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November 15, 1996     The Message
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November 15, 1996

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Millennium official sees preparation as 'a three-year By MARK PATTISON " Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Paul K. Henderson, charged with coordinating U.S. activities marking the third millennium of Christianity, said the period between now and the Great Jubilee Year 2000 can be likened to "a three-year retreat." But Henderson, director of the U.S. bishops' Office for the Mil- lennium, said his office will not be sponsoring program after pro- gram during that time. Still, that fact doesn't keep him from brimming with ideas on how Catholics, individually and col- lectively, can get ready for the jubilee. The three main questions to be asked in preparing for the third millennium, he said, are: -- "Where are we right now? -- "Where do we want to be as we enter the third millennium? What type of church, what type of society, what kind of people do we want to be? -- "How do we get there?" "The Holy Father said it's almost like a worldwide retreat for three years. It gives us a chance to stop and reflect on those three questions," Hender- son told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 4 interview. "If we as a church could work out three or four things that would make us a better church, a better people, what would some of those things be? The pope says go back to Vatican II to find out what those things are." Henderson continued: "How do we create a better world, a more just world, through per- sonal conversion, what we need to do as a church, to be church in society, so we can really affect the world, and be a people who are more proactive in trying to create a better world?" People are going to become more reflective as the millenni- um nears, Henderson said. "It's only one in every 50 generations that has the opportunity to wit- ness a new millennium," he added. "People want to really help the world become a better place," Henderson said. "The church has to he ready to take advantage of that opportunity." In March 1995, according to Henderson, he and Paulist Father Bruce Nieli, the U.S. bishops' director of evangeliza- tion, were asked to staff the bish- ops' subcommittee on the third millennium. Henderson has worked for the U.S. bishops since 1988 as an adviser on youth and young adult activities for their Secre- tariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth. He was also program and events director for World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. At the bishops' general meet- ing in June, they voted to fund hn Office for the Millennium. Henderson was chosen in August to head it; Father Nieli remains a consultant. Thei office's mission is three- fold, according to Henderson: staffthe bishops' subcommittee; I provide general coordination to offices and secretariats to the bishops' headquarters in Wash- ington; and be a resource to national Catholic organizations and U.S. dioceses. In the office's first three months, it has exchanged infor- mation with one British diocese and with national church offices in Canada and Australia. It also sponsored an interfaith conference on the third millenni- um. Among the keynote speakers were Episcopal Father William Rush of the National Council of Churches and Rabbi Jack Bem- porad, director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Relations at Fairfield (Conn.) University. Pope John Paul II has empha- sized the ecumenical nature of the jubilee year. Henderson said other Christian denominations are looking to see what issues Catholics consider important. Henderson said the office wants to develop a video on the meaning of jubilee, harkening back to the Old Testament prac- tices of letting the land lie fallow, forgiving debts, and restoring dignity. Pope John Paul has already addressed the forgiveness of debts in his apostolic exhortation announcing the jubilee celebra- tion, "Tertio Millenio Adve- niente," in terms of internation- al banking practices, and letting the land lie day parallel justice, Henderson I The jubilee year begin with Christmas in said. come on when son said the last through "Will the "be known for Christ has in historical im has had in historY, to be burger,' or a shoes? Who will and the minds of I what this is all ! 00tL, .... TEC 20 Weekend team members and new members of the Teens Encounter Christ eommunitypose"for a Andrew Peter, Alex Zenthoefer; second row, ]a i ii Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc. Residential, Industrial & Commercial Heating & Cooling Installation Sales & Service I4,,.2-92421 Operated by Michael and Patricia Koch 15 S. Third Avenue. Evansville I FORD RUXER Dr. Jane A. 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