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November 22, 1996     The Message
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November 22, 1996
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 By CINDy WOODEN News Service CITY (CNS) -- an entrance procession P by greetings to frail ope John Paul II cele- the 50th anniversary of mg on the 'i.fty years ago, in ordaining the bishop anointed to express that the of those young men we Were back then become privileged instru- of Christ, the high pope said Nov. 10 in lebrating the Mass in a with more 0fthe College D bishops !,500 priests In 1946, the pope celebrates priesthood anniversary by focusing on Eucharist said every priest has inherited the mission of the Apostles to commemorate Christ's sacrifice. The priests had gathered from more than 85 countries to celebrate their golden jubilees with Pope John Paul, but also to reflect with him on the meaning of their priesthood and the min- istry they still are called to carry out. In charging his disciples to remember him in the breaking of the bread, Christ "wanted this decisive event to remain peren- nially present so that every human generation on the face of the earth could experience it in sdme way as contemporary," the pope said. And although the pope and thejubilarians had presided over the Eucharist for 50 years, their task was not over, the pope said. "In this liturgy we have lis- tened to the words which the Apostle Peter addressed to the elders, that is to the priests, which is to say to all of us," he said. "He wrote this: 'To the elders among you I, a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and a sharer in the glory that is to be revealed, make this appeal. God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care,"' the pope said. After the MaSs, the pope led tens of thousands of people gath- ered in St. Peter's Square in the recitation of the Angelus, which kicked off an hour-long festival of music honoring Pope John Paul and the other jubilarians. Some greetings rose slightly above the square attached to a huge hot-air balloon; the balloon remained tethered to the ground with very long ropes. The pope used the interna- tionally televised broadcast to greet those of his peers who were unable to join the ordina- tion class of 1946 at the Vatican. "Dear ones, I feel your spiri- tual closeness and send each of you, with the most cordial best wishes, the assurance of my con- stant remembrance in prayer," he said. The pope prayed for all priests in the world. He said he would like to be able to visit each priest who is old or ill, and he offered encouragement to young priests just beginning their ministry. "I think of the priests in spir- itual or material difficulties and also those who, unfortunately, have left the commitment they Msgr. Schlachter joins papal celebration Msgr. Clarence Schlachter was among the priests celebrating with Pope John Paul II, who invited priests from around the world to join him in observing the golden jubilee of their priestly ordination. Msgl: Schlachter, now retired at age 75, continues to serve as diocesan director of the Propagation of the Faith, the Hol) Child- hood Association and the Society of St. Peter Apostle -- all mission-related endeavors. Msgr. Schlachter was born Jan. 21, 1921, and ordained June 11, 1946.'He has served as director of the Propagation of the Faith since 1953. He has also served in various parish positions, as assistant or as pastor, at St. John, St. Anthon), and Corpus Christi, all in Evansville; and at St. Joseph, Princeton; ily members traveled to Vatican City with Msgr. Clarence St. Mary, Washington; St. Mary, Daviess elp him celebrate his fiftieth anniversary of ordination to County and Crane Chapel; Sacred Heart, , ore, front row, are Jorene Hoffman of Chicago and Schnellville, and St. John, Elberfeld, He h ansville, back row, John Hoffman of Chicago, Dan was also a teacher and band director at . of Jasper, Msgr. Schlachter, Marcella Meredith of Washington Catholic High School. , and Benedictine Sister Leta Zeller, pastoral associate at St. He was named a domestic prelate, with "Church, Poseyville. the title, Rev. Msgr., Nov. 26, 1967. !: assumed. For all of them, I invoke the support and assis- tance of the Lord," he said. Throughout the Nov. 7-10 cel- ebration, Pope John Paul emphasized the priests' obliga- tion to renew each day their offering to serve God and the church. "Every day which passes we must reinforce this decision as an expression of a lasting inte- rior youthfulness," he said at the opening vespers service Nov. 7. "With the passing of years, our physical energies weaken bit by bit," the 76-year-old pope said. "But our interior strength cannot follow physical laws. We are ministers of Christ and of his bride and, for however long God wants, a formidable task awaits us." The strength for continuing ministry and witness, he said, "comes from a daily pause before the tabernacle where he who is our strength and our support is truly present." The pope's point was repeated by other jubilarians and by Vat- ican officials addressing them. Cardinal James A. Hickey of Washington, also ordained in 1946, told some 200 English- speaking jubiIarians that "we can never finish speaking about Jesus: we can never retire from bearing witness to his love, from bearing witness to all he has done for us and continues to do for