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Evansville, Indiana
December 2, 1994     The Message
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December 2, 1994

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2, 1994 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -- Bishop's Forum -- Vision Statement: Paragraph III BISHOP RALD A GETrELFINGER I envision the Catholics of Southwestern Indiana coming to- gether regularly for common wor- ship in loving support of one an- other ahd in hospitality to all they meet. The family will be the source and foundation of this support. There will be outward signs of col- laboration at all levels" family with fanli'ly; parish with parish; pas- toral leader with pastoral leader; community of faith with commu- nity of faith; Catholic community With the larger community. Bishop Gettelfinger is devoting a.series of columns to an in-depth explanation of h!s:ision Statement for the Diocese o Evans -  VzUe,-. lvh' : . . ]r Th- . tch was pubhshed zn tts entirety Nov. 4. e COlumn below expands on the ideas contained zn the third paragraph. WORSHIPPING COMMUNITIES Prayer to God is an act of worship. I learned to pray first at home with m ar- eats,  .... Y P ily wa" ;x't::d ents, sisters and brothers. Our fam- .... ed in that mv father, by tradition, amyed  home to care for hisparents. My father as- _ :' ne responsibility of caring for his parents d sharing the profits of the farm on a rift -rift usls With h" Y Y .^: . m parents who owned the farm. Ex- ;Sns of faith at home were abundant -- the ,1c church, the family, was real for me. ot everyone has that invaluable experience, Particular . lies wt ly m our day. There are so many fami- acre there is only one parent oresent. This raay be the result of the death of a parent, separa- tion of parents, or divorce. In all cases, it is my expecta- tion that the weekly gathering at Church is the premier opportunity for all members of all families to come together to pray in common as one family. The most memorable evidence I can recall is the gathering of parish families in front of the coun- try church well in advance of the Mass. There was the normal ex- change of news of "families" and unfortunately some gossip about families or individuals in families. All the more need for reconciliation as the liturgy of Eucharist begins. The pastor could take attendance by "scoping" the pews. The questions would follow. Why was this or that parishioner missing. This was not an idle bit of gossip, it was true caring for "what might have happened" to those not present. The summer picnic was the test of whether or not the parish was pulling together for the common purpose of "paying the annual bills." It was the lit- mus test of collaboration. The pastor and the parish council with all the other committees had to guarantee success, somehow. The parish pastor had a working agreement with other pastors and parish communities not to infringe and to cooperate by proper advertising and participation. This is the norm as it should be. The parish pastor clearly communicates to the faithful that there are larger obligations, namely those at the diocesan, national and universal levels of Church life. It is a source of pride and joy to be part of a nization that is unmatched in world experience. It builds from family to the parish; the parish to the diocese; the diocese to the province; the province to the region; the region to the national conference; the conference to the universal Church. That is why we pray for our bishops and the Holy Father. We are one in collaboration as family, as parish, as diocese and as universal Church. What are the signs of collaboration in church life? A small checklist for each family is in order. What is the attitude of your family toward the parish? Weekly contributions to support the parish? Diocesan assessments to support the dioce- san Church? What is the attitude of your family and parish to the diocese? Diocesan policies? Diocesan partici- pation in provincial, national and universal assess- ments? What is the attitude of your family, your parish and diocese to the national church? Na- tional policies? National collections of alms giving. What is the attitude of your family, your parish and diocese to the universal church? Uni- versal church law? You need to know the answers to these ques- tions. Ask parents, your pastor or your pastoral life coordinator, and your bishop for their answers to these questions. The answers to the questions will reflect the spirit of our Church in Southwestern In- diana. All of the above are encompassed in the ability to come together "regularly for common worship in loving support of one another and in hospitality to all you meet." d: hree days in Guatemala ay aqhalify me to talk with tral aority about that Cen- d-. ""erican COUntr T xs Vis'-. y. hree Scratchalng there, I onl eriag th ne surface in disco e beauty of the intimidation that has so terri- bly victimized them, and the Catholic Church that tries to witness to the Gospel in their midst. I visited Guatemala with a group of Catholic journalists and several persons associated with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging An i nvitatio-"n- to travel with Father Harold 00, Knueven in 14 Per,- ' 1995 for . 00onal Lenten Journey To Rome I 00ttend Outdoor Palm Sunday Papal I Mass in St. Peter's Square April 3-10, 1995 i or l:00ll 4 ro00Ay W, ER00 JESUS WALKEo l00ll , ./00lritual Journey in the Holy Land Iil/o,,00'UNE 2- 14, 1995 1,:0011 c " nal add-on ROME- I day, 2 nights lill  all or write Rev. Har I K v i::ill et,,.,__, o d nue en - I0011 S. of Greenwood Church- 335 !!!\\;-' 'v=erldlan Street-Greenwood, Indi- .. number of schools, orphanages, health care centers and other efforts supported by CFCA. The Kansas City-based mis- sion program, according to their founder and president, is committed to responding to "the expressed felt need of the people." What I experienced in the southwestern section of Guatemala we toured was the marvelous hospitality of the people and the incredible beauty of the land. Mostly we met indigenous people, who are Mayan Indian in that part of the country, missionaries, native clergy and religious. Traveling the sometimes mountainous, even volcanic countryside, we witnessed their skill at farming, with primitive tools, terrain that sometimes rose at such a steep vertical, one could imagine a farmer losing his footing and falling offhis field into space. And the weaving. As tourists we purchased, at bargain-base- ment prices, fabrics that for color, design and quality would have been exhibition pieces in the United States. These same fabrics were everyday wear for the people, especially the rapacious loggers. Water so polluted it is the leading cause of death. A public edu- cation system that serves only the cultural elite. Multi- national-owned plantations and factories that pay Guatemala's native people barely enough to live, while providing working conditions that would send corporate bosses to jail in the United States. The Catholic Church clearly plays a role in Guatemala, one for which it is appreciated, ad- mired, envied, and persecuted. The clergy, religious and lay people with whom we visited demonstrated a commitment to working for and with the na- tive people, while always sensi- tive to the delicate political and social implications of their efforts. We met no revolution- aries, only committed servants of the poor. Working to enable the church's mission is CFCA. Founded in 1981. CFCA helps to sponsor a variety of pro- grams that benefit the poor and needy in 23 countries. They also have a lay mission- ary program that operates in nine countries. Our group via- women, ited with several of these mis- What we didn't see, but sionaries in Guatemala, who learned from wsltmg wlth a thelrownw .... p y " ay for the priv- church workers and the native ilege of living with and serving eo le there, s ewdence of that coun s p p , ' " try least-privileged Guatemala s terrible sociopolit- citizens. CFCA differs from ical history. More than 100,000 many "sponsorship" programs I] ] "" [ I }' - MILLER, & MILLER Funeral Pre-Planmng mrmmam,t Sincef940" . jn[ T. %m! 11]. 424-9274 ..... _ I Ill 111 I II Ifl with a child or elderly adult, their monies don't go directly to the sponsored individual, but support a mission program in which that person is in- voh'ed. For example, the person who sponsors "Lucia" might actu- ally help support the Catholic mission school she attends, or pay for the sewing machine that will allow her mother to earn'a living, or finance the health care class or clinic that benefits her entire family. There is also a personal link between sponsor and child, as sponsors receive the child's photo, family history, and translated personal letters, as well as a description of the child's country and a quarterly newsletter. A priest from Pennsylvania traveling with our group had brought with him a wooden cross he had made to give to a child his parish sponsors. At one parish center and clinic we visited, CFCA presi- dent Robert Hentzen, a former Christian Brother, talked about CFCA's work there. %Ve sponsor over 2,000 chil- dren in this diocese. We're not handing out candy. Real, solid benefits are delivered to chil- dren-s chance to go to school. medical and dental care. Moth- ers are learning income-pro- ducing trades. Fathers learn agricultural techniques." Everywhere we visited, CFCA-sponsored programs demonstrated intelligence, sen- sitivity and compassion. Reprinted with permission from the Times Review, Lrx, Wisc. community of believers which has a "built in" orga- It all starts at home with the family. At Work in the fields of the Lord -- CFCA helps Guatemala's native people Iv.rCOMMENTARY Guatemalan people and coun- (CFCA), which sponsored our dead in 30 years of internal in its broad approach. AI- Edtor^,-., "'RRY RUFF tryside, the exploitation and trip. While there, we visited a war. Rain forests decimated by though sponsors are matched ' rnes Review, La Crosse