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Evansville, Indiana
November 25, 1994     The Message
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November 25, 1994
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana u Taking the time to make a difference--- - A little Advent, a little Christmas By PAUL 1t. LEINGANG EDITOR It was Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, a year ago. The memory is fresh in my mind, as if it were present today. A car comes down the street. Is this the one? No, it is not. The dog barks. Is some one at the door? No: The dog is barking at a jogger who passes by on the side- walk. He is not the one we are waiting for. We are waiting for our son Ben to return from college, to join the family for Thanksgiving. He didn't say when he would arrive. He didn't call before he left. We only know that he will be here tonight. Some time. Dinner and our evening activities go on out- wardly as usual, but inwary there is an extraor- dinary difference---tension, anticipation, hope, anx- iety, expectation, and even a tinge of irritation. Why didn't he call and tell us when to expect him? The U.S. bishops pastoral message on the fam- ily, "Follow the Way of Love," speaks of"the incred- ible busyness of family life" and how it is "hard to imagine how a family can live faithfully, be life giv- ing and grow in mutuality without deliberately choosing to spend time together." We are deliberately choosing to spend time to- gether--but that time together has not yet started, and we, Ben's mother and I, are waiting. Finally, a few seconds worth of activity shatters the silence of the waiting hours. A car pulls up, the dog barks, the door opens, and Ben is home. We move from a little Ad- vent to a little Christmas. It happens again, the next night. We are waiting at the train station in Centralia, Ill. We are waiting for Matt, our older son, to come home from college for Thanksgiving. A crowd gathers near the railroad tracks. They are waiting, too. Budget cuts have closed this railway station and all that is left is a semi-sheltered area and a park- ing lot alongside the railroad tracks. There is no one around to ask about the train. Is it on time? There is no one to answer the question. All that is possible for us is to wait. The scheduled arrival time comes and goes. Peo- ple in the parking area mill around, circle their cars, talk briefly to each other, and return to their cars. We wait, until finally the sound of the train is heard and the crossing signals clang. Is this the right train? Or is it another train we are waiting for? The engines pass, slow, and stop. A Matt steps out. Advent again has mas. A few days of celebration rush past denly it's the Sunday after Thanksgiving. fSr a ride. We talk about Christmas time he will be home. Later that same day, we are again train. People gather, leave their cars to look down the tracks, talk to each other, the cold, and return to their cars again . about Christmas.  Is it possible? All of life is Advent, brief moments of Christmas--when wc choose to spend time together. : * * Who do you wait for? Who waits for others in your family or with your about the times you waited for some one in your life. Then try to think about neighborhood or community who are also waiting for a little love or kindness, one to notice them, waiting for a little ter, or some small token of the human love ' veals God's love. Take the time to notice someone who Take the time today to bring a little some one -- a friend or a stranger. You difference. ---- Washington Letter The vote for Proposition 187: The Church braces for a legal By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A's news sunk in early Nov. 9, De- mocratic politicians weren't the only people reeling from the previous night's election results. After campaigning hard against California's Proposi- tion 187, Catholic bishops who had seen polls predicting its narrow passage -- were hoping a strong turnout might mean a surprise defeat. Instead, 59 percent of the state's voters said yes, the state should make it illegal for anyone in the country without permission to attend school, re- ceive nonemergency medical care or any other tax-paid ser- vices such as foster care or drug abuse treatment. "Man, we got beaten good," said a still-stunned Oakland Bishdp John S. Cummins, president of the California Catholic Conference, a week later in Washington at the Na- tional Conference of Catholic The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pubsbef .............. shop Geraid A. Geltetfinger E ..................................... :......Paul Leingang Production Mana ........................... Phil Boger Cculation ................................... Amy Housman Advelising .................................... Paul Newland S ..mr ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 (812) 424-5536 Fax: (812) 421-1334 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd ctas-s matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publcation  1994  Press of Ev-amvile Bishops fall general meeting. "I thought the vote could go either way," said Bishop William K. Weigand of Sacra- mento, Calif. "I was surprised at the margin by which it won." California's bishops had spo- ken as a conference and indi- vidually against the measure. Church leaders throughout the state were active in voter reg- istration and education drives focused on fighting Proposition 187. Statewide, 49 percent of all Catholics voted for Proposition 187, as did 58 percent of white Catholics, 69 percent of Protes- tants and 45 percent of Jews, according to a Los Angeles Times exit poll. Sixty percent of those whose families have been in the coun- try three generations or more .voted for it, as did 54 percent of first- generation Americans, the poll found. Of whites, 63 percent voted for 187, com- pared to 23 percent of Latinos, and 47 percent each of Asians and blacks, according to the poll. It was 'Jean' To the editor:. Being a family historian, I always enjoy any articles on the history of the parishes in the diocese. I, therefore, read your articles on the Vincennes and Washington Deaneries with interest (4 November, 1994 issue). And I was sur- prised that you even men- tioned that Father John Mou- gin began St. John's Parish at Loogootee. I do not want to be a "nit-picker," but Father Jean Mougin is my first cousin three times removed (or my Great- By the time the U.S. bishops gathered in Washington Nov. 14- 17, prelates from around the country had begun to focus on the potential implications of Proposition 187. With a unanimous voice vote, the U.S. bishops Nov. 17 affirmed a statement by their conference president, Cardinal- designate William H. Keeler, saying they regret the passage of Proposition 187. It said all people have a basic right to ed- ucation and health care and committed Catholic agencies and schools to continuing to serve all people in need of ser- vices. The statement also warned against drawing societal divid- ing lines based on race, income or ethnic origin and asked for rational, thoughtful discussion to replace the fear and hostility that has driven debate over immigration. The bishops briefly consid- ered adding language about caring for people regardless of legal status into their "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" -- not 'John' He was FrencK His birthplace was Remilly, a town about 10 miles southeast of Metz. His native tongue was French, a letter written by him is in the Notre Dame Archives. So if your source of information is "correctable,  I would appreci- ate giving my cousin his proper birthright. In southwestern In- diana we give our German an- cestors plenty of their rightful place in our history. So when a Frenchman or Belgian, etc. is there, we should recognize him. Thanks for listening. Lynn David Recker Great Grandfather's nephew). , ............ B.rucelle, Ind, adopted Nov. 17. Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, N.M., proposed adding the phrase "regardless of their legal status" to a sen- tence about how Catholic health care serves people on society's margins. The Com- mittee on Doctrine recom- mended against the proposed amendment, saying it already was implicit in the wording. Bishop Ramirez disagreed, but withdrew the amendment after Cardinal Roger M. Ma- hony of Los Angeles said talks were going on about "the best way to say this" including pos- sibly joining court challenges to the constitutionality of 187. Bishop Cummins said the California Catholic Conference was waiting to join any legal challenges until it saw how various lawsuits that have al- ready been filed Bishop Weigand ports the idea joining the legal A federal a temporary blocking er tiative's ban on medical, edt services for illegal That order, basedOn tional questions, have little effect the law was not fect until state preparing e tions. Bishop mail he received church's opposition "simplistic" and nomic arguments. "They bought the politicians said. Bishop's s The following activities and events are listed schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger..