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November 21, 1997     The Message
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November 21, 1997
 

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November 21 1997 The Message for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 From the front row... BY BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER This year when I entered the large ballroom in the Capi- tol Hyatt for the first session of the bishops" meeting last week, I discovered that "my third row, end seat Was takenl,, You know the feeling. It's just like the me you have when some dares to sit in "your ew" ' ,r Sd - P ay lass. Well, I bit the bullet and went to the 0nt row, a move alien to most of us Catholics, Uamg myself, I must be quick to add. The good uu m i+, as that I was less distracted than TOrn the third even rOW. . . .The meeting was a good one and we covered a o! t+00s o, Which wo,e 00ov- would  the Message. There are two topics I ,_ u to reflect on in this forum The issue of raq and the Other is the ra days h. _ p ctlce of abstmence on Fn- "r'uuglaut the year. -re VOte to alter the a"enda failed to include a Proposal to add a statemenSt opposing the internation- al.erabargo on Ira Th thrds ,,t .,. _ . q' e close vote requmng two- s aod , uae bocty gathered could be easil misunder- -. t a_l'tl Y ho-.-.-L certam that there was not a bishop present vtnecl to make life difficult for the innocent citi- zens of Iraq who, reportedly by reason of the interna- tional embargo, are not getting adequate food and medicine. The children and frail elderly are most at risk. Reluctantly, I voted to alter the agenda. I had reservations in doing so. They had to do with making yet another statement without having complete details in advance to arrive at an informed position. The whole matter is indeed most complex as are the events of recent days. I urge the readers not to misin- terpret the close vote on procedures as a statement against the suffering in Iraq. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops is indeed concerned. The Confer- ence will continue to work to communicate the con- cerns of all bishops to the governmental authorities. The long-standing tradition of the Roman Catholic Church of abstaining from meat on Fridays was revisited. Please recall my own invitation to all of you to join me in that practice for every Friday throughout the year. Mine was an invitation, not leg- islation. My invitation continues. There was a proposal made by Cardinal Law, the chairman of the Pro-Life Committee to revive the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays to coun- teract the culture of violence iri our midst. The pre- liminary discussion of the proposal gave guidance to the study which will ensue. Where's the fire? .... letes as a "fire in the belly." horizon! More and more parish- 00ea.t.+ o++rs, we+ e+o00 ++ +u+hou. not wearing Nikes, Reeboks, or United States. are committing even designer sandals on that themselves toaprocessofstew- +1 first Pentecost. But they certain- ardship conversion! ly had a "fire in the belly." Kin- The focal point for parish dled with the courage of the stewardslp conversion is- or Spirit, they burned with passion should be -- the Celebration of  +i::iii: LII :i; ] for their vocation: Grateful for the Holy Eucharist. The Mass ' God's gifts of Jesus and their lies at the core of a stewardship faith, they were consumed with parish's prayer life; it's the font By C.(I VlMENTARY desire to tell everyone within from which flow the graces that TIN eLEMENTS t D ctor, Offi award ipa " ceof %o+ nd Development earshot about Jesus. And they were ready to sacrifice every- thing in the process. enable and encourage each parishioner in his or her quest for a total stewardship way of My own personal bias is that we must learn to act from personal conviction rather than from imposed law. It is my firm hope that all Catholics in the Dio- cese of Evansville will hold Friday as a penitential day by reason of the fact that Jesus died because of our own personal and collective need for forgiveness. He won that for us by his death on the cross. We can do penance in so many, many ways. Abstinence from meat on Fridays is something everyone can do. Men, women and children are able to abstain from meat without risk to nutrition or health. Of course, not eating meat by itself is not an act of penance. It needs to be a voluntary and con- scious act of the will. Fasting is another issue. I believe that those of us who are able should also fast. It too should be a vol- untary and conscious act undertaken to atone for our own sins and those of others. I also feel strongly that we not get caught up in rules in what constitutes a fast. I suggest that we simply abstain not only from meat but also from eating between meals. Even chil- dren who are able to understand could participate fully in this form of faing. We do not have to wait for action of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. We are free to begin both penitential acts today! achieve stewardship conversion will necessarily founder. Yes, the content and significance of each celebration of the Eucharist are inherently powerful. But their force can be reduced to a whim- per if the liturgy is poorly done. What does it take to insure good liturgies? Just as the key to quickly selling a house can be summarized by three words: location, location, location, so, too, can impressive liturgies be created by three words: plan- ning, planning, planning! Mere- to consider: 1) How are people made to feel welcome as they approach and enter the church? 2) Who sets the "tone" for the celebration? 3) How are the wor- shipers bonded into a communi- ty of prayer and praise and made ready to celebrate? 3) What is the quality of the music? 4) How impressive are the hom- ilies? 5) Are the readers well trained and effective? 6) Does the environment enhance the cele- bration? 7) What method is used to gather useful feedback fol- tef! Undoubtedly, many Catholics life. orable, inspiring liturgical cele- lowing each Mass? 0 Jonathan Winters throughout the world today are Consider for a moment the brations do not just happent Regarding the proces of 0ve, cl >out being, ,u... _ tor .q,, .... o v -,., faithful disciples of Jesus Christ potential impact of Eucharistic They are the result of careful and parish stewardship conversion, u ew statUmg by an eager, and are fiercely devoted to their Celebrations, particularly those prayerful preparation involving we can be assured of one thing: a .lcer a,,.,._.per. The young beloved Church. But it seems which take placein a parish each everyone who has a role to play parish that does not place the @,,- ve,uaclaed Wint ' ed fn-,-, ers car, that the passionate lava-few of Saturday and Sunday. The Sacri- and a stake in the outcomes. Eucharist at the center if its ,,w,idow, t tuna to roll down his the Spirit that ignited and illu- fice of the Mass is not only the Effective liturgical planning prayer life and lovingly plan ua,. OK, B-ut),'menwh_bellwed, . gruffly., mined the early Christians has community re-creating the mag- takes time and energy. It should each liturgical event will never "mchl4/irtt_ ere s the fire?" to generally cooled over the cen- nificent mystery of the Last Sup- include a serious, frank evalua- become a total stewardship man...re_,y rs.--- ever the funny turies. In fact, some parish corn- per and reliving Christ's heroic tion of past liturgical events as parish. e Y s, offi?,eClAweetly: "In your munities appear to be little more and glorious redemptive act, but, well as careful preparation for So "where's the fire" in your 8Uessecl,, .] you might have than piles of cold human ashes! on a practical level, weekend future celebrations, parish? If you don't find it when ticket t ers got a speeding But we need not fear, help is liturgies provide the principal No aspect of past or future your parish family gathers each g%?:es' the fire?" That's a on the way. The cavalrv's trum- contact point with the parish parish liturgies should be "off week to thank and praise God, pets have+sounded and we can family for most parishioners. If limits" for evaluation and plan- why should you expect to find it t0ponder on for us Christians clearly see a cloud of dust on the our liturgies fail, all efforts to ning. Here are just a few issues anywhere else? tre ha from time to time. Pic- . . . S 00omeo,.00.e00 Cardnnal says Georgetown using 'secular standards" nn deosnon upper ro urst forth from the By NANCY FRAZIER He also said he was unhappy 40 percent of the classrooms, of the Catholic faith. He urged -'fld Wthhaving- just been O'BRIEN with an invitation by a coalition mainly in the older, historic the Georgetown board and uCt.dertly tho the Holy Spirit. Catholic News Service of student organizations to New buildings, university administrators to ."sCle e-- .mth was flaming Ways Ministry to hold an A student-run campaign is address this issue quickly and to spread ;_ ey couldn't wait WASHINGTON (CNS) -- debate on campus. The ca rd,'mal working to add crucifixes to resolve it in fa, or of the uni- . A sirtlilr te t-;ood News. Cardinal James A. Hickey of said New Ways Ministry is dis- newer classrooms, but the pres- versify's, professed Catholic ts the No" naOdern.day image Washington has accused Jesuit- tinctly and deliberately ambigu-, . ident and vice president of the identity.. exP l+-"tr Darne football te run Georgetown University of ous with regard to the church s school's student association A fact sheet issued by George- a -"ttt/5 m tthes+"rr- rntheleke .... adopting standards which "are teaching on the wrongness of vetoed a resolution supporting town said the university is "con- ; Not-re Da'maportant game not si nificantly different from homosexual activity, the campaign sidering the students' proposal g " " " 1 " - " o0,.'r'aYer t"^'-"'u,tKn..,_Stadium' each those employed by secular uni- On the CrUrCi,, issue, Carclma The president, John Cronan, (on crucifixes) as part of an ., ,to,t,r .s me siRn at the versities and colleges" in two Hickey said, 'Frankly, I can't said he personally supported already established, ongoing raatrea''elckernmstairs recent decisions, imagine why a university, run the idea but had no right to project to assess ways to renew tOday ,,,us: Play like a champion Yo  , Writingin theNov. 13issueof by the Society of Jesus and oper- instill my beliefs on the'entire and stmngthen the university's se, ,n the Catholic Standard, Wash- . ating under a pontifical charter, student body," The student Catholic, Jesuit heritage." le ofT c als remember a ington archdiocesan newspaper, would have 'to debate the association later voted to over- The university chaplain and . tic Shoes t  rrtmercials for ath- the cardinal expressed his dis- issue.' ' , ride his veto. dean of students were to make stueScribed neeWcompetitiveYears back that. pleasure with a decision by stu- At Georgetown, the nation s In his column, Cardal Hick- recommendations on the use of by tr tofall SuccessfulPa. dent leaders against displaying oldest Catholic university, there ey said the crucifix "offends religious symbols on campus in crucifixes in some classrooms, currently are crucifixes in about only those who are intolerant the spring of 1998, it said.