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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 20, 1987     The Message
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November 20, 1987

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November 20, 1987 View Point The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 By FATHER JOSEPH L. ZILIAK Associate Publisher S Treating Thank gwmg as a sacred time is a good custom Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. How marvelous it is to celebrate such an occasion. Our day has its own special roots in the gratitude that the Pilgrim Fathers (and mothers) felt as they survived the rigors of life found in this new land of North America. They even celebrated with their new found friends, the native Americans. Through the years we have added layer upon layer of seasons and times for continuing the tradition. We do know that some years seem more suited to giving thanks than others. For some individuals or families a particular year may have brought a great deal of sadness, turmoil or extra demands on psychic energy that seem to leave little left over for giving thanks. Each of us approaches this day with a special series of thoughts, hopes and prayers. We are not alone here in the United States for having a day to reflect and consider the goodness of the Lord. Generally, most cultures will have some special way of noting the end of a good harvest time since until recent years the major economic direction of a country was based on the fruits of the land, on agriculture. The further removed we become from reliance on the seasons of the year and reaping the harvest of one's own work and God's giving of sun and rain, the further removed we seem to become from a rhythmic and annual reminder of God's goodness and cooperative hand in our lives. When we can live insulated from cold, harsh winds, heat and rains, we lose a sensitivity to the need for such marvels of nature and their impact on the way we may live and prosper. Harvest time has little relevance if one thoughtlessly shops in a grocery store heaped full year in and year out with a large variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and meats. We are hardly aware of what it takes to produce all these good things. Our main interest shifts from the wondrous interaction of humans and God to the worrisome concern of job security, contracts, investments and bank accounts. Backyard or apartment balcony farming of a few vegetables or flowers keeps us a little more closely attuned to the basic rhythms of God and humans. Thanksgiving Day may thus more mean- ingfully add a note of growing things and their completed cycles. But beyond that we all have so much that is important and delightful in our lives that call for taking time out to give thanks. Our health, our families, our neighbors, our friends, our fellow workers, squirrels crossing from tree to tree pur- posefully seeking food to store for the winter, piles of leaves in which kids can jump, hide and throw dogs into, little kids, parents giving of time and energy to their children without asking anything in return, grandparents who travel long distances to be with their children and grandchildren on special days, for the ability to hear and see -- the list could go on and on. Each of us can make our own listing of people, places and things that give us so much joy and comfort. Then we can bring all of that with us and give praise to God at church this Thanksgiving Day. Treating this day as a sacred time to include God is a very good custom for all of us. "I will bless the Lord all the time; his praise will always be in my mouth. Let my soul be glorified in the Lord: let the lowly hear and re- joice. Magnify the Lord with me; together let us extol his name. I sought the Lord, and he heard me; and he delivered me from all my fears. Taste and see how good is the Lord; blessed is the one who flees to him for refuge." (Psalm 33) A thank you from the Message The featured parish this week, St. Thomas Catholic Church, Knox County, deserves special mention. Every household in the parish receives a subscription to the Message. Such outstanding support for the official newspaper of the diocese deserves our gratitude and our special attention. We .thank the pastor, Father Francis Allega, and all the parishioners who have committed themselves to keeping open the possibility of communication, through their deci- sion to makesure the Message is in every household in the parish. We also thank the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Church, Newburgh, for their recent decision to have the diocesan newspaper in every parish household. We thati :, too; the pishioners, of SL Peter; Mont- gomery.. C lf:e lparishes featured to date, the response from Montgm  ry zas been the warmest.Of the families who did ot subscribe to the Message before St, Peter was featured in e ,paper, fully 50 percent have now added their names to our list ,f subscribers.." " ' .... " : , Othl parishes in the diocese also deserve mention for their ongdng Support of the diocesen newspaper as a medium (f communication. Appropriate mention will be made in future issues. I I1" Collection Continued from page 2 benefit packages for Religious. Bishop Sheehan said the retirement debt needed "an im- mediate infusion of funds" and added that priests, Religious and laity were "willing and eager to help" raise it. A study released in May 1986 showed that although male and female Religious were increas- ing efforts to fund their retire- ment needs, the debt for their retirement costs had reached an estimated $2.5 billion. Some religious communities have begun selling land and buildings to generate revenue, and an estimated 75 percent of them have opened retirement funds, but few have ac- cumulated enough money to begin withdrawing any. Background material presented with the proposal showed that in a Gallup survey conducted last May and June, three in 10 Catholics, out of a representative sample of 803 Catholics, ages 18 and older, said they were aware of the pro- blem and most of them believed it was serious. Two in three said they would be likely to contribute to retire- ment plans if asked and said they were most likely to res- pond to appeals at Mass or solicitation by a fellow parishioner or religious representative. In presenting the proposal Nov. 16, Bishop McGann noted that in addition to a national collection, the tri-conference project's other goals are emergency financial assistance to religious orders, develop- ment of salary and benefit models for Religious in diocesan or parochial ministries, and education about problems of aging Religious. St. Thomas Continued from page 9 that no Sisters would be sent to teach the next year, the school was closed, May 25, 1973. pointed pastor in 1978, speaks enthusiastically about the generosity of the people, and the strength of generations of St. Thomas families. One fourth of the families are farm families; the land is sandy, but fertile, in the river district. Crops are potatoes, melons and grain. "If any farm families will ST. JOHN THE BA ?TIST ( ATHI)LIC CHURCH VINCENNES, INDIANA TIJRKE SHOOT , Highland ,ods U.S. 41 at Hart Street SINDAY, Nov. 22rd. 10:00 A.M. till Dark Plent / Of Good Food & Good Fun . Famous Fricassee . Hamburcers . Country Store . Sausage Wheel Hi INDREDS OF . Turke,s . C;sh . Hams TO BE GIVEN AWA / Fr. Ackerman. Ft. Breidenbach & Parishioners Welcome You! Father Shaughnessy now lives, in retirement, at the com- bination school and convent building. "ether Francis Allega, ap- IMPORTANT CALL: 424-9274 survive, these families will," says Father Allege. "They have grown up in lean times; they are survivors." Perhaps as an indication of a lengthy growing season of another kind, Father Allega counts 20 octogenarians in the parish family. There is hope for the future, as some younger families return to the parish; Baptisms and school enrollment are increas- ing slightly. Father Allega finds hope, too, in the commitment of parishioners -- the will- ingness to rake leaves and in- stall siding, the eagerness to remodel the school basement into a pleasing place for parish gatherings. HUNTINGBURG Buehlers I.G.A. "The Thrifty Housewife's Source of Savings" QUALITY FOODS, MEATS HUNTINGBURG Compliments Nass & Son Inc. FUNERAL HOME Huntlngburg, Ind.