us day after day." Presiding at a Nov. 8 Mass with the English speakers under a golden mosaic of Christ and the 12 Apostles at the Basilica of SL Paul's Outside the Wails, Cardinal Hickey saidl "It is our privilege to hasten each day to Jesus Christ. "He is our life, our hope, our shepherd, our brother. With him we are not to be afraid. With him, we know whom we have trusted. Let us not be afraid," the cardinal said. : st ha, 7.1 Oi'h onrnent, conversion, looking ahead: Jubilarians tell stories WOODEN Service ((CNS) priests who to celebrate ary of priest- sh are. after World entire adult lives I t huge social, cal transfor. Second half of the North or South or Western Asia or the ged only the "ld they offer ta) is vastly ld where Mass- and ercise their ly more fffering and iI activity. Iha red their h I John r priests eel- th anniver. tt. t.o Lull, an J bilarian, me a priest ry, Albania, to ' and Persecution of religion began," Father Lull told his fellow priests during a Nov. 7 ceremony at the Vatican. Arrested Dec. 19, 1947, after being ordained just more than a year, Father Lull was charged with agitation and anti-govern- ment propaganda. He spent 17 years in a maximum security prison and another 25 in forced labor before being granted amnesty with the end of com- munism in 1989. "My first prison cell.., was a toilet. I was there for nine months, forced to live amid feces and without ever being able to stand at my full height," he said. He was stripped and left to freeze; hand-cuffed for months on end, which left scars on his wrists; kicked and beaten, tor- tured with electrical shocks. But, Father Lull said, his experience is not unique. "Thousands of priests have suffered persecution because of their priesthood," he said. The key that unites the pope and all the cardinals, bishops and priests celebrating their anniversary is love, he said. "The priest is, above all, one who has known love," he said. "The priest is a man who lives for love, to love Christ and to love everyone in him. "People can do anything to a priest, but they can never take away his love for Christ, his love for his brothers and sisters," Father Lull said. "It's true that 50 years have passed since our priestly ordi- nation, but our love" for Jesus and Jesus' love for us never grows old," he said, before a young priest took his hand to lead him down the steps of the Vatican audience hall, back to his seat. He was almost at the bottom of the steps when he turned to look at Pope John Paul and noticed the pope beckoning him. Father Lull knelt and kissed the pope's ring. Then the pope pulled him up and embraced him. Father Edward Kangootui has been a priest in the Arch- diocese of Windhoek, Namibia, for fully half of the 100 years of the Catholic Church's presence in his country. After walking slowly to the podium with his cane, he apolo- gized to his fellow jubilarians, saying he would have to address them sitting down. Father Kangootui, the first native Namibian ever ordained, gave only a brief nod to his anniversary and the centennial of Catholicism in his country. He was not looking back. "Celebrating golden jubilees is not the end of everything no," he said. "There is a thanks- giving to be done on our part. It was through the graces of the good Lord that these golden jubilees are possible." Msgr. Feliciano Barreto Castelo Branco, a pastor in the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, noted that he and his peers ministered for 20 years before the Second Vatican Coun- cil. It was in the atmosphere of change brought by the council, he said, "that my conversion occurred thanks to the renewal in the Spirit." "I searched for the essential which can never be placed in doubt: Christ, whom I proposed to serve without reserve," the Brazilian monsignor said. "He alone is the Lord of my life and my story. He is in me; he loves me and heals me." Msgr. Branco had special thanks to Pope John Paul for his ministry at the end of the mil- lennium. "In the midst of so rhuch con- fusion in today's world, I thank God that he has given us secu- rity and peace in the person and the directives of the successor of Peter, our Holy Father John Paul II," he said. Father loan Rosca, an East- ern-rite Catholic from Romania, also shared stories of imprison- ment, an experience he shared with all of his church's bishops, hundreds of priests and dozens of lay people committed to keep- ing the church alive under com- munism. As in other parts of Eastern Europe, Romania's communist government had tried to force Eastern-rite Catholics to give up their ties with Rome and merge with the Orthodox. "Prison was for us a means of the apostolate and of love," he said. Being imprisoned with intel- lectuals, doctors, lawyers, for- mer government officials, Ortho- dox priests and Protestant ministers, he said, "I lived a practical ecumenism in love and suffering, in truth and in hope." Father Rosca and the others who survived the cold, hunger and maltreatment of prison were released in 1964, he said. Their church was illegal, but having celebrated the Divine Liturgy secretly under the noses of the prison guards, they adapt- ed to clandestine liturgies cele- brated at night. He described his ministry as "50 years of trials and suffering, but also of j nd hope; 50 years ofdeep faith in Christ and his suffering; 50 yea of pro- fessing before the world the pri- macy of Peter.? ,