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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 18, 1988     The Message
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November 18, 1988

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Faith Today Supplement, The Message, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, November 18, 1988 \\; Poge 4 Foith Todoy The path to understanding between Christians and Moslems or Hindus or Bud- dhists often is lost from view in the midst of interna- tional political realities... &lt; Hostilities can cloud the relationships bet- ween the world's religions. When the subject is Moslem-Christian relations, for example, what often springs to mind first is the hostile rela- tionship of the United States and Iran, or the violent atmosphere in Lebanon. The world continues to grow smaller as rapid communications and travel, international trade and a necessary interdependence place peopR: in the far corners of the globe in closer contact. Nonetheless, the path to understanding between Christians and Moslems or Hindus or Buddhists often is lost from view in the midst of international political realities. It is possible for international relations to overwhelm inter- religious tmderstanding' with an unfriendly- or at least a highly competitive i spirit. What may not spring readily to mind when the subject of interreligious relations comes up are the journeys of Pope John Paul II into Africa or Asia or, yes, California where he plac- ed such ;111 accc[lt on the ilccd for understan- ding between people who, though divided in significant ways, are united in a common quest R)r the .ivine and a thirst R)r justice. In Cahf,)rnia in September 1987, Pope John Paul entered into a conversation with Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish representatives. "It is my conviction that we must make use of ever}' opportunity to show love and respect for one another in the spirit of (the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Non-Christian Religions) which, as the theme of our meeting affirms, is indeed alive 22 },ears :ffter its pro- mulgation," the pope said. To the Buddhists he said, "I wish respectfid- ly to acknowledge your way of life, hascd upon compassion and loving kindness and upon a yearning for pc;ice." To the Hindus he said, "'I hold in esteem your concern for inner peace and for the peace of the world, based not on purely mechanistic or materialistic political considerations, but on sclt-purification, tlrlselfishness, love ;11161 svnl- path,v ff)r all." q'o speak this way With representatives of other world religions is to take nothing away from the church's desire to proclaim its Gospel, the pope stressed. He sees proclama- tion of the Gospel and dialogue with others as two compelling commitments. 1"o speak as the pope does with these others is to come out from under a cloud of hostility into a new atmosphere. It creates a new rela- tionghip in which people who believe life has a real purpose can work together to create peace :rod give the world fresh hope. By Janaan Manternach NC News Service Apostle of Native Americans many delays. Fathcr Baraga arrived a school. And hc rosc at 3 a.m. Amcricans wcrc cheating thc Indians. T wo loves tugged at the heart of young Frederic Baraga. The first was for Anna, the second for the life of a missionary priest. Frederic was a young lawyer with a promising career in Vienna, Austria. Vle had loved Anna for a long time. They were engaged. But during his },ears of study at the University of Vienna he became friends with a saintly priest, Redemptorist Father Clement Her- bauer. Frederic began to dream of going to the New World as a mis-" sionary to the Indians. Frederic struggled painfully to make his decision. Hc told Anna hc felt God was calling him to be a priest aiad the}, agreed to break their engagement. Frederic was ordained in 1823 and went to work in a parish. Then hc heard the pleas of Bishop Fenwick of ('incinnati for priests to work in the New World with Native Americans. He vohmteered and alter in the New World in 1831. Within a few months hc was at his first mission :it Arhrc Crate, now i larhour Springs, Mich. This was his base anlong the Ottawa Indians. I Ic helped the Indians learn t() grow food on snlall farms a11d tO settle down in a village rather than move from place to place. He work- cd with them to huild a church and evcrv tl,lv to pray for scvcr;ll h()urs. Fathcr B:tr:tga soon hccamc llucnt in the ()ttawa langtiagc. IIc also 'I'(HC ;I dictionary ,llld gr, llllnlar of thc ()ltawa languagc.Hc made m:tnv trips to visit Indians in olhcr places. lit' formed more village,,,. At (;rand River, (nov< t;r:md Rapids) Mich., Fatllcr Bar:lg:t li)tlt'ttl clc:tr cvidctlcc of how whilc lie saw c()rrupt governnlc|lt ()fficials trick the hltlians into unjust treaties. tic saw settlers rohhing them of their land and their dignity. He saw the destructive effccts of alc()hol. IIc took the side of the Indians so slr()llgl) thai p()wcrt'td g()vcrllmcnl leaders h;ld him rcnlovcd fr()nl (;ratld River. l:;llhcr Bar;Ig:l then V(CllI I() l]]c -('hippcw:t h'|di:|ns along l,akc Superior. So re,my Indians joined his C()lllllltlllilV tllal hc ]l:lLI (() clll;Irgc the church twice. Father ILtrag:t bccamc 13isllop of I'ppcr Michigan in 18"53. IIc settled at Sault Stc. Marie, but later |1loved to Marqt|cttc. Mich.. where hc con- tiqucd his pastoral work. In 1866 hc st|ffcred a stroke at the Scc()nd Cotmcil ()f laltinatlrc. \\;Van- ring t() dic among his hcl()vcd In- dians, he made his way painft|lly hack t() Miclfigan where hc died (m .]:ltl. It), 1868. (Ms. Maitternach is the atttbor [" catecbetical tt'orks. ScrQ)tttre stories ttllrl origiilal stories for t'hildrell.) A Maze Can you help Father Baraga find his way to his first mission, Arbre Croce, among the Ottawa Indians? t Project '._ Using an atlas, make a drawing of the state of Michigan and Lake Superior. Now locate some places where Father Frederic Baraga worked among the Ottawas and Chippewas in the 1800s. From the bookshelf Charles Dickens, a great English writer, believed deeply in the New Testament, calling it "the best book that ever was or will be known in the world." He retold it to his children under the title The Life of Our Lord. He believed strongly that Jesus' message of understanding, compassion and charity was the foundation for every- day life. Occasionally he made a mistake, such as saying the Jewish Sabbath is Sunday rather than Saturday. And he confuses Herodias with her daughter Salome. But the mistakes do not detract from his retelling the New Testament simply and lucidly. (Silver Burdett Press, 250 James St., Morristown, N.J. 07960. 1987. Hardback, $11.95.) II I II