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Evansville, Indiana
November 10, 1995     The Message
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November 10, 1995
 

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'2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Diocesan youth to attend National Youth Co By'PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor The theme of the congress is "A Youth Initiative: To Stand Against Violence." In their ap- plications for the event, the students were asked to discuss how violence impacts their lives and what they could do to stand against violence. "I'm speaking from the point of view of a student who at- tends an all-girl, private, Catholic school," wrote Denis. "People often get the impres- sion that I've never been ex- posed to the violence that ex- ists among the teens of my generation. The fact of the matter is that it does have an impact on my life." Denis explained, "Violence is everywhere. Almost every day you hear about a gang fight or 'Three young persons from southwestern Indiana will be meeting with young people, bishops and archbishops from throughout the United States, in mid-November. Theresa Denis, a Marian Heights student from Ja- sonville, and Aaron Jahn of Jasper will represent the Dio- cese of Evansville at the Fourth National Youth Congress, to be held in Min- neapolis, Nov. 16 -- 19. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger also plans to take part. Keith Scheessele of New- burgh will be the Region VII Scouting representative. Rallying against violence ]By LAURA B. DUttE Catholic News Service 80 jersey-clad members of the undefeated Catholic High School football team, sang songs and reflected on the rally. "You are here with your friends and that's important," said Brandi Soileau, 15, of Livonia. "A gathering like this helps us to understand just how important it is to be aware of the problem." "I admit I came because my mom said to, but now I realize it is for a good cause," said Patrick Hall, 17, of Baton Rouge. "Standing here," he said, "I realize we all can do our part by simply saying, 'I'm not going to be a part of vio- lence.'" Charles Jumonpille, dioce- san youth director and an or- ganizer of the event, said young people witness violence "at home, they see it on TV, and often they are powerless to respond." He said the candlelight vigil gave young people a way to re- spond to violence and also gave them "a bigger experi- ence of church than just the parish." In Somerset, N.J., 2,800 young people gathered Oct. 15 at the Garden State Exhibit Center for the first statewide Catholic youth rally. The event both celebrated youths and their positive contribu- tions and focused on ways to challenge violence in society. The day-long gathering, under the theme "Generation Chi Rho -- Bringing Christ to the World," included concerts, workshops and a Mass. "Chi Rho" is the Greek "X," a sym- bol for Christ; it was a play on "Generation X," a popular term used to describe youths. The rally was sponsored by the youth ministry offices of the Arc. BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) At youth gatherings in Louisiana and New Jersey, young Catholics have taken a stand against violence. In the Diocese of Baton Rouge, about 700 young people from around the diocese gath- ered Oct. 29 at the Catholic Life Center for a candlelight rally and prayer service mark- ing World Youth Day. "I just didn't know all these people cared about violence," said Rosalynn Williams, 14, a member of St. Paul the Apos- tle in Baton Rouge. "It just goes to show you that when people of all colors get to- gether, peace can happen .... It really gives me hope." World Youth Day is cele- brated in the United States on the 30th Sunday in ordinary time and elsewhere in the world on Palm Sunday. The theme of the Oct. 28-29 U.S. celebration, suggested by the U S. bishops, was "Taking a Stand Against Violence: Called to Be Peacemakers and Apos- tles of Hope." Baton Rouge Bishop Alfred C. Hughes commended the youths for gathering "to take a stand for faith in God and against the powers that pro- mote evil." He asked them to pray for victims of violence. Rally participants heard grim statistics about violence in America: 13 children die every day from guns; 50 per- cent of women murdered are killed by a partner or former partner; millions of children are victims of family violence each year; and more than 30 million children have been aborted since 1972. Baton Rouge teens pro- cessed 1.5 miles through city streets behind a 22-foot, three- dimensional cardboard cross. The trail of youths, including AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER MILLER & MILLER "A family name you can trust" 424-9274 teen shooting along with an- other horrifying statistic." She noted that there were incidents where drugs and weapons were found in the school she used to attend, and she pointed out that the Ku Klux Klan can still be found in Indiana. "All these problems seem very overwhelming at times, but I firmly believe that for every problem there is a solu- tion," she said. It