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Evansville, Indiana
November 27, 1992     The Message
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November 27, 1992

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective November 27, By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message Editor The geranium outside a basement window at our house is still blooming. How is that possible? Our autumn weather has not been severe, but I know geraniums are sensitive to the cold. In fact, other geraniums farther from the house are no longer alive. The plant near the window must be able to survive because of the warmth escaping from the house. Not only is this plant surviving, but it is blooming. I can&apos;t say that I or anyone else at our house has taken particular care of this plant. In fact, the word to describe our relationship is clearly "ne- glect." Yet the plant lives and blooms and shares its beauty with us. For such undeserved beauty, I give thanks. How many people this Thanksgiving Day will live and bloom despite the neglect of the rest of the A Thanksgiving reflection /! through a basement window human family? How many people will stay alive in the cold of the coming winter by huddling near the heat escaping from somebody else's building? Perhaps their beauty is harder to see. Perhaps no one gives thanks for the beauty of their individuality, for the bright splash of color they bring to a gray world of adversity. Per- haps no one ever looks out of their own house to look carefully at the fragile life all around. Thanksgiving is not the only time of the year that we are called and challenged to share the goodness we have received. There is enough need to last the whole year. We just seem to no- tice it more during the holidays. Another thing I have noticed about that flower outside my basement window is this: it does not try to shame me into caring for it. Whether I care or do not care, whether I feel guilt or feel nothing, the plant blooms just game. The big difference -- if I care or do not care -- is not in the plant. It is in me. In its brief lifetime, a flower offers me a kind of grace from God. There is beauty and bright- ness available for free -- without trouble, without pain, without cost, without commit- ment. There is beauty too in other people, and grace. Them, too, we can ignore or accept, see  or refuse to see. But their lives, we believe, of greater value than the lilies in the field or the geranium by the window. and brightness are available, too, but the is commitment -- the kind of commitment : demonstrated by our God who sent us deemer, and who asks us to continue the work of redemption, i :m Washington Letter 01d ties can mean access to the White House By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS}- Georgetown University's 25th class reunion next summer , promises to be memorable in more than the usual ways, ii :: : paAculaxly,ifthe class s most : ......... tamouS a[umnus is able to make good oil an invitation to dinner at his place -- the White House. Washington's political and social circles are buzzing with the possibilities pre- sented by having a new presi- dent take office Jan. 20. From interest groups anx- ious to get their legislative agendas approved to the su- : perintendent of District of ' Columbia schools, who's try- ing to woo President-elect Bill Clinton's 12-year-old daughter Chelsea to a public junior high, the city is filled with eager attempts to make the most of the changing ad- ministration. But besides the usual ex- citement about jobs turning over and policies changing, many in the nation's capital are looking forward to having the kind of access to the pres- idency they've previously The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 477200169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville P tsaed week except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evar, Edr ................ : .................... Paul ""'-" - Lngang Stal Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all corrar.ncations to P.O. BOx 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Pnce:$,50 Entered as 2rid cass matfer at the pst off;ce in Evansv!e iN 47701. Pubhca- tm number 843800 Po[rnaste Re!rr, POD forms 3579   prrs  Evarsvle :,--:. : : , ................. only watched from afar. Among those is the public relations staff at Georgetown University, the Catholic col- lege from which Clinton grad- uated in 1968. Within hours of Clinton's victory Nov. 3, Georgetown's staff released an extensive packet of information about the school, Clinton's activi- ties there, his academic men- tors and other famous alumni. Clinton spoke at George- town three times during the presidential campaign, and while official sentiment about the election was neutral, "the students are just ecstatic," said Jane Daly Seaberg, assis- tant director of public rela- tions. "We saw a great resurgence of student activism during the election," Ms. Seaberg said. "A large number of stu- dents campaigned both for him and for others." The school's 25th reunion committee already was plan- ning a big bash next summer to make up for the low-key celebration in 1968. Gradua- tion events were toned down that year when Robert Kennedy was assassinated a Issue 'curious' To the editor: What a curious paper you are running. We are treated, in the November 13th issue, to a front page headline boasting: "Catholics pick the winner for fifth straight cam- paign." Here are a few of the night- marish decrees expected of this "winner," Clinton: Passage of the Freedom of Choice Act making abortion on demand during the entire nine months in all 50 states. Passage of a law making it a felony to res(:ue preborn chil- dren. day before commencement exercises, Ms. Seaberg said. The public relations staff and reunion planners realize that as president their famous graduate will have less time for them. But they hope Clin- ton can make good on. an in- vitation to host the class for dinner at the White House if he won, she said. Also looking to make the most of connections to Clin- ton or his staff are various de- partments of the U.S. Catholic Conference. It's too soon to know who will lve what jobs in the new administration, but Thomas Shellabarger, adviser for urban issues in the USCC Department of Social Devel- opment and World Peace, is lining up his issues for them anyway. At least two former em- ployees of the department are likely to be called upon for their connections to the new president. Jesuit Father Fred Kammer, previously adviser for health and welfare issues and now president of Catholic Charities USA, was a Yale Law School classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton's and remains a close friend of Tax-funded abortion through national health care. And there are other grisley possibilities in prospect. This particular issue gets curiouser and curiouser; on page 5 we are asked "to bond together in unity behind the man who will be our 'new' president." No advice was given us before the election to support our 'old' president. Also I was pained to see the Father Dilger (:oluinn omitted in that dismal issue. Other than the above VOli have a pretty good pallet. Don't cancel lny subscription. Edward P. Becker Evansville theirs. SharonDaly, formerly the department's director of do- mestic social development, is now director of government and community affairs for the Children's Defense Fund, of which Mrs. Clinton was board president until resign- ing because of campaign pres- sures. The Children's Defense Fund and its president, Mar- ian Wright Edelman, are ex- pected to play key roles in the new administration's fam- ily policies. In the meantime, the social development staff has adapted a Clinton campaign technique to help keep atten- tion focused on their big issue. The campaign's Little Rock, Ark., headquarters "war room" featured a promi- nent sign reading: "It's the economy, stupid," as a re- minder of the key point of the campaign. "We've put up a sign, 'It's the poor, stupid," as our own reminder," said Shellabarger. Frank Monahan, the USCC's government liaison, also will beeping an eye peeled for fniliar names in the Clinton administration. He noted that several other former USCC employees worked with Clinton's cam- paign and that Mrs. Edelman has worked with the Catholic conference on social policy matters frequently years. Even the World Youth staff is starting to think how to approach the dent and invite him to ternational celebratio Denver next August, Pope John Paul II will As for the new first the Clintons will face more than hopeful pol and well-wishers on rival. For instance, matter of finding a Chelsea, who tends a Little Rock school. Security cox have been raised as a cation for sending private school in but her father has beg! strong advocate of public<.! ucation. And there's the finding a church to Clinton, a Southern who sings in the choir Little Rock church, co choose from dozens congregations in ington area: New Baptist; Goodwill BoP Good Samaritan Greater Harvest Bapti Greater New ttope Or how about this: even a Clinton Church in one of the land suburbs. Bishop's The following activities and events are listed schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Mass commemorating Liberlan marl others, Pro-Cathedral, Evansville, Day, Thursday, NOv. 26,, 9 a.m., Thanksgiving, diocesan offices closed, day and Friday. Nov. 26-27, Installation of Bishop Edward U. Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 3. Bishop Shea's Birthday, Friday. Dec. 4, Indiana Catholic Conference. joint I( Advisors and Board, Indianapolis, Saturday, Dec. 4-5.