo would suggest that preparation for baptism not be handled strictly as an academic exercise. He suggests that a better approach would be to hold a novena and then add the baptismal instructions to the novena. Modern day cultural trends do make a differ- ence in people's acceptance of and approach to faith and its teaching. People have picked up a Looking at others: Learning about ourselves shopping mentality, namely, look around for the best deal in the most attractive package. People look for an immediate answer. People are also curious. They look for the new. Brazilians have a welcoming spirit and respond to an invitation. For instance, if the evangelicals invite them to a service, they feel compelled to go. There is something mystical in Brazilian women. They may be interested in contacting a dead spouse or family member. Another trait is the feeling that the law does not really aply to me if I can get around it. The Brazilians use a word "jeito," which means getting around what obliges. Father Leonardo gave us some insights into church problems. Some of these come from sur- veys. There is a feeling that priests give poor homilies. The priest doesn't reveal that he has a prayer life. They are not around when people want to talk to them. They're too busy. In fact, they even mistreat people. There is an image of a divided church. Bish- ops, theologians and priests are labeled as conser- vative or liberal. Human rights are stressed to the detriment of prayer life. There isn't much life in the liturgies, which need more adaptation to the - local culture. The power of the liturgy and the Eucharist is so strong, Father Leonardo maintains, that the movement to the evangelicals may be only a porary thing. He encouraged a stronger to the Eucharist and Mary. These are elements missing in the evangelical tradition. He also said that marriages were a great lem in Brazil due to a low level of commitment, "Probably 90 percent of marriages performed here are invalid because they don't have a commit- ment to permanency. They just don't." He said that most people do not think of themselves as making a lifelong commitment. "They are more concerned about a video of the wedding and other details." Base communities themselves are in need renewing. He urged that the church stress its unity, the richness of its spirituality and the  strength of religious communities. By looking at and reviewing life in another country and culture, we might learn of ourselveS, i' See similar problems. Seek similar or new solutions. A call Continued from page 1 ing at these meetings. Every- one is invited to share ideas with the task force members, your parish staff and mem- bers of the Synod Central Planning Committee. Ways to Have Your Con- cerns Addressed How will I be able to speak about my concerns regarding parishes and the Diocese as a whole? You have already been in- vited to provide in-put on The Deiocsan Mission State- ment (in the Aug. 7 and Sept. 4 issues of the Message.) In the next three months there will be Parish and Deanery Assemblies. Parish Assemblies are an opportu- Bernie nity (1) for continued prayer for the Synod; (2) to reach greater clarity on the purpose of the Diocesan Synod and (3) to name and prioritize Pri- mary Pastoral Issues that have the greatest effect on the parish. Representatives to the Deanery Assembly will be de- termined at the Parish As- sembly. Bishop Gettelfinger and members of the Synod Cen- tral Planning Committee will be present at the Deanery As- semblies. The purpose of these meetings will be (1) to develop and strengthen the bonds which link parishes and deaneries; (2) to name and prioritize the Primary Pastoral Issues that have the greatest implications for the Miller & Miller Colonial Chapel Supports the Knights of Columbus MEMBERS Miller Gerald Miller Jon Miller Greg Betz Darren Sroufe II ] II IIIII III I I I Support Catholic schools by using the Tradition Card. A percentage of each.purchase you, re.eke using the Tradition Card goes to support Cathol ucatlon. uall 4t34-3322 or 1-800-777-3949 extension 322 for details. Issued by Citizens Bank. I i i i[11 ii i i Deanery; (3) ta share action steps for addressing the Dean- ery Primary Pastoral Issues. (A definition of Primary Pas- toral Issues is found on page 14). Synod Theme: LET THE SPIRIT SPEAK The Spirit uses the voices of women and men, bishops, laity, priests, vowed reli- gious, and deacons, all of us, the People of God. Let us pray for the ability to live out our shared responsibility to "speak the truth in love" for the good of our parish and diocese. Attend parish as- semblies and let your voice be heard. Subscribe to the Message FUNERAL H ME ,4ff  Pre-planning ..... 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