may not pop up overnight and it's likely vio- lence will never completely cease, but there is hope for change." Denis said that she and many of her friends are willing to contribute to making that change. "I think that as an individ- ual I can try to persuade my peers to consider joining our faith community instead of a gang community." In his application, Jahn noted that "some people turn to violent acts for attention and suddenly it becomes a way of life." He also said that when some people see violence on televi- sion, "they think it is all right to imitate it and add it to their lifestyle." Jahn concludes that "they have to be taught otherwise, or be monitored very carefully of what they are exposed to. I see violence every day and I can see that it is wrong." He concluded that it was possible to make a difference. "What I try to do is to keep peace between myself and oth- ers but it is not easy to do. Vio- lence starts for many reasons and if these reasons can be identified, some of the violence can be diminished. Violence will never go away, but we can do our best to try to keep it under control." The youth congress is being held at the same time as the National Youth Conference, Theresa K. Denis which is open to all who want to attend. The theme of the conference is "Voices that Challenge." There will be 43 young per- sons and advisors from the Diocese of Evansville attend- ing the conference. The youth congress is open only to specially selected repre- sentatives, such as Scheessele, Jahn and Denis. Keith Scheessele, 18, is from Newburgh, where he is a member of St. John the Baptist Church. He attends Castle High School. As part of the process of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, Scheessele con- structed the Prayer Garden at St. John Church. As represen- tative of Region VII, Scheessele will be one of 14 scouting representatives in the nation to attend the congress. His photograph is not avail- able. Theresa K. Denis, 14, is a sophomore at Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand. Ja- sonville is her home town. She is active in her church choir. Her extra-curricular activi- and Aaron M. Jahn ties include Heights Academy program, safety squad, baseball. She is door recreation ax language clubs. and cantor at Her hope for "to see how my with violence in and "to see how we! the violence in today." Aaron M. Jahn, nior at Jasper is a member of Church, and is youth group, and in Teens Christ. His ties include Teens nior Civitan, ish Club, Natiol Society and BoYS gate. His hope for the "to learn more lence throughout and to get lessen the parish and raised on video games and sur- rounded by media forms that glorify sex, violence and self- gratification. Thorn said he prefers to call the age group "Generation 13." The phrase was coined by an essayist to describe the fact that those born between 1961 and 1981 are the 13th genera- tion born in the United States. The generation began with the advent of the birth control pill, he said. "They came to know what no generation should know -- whether or not they were wanted. There have been frightening conversations among this generation of who was planned, who was not," Thorn said. "It is a difficult knowledge for any person to have. It rec- ognizes that you depend upon someone else's whim or fancy. You might have been conceived to keep your father from the draft, or to increase your fam- ily's welfare benefits." When abortion became legal nationwide in 1973, the ques- tions broadened, according to Thorn. "There is the ugly knowledge that there are chil- dren who are not with you -- cousins, even siblings, perhaps ternet. "We need to phenomenon nity," he'said. looked upon of or but the t younger ganized religion tual faith "This is a asking 'Is there even if there is, ter?'" he said. "The only church will have answer their Thorn. "This is a t enormous pain I tell you about listen to them. like their lieve, has -- who are not hg they were not said. Generation 13 with a changed with only 51 pe! with both birth ther, he continued' To bring the generation, Thorn portant to portance of CINCINNATI (CNS) -- The Catholic Church will need to show compassion, integrity and honest to successfully share its message of faith with the young adults and teens popularly known as "Genera- tion X," warned a prominent communications educator. Because of fundamental dif- ferences between "baby boomers" and the younger gen- eration, "we can't assume that what is important to us is at all important to them," said William Thorn, director of the Institute for Catholic Media and professor of journalism at Jesuit-run Marquette Univer- sity in Milwaukee. He was a keynote speaker at the Oct. 25- 27 general assembly of Unda- USA, an association of Catholic broadcasters, journalists, diocesan communications di- rectors and others in the field of communications. "Unda" is Latin for "wave," symbolizing electronic communications. Other speakers also focused on how to convey religion and spirituality to.generations By TRICIA GALLAGHER HEMPEL Catholic News Service Speakers say special effort needed for