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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 3, 1993     The Message
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December 3, 1993

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The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana "+Perspective -- When Advent turns to Christmas Tuesday night before Thanks- giving. A car comes down the street. Is this the one? It is not. The dog barks. Is some one at the door? No. A jogger passes by on the sidewalk. He is not the one we are waiting for. I am waiting for my son Ben to return from college, to join the fam- ily for Thanksgiving. He didn't say when he would arrive. He didn't call before he left. He will be here tonight. Some time. Dinner and evening activities go on outwardly as usual, but in- wardly there is an extraordinary difference -- tension, anticipation, hope, anxiety, expectation, and even a tinge of irritation -- Why didn't he call and tell us when to expect him? The new U.S. bishops pastoral message on the family speaks of "the incredible busyness of family life" and how it is "hard to imagine how a family can live faithfully, be life giving and grow in mutu- ality without deliberately choosing to spend time IB PAUL It. INGANG EDITOR together." We are deliberately choosing to spend time together -- 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. Now it is Wednesday night, Ben is home, and we are waiting at the train station in Centralia, Ill. 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 the railway station, and 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. Min- utes past the scheduled time go by. People in parking area mill around, circle t[ briefly to each other, and return to their cars, wait, until finally the sound of the train and the crossing signals clang. Is this the right train? Or is it we are waiting for? The engines pass, slow, and stop. A door opens. Matt steps out. Advent again has Christmas. It's Sunday after Thanksgiving. a ride. We talk about Christmas and the next' he will be home. :: It's later Sunday afternoon, and we are waiting for a train. People gather, leave to take a long look down the tracks, talk to other, stomp away the cold, and re cars again. There's talk about C next time Matt will be home. :+ Is it possible? All of life is by brief moments of Christmas -- when we erately choose to spend time -.-.- Vatican Letter Judgment: Cleaning project heightens drama in Michelangelo By JOHN THAVIS Judgment after it occurs, with formally unveiled on Easter. ingly with solvent to remove Michelangelo Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Suspended between heaven and hell, their faces have been scrubbed clean for Judgment Day. A woman's bulging eyes now betray her fear as she gazes up at the implacable expression of Christ. Beside her, a figure winces in apprehension, un- easy about what comes next. A less-confident neighbor simply pulls a hood over his head and looks glumly below -- toward scenes of eternal suf- fering. In the features of more than 300 painted figures, doubt and dread shine through. To ex- perts restoring Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" mural fresco, that is the real discovery of a four-year project which is fi- nally nearing completion. "Now that we can see what's happening, it becomes strik- ingly clear that this scene is the moment just before Christ makes his judgment," said Fabrizio Mancinelli, a member of the Vatican Museum restoration team. Most medieval and Renais- sance artists depicted the Last The MESSAGE 4200 N.'Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Pubh'shed weeldy except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pttdisher ........... :..Bistp Gerald A. Gettelfinger Editu ................... : .......... : ............. Paul Leingang Circulation ................................... Amy H0usman Pr0ducon Manager ........................... Phil Bnger Advertising .................................... Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................. Mar/Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701, Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  13 Ca Press 0 Evansvile the blessed seated in angelic calm and the damned in the mouths of beasts. The genius of Michelangelo was to capture the instant of uncertainty be- fore most of the individuals learned of their fate. "No one is very confident -- even St. Peter looks uncomfort- able," Mancinelli said. Fellow restorer Gianluigi Colalucci pointed out that the cleaning has brought back to light what Michelangelo's con- temporaries called the "dread- fulness" of the painting. "The figures are all anxious. Even the saints are holding up the instruments of their mar- tyrdom as if to say: 'I earned this, right?"' he said. The Vatican Museum al- lowed journalists to view the restored sections of the work for the first time in late No- vember. The 1,700-square-foot painting, which covers an en- tire wall of the Sistine Chapel, has been covered by scaffolding since April 1990 and will be For the first time in cen- turies it will then be possible for visitors to see Michelan- gelo's Sistine frescoes more or less as he painted them some 500 years ago. The frescoes on the ceiling were restored be- tween 1980-90; the entire pro- ject has been underwritten in part by Japan's Nippon Televi- sion Network. Like the ceiling restoration, the cleaning of the "Last Judg- ment" has brought out vivid colors that had been hidden under centuries of grime. Mancinelli said there is a dif- ference, however: the ceiling features cool shades of green, yellow and blue, while the "Judgment" has "hot" colors -- especially reds and purples that reflect a Venetian influ- ence on Michelangelo. To the casual observer, of course, the striking novelty is that the fresco can be seen again. What was once a dark soup of bodies under a gloomy sky has been daubed painstak- Father Joseph Kirsch granted leave of absence Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfin- ger has granted a leave of ab- sence from the active ministry of the priesthood to Father Joseph Kirsch, who has been serving as pastor of St. Agnes Church, Evansville. Bishop Gettelfinger presided at all parish Masses over the weekend, Nov. 27 -- 28, and announced the decision to parishioners. He also offered Mass for the school children on Monday morning, Nov. 29. Father Raymond Brenner, Dean of the West Deanery, will serve as administrator of the parish and work in collabora- tion with the parish staff dur- ing the interim. Father Kirsch has written to priests and pastoral life coordi- nators in the diocese, and to members of St. Agnes Church. Father Kirsch noted that he has "struggled with the issue of mandatory celibacy and the question of the married priest- hood." He also stated he has no plans at this time, "other than to try to find a job in a social work-related field, so as to con- tinue in ministry with God's people." Father Kirsch also asked for prayers. He said he intended to stay in the Evansville area if job op- portunities permit. layers of candle soot, glue and painted touch-ups. The difference is like night and day. In one corner of hell, for example, only a toothy gri- mace was previously visible. Now, viewers can see the rest of the story: it's a horned devil who happens to be sitting in a cavern of fire. The cleaning has ended at least one debate: whether Christ might have had a beard in Michelangelo's original. Be- cause the figure of Christ was restored many times over the centuries, it was difficult to say. The final verdict is that Christ was indeed clean- shaven, the experts said. Another debate still simmers among restorers, however: whether to remove the "loin- cloths" that were later painted onto 38 nude figures, for the sake of modesty. Mancinelli said some of the figures would have to be undressed because their loincloths look "too dark" and incongruous in the re- stored fresco. St. Andrew will lose his drapery, for example. But St. John the Baptist will keep his tiny animal-skin brief- done in good 16th-century taste, Mancinelli said -- and St. Peter will remain covered, too. The loincloths were painted on as a result of the Council of Trent, only a few years after fresco. The artisl cover the nudes most of the add-onS contemporary, Da Volterra. Some plaster and cannot but others wqre and could be For Mancinelli, urgency, however, "Some of these (l are considered mony to a taste. Anyway, if you leave always be remove proceeding with c said. The decision on. ures to undress v for last, he said. To tell the tion experts of questions ab cloths. They re when journalists "A lot of the Madonna nude," Michelangelo and several clothed, and gave pie wrap. One member tion team the "Last Jw veiled next grandeur as a people will notice" loincloth and who Bishop's sc The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger