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Evansville, Indiana
December 4, 1987     The Message
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December 4, 1987

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December 4, 1987 View Point The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 By FATHER JOSEPH L. ZILIAK Associate Publisher We take heart from Mary and seek to be like her "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations shall call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name." If we were playing a Catholic trivia game, you would know immediately when and where those lines were spoken. You would also know by whom they were proclaimed and who it was who heard  ose words. We will be celebrating a major feast day in our tradition this coming Tuesday. It is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8. We are reminded through this feast that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was privileged to be conceived, born and live total- ly without sin. It was a very special situation because we recognize that all the rest of us have our share of sins. At times I heard the erroneous assumption that the title Immaculate Conception is somehow the same as the Virgin birth, that is, referring to the birth of Christ. The term, we know, refers to Mary's own personal history of being totally without sin, and thus always in union with God, from the moment of her own conception in her mother's womb and then throughout her life. Mary, thus, becomes a model for any and all of us. She was able to live her life in perfect and total control. She was a human like ourselves. We may take heart from her and seek to be like her as much as we possibly can. There is an old saying, "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you about yourself." If we are willing to number ourselves among the friends of Mary, we have something marvelous to say about ourselves. We will thus be in good com- pany. We will have chosen our heroine well. I sense that women find a special relationship in Mary. It is that bond of likeness that is deep in the human spirit. "Here is one like me. I can iden- tify with her." Mary, a young woman, asked by God to commit herself to an unknown future, says yes with no hesitation. She becomes a mother and then feels the arrows of sadness that end with the limp and dead body of her son in her arms. It is an image that does have its attractiveness and commoness to the story that many women live. I do not bill myself as an expert on women, but I have observed a commoness that women seem to experience even deeper than men. I have seen it in women of differing nationalities and bet- ween women who could not communicate except through a smile or touch. Theirs was a secret and immediate tie that refused to be barred by politics or history. I'm sure that's a strengthening element to mother-daughter relationships. I would propose that an additional gift mothers can give their daughters is a special love and devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Helping them memorize the "memorare" prayer may go a long way toward providing them with wisdom and strength at critical times in their lives. "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone, who fled to thy protection, implored thy help and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand sin- ful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise, not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen." O yes. At the beginning of this article, the words are those of Mary as she was greeted by her cousin Elizabeth as being the Mother of the Savior. Sts. Peter and Continued from page 9 Since 1888, the parish has been a mission of churches in Elberfeld, Fort Branch, Washington, Vincennes and -;Bickell. In 1945, Father Clemens Hut began the work which led to the establishment of a resident pastor. The first bishop of the new Diocese of Evansville installed Father Michael Wolf as the first pastor in all of Pike County. Resident pastors include Fathers Raymond Reising, Forest Strange and Lawrence Vieck who died of  heart attack "at age 42 in 1973. Father Vieck was very impor- tant in breaking down the anti- I| ., Catholic attitudes, according to the parish history, through his involvement in the community. A story in the Message, April 20, 1979, quoted the publicity coordinator for the Washington, Ind., 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, at the time the Assembly changed its name to recognize Father Vieck: "During the seven years of his pastorate the number of parishioners more than doubl- ed. He was accepted and ad- mired in ecumenical circles and was the first Catholic priest to conduct a union service in a Protestant church in Petersburg, to serve as host pastor for a similar service in RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY JASPER [ 14e=.120o 3 IIIIT .... COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Aut01Homel Fire & Lifel Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 311 N Wabash 425-3187 Sts, Peter and Paul Church, and to become president of the predominantly Protestant Pike County Ministerial Association." Other pastors who have serv- ed the parish include Fathers Bill Schwenk, John Lefler, John Emge, Joseph Swartz, and ad- ministrator Father Dave Fleck. civic and ministerial organiza- tions, an involvement which he says continues to be essential for the church in the world today. The church at Petersburg is growing, with families moving into the area because of jobs in mining and at a nearby power plant. Father Kiesel says there new members joined the church last year; more people are join- ing this year. Religious education activities are well organized, he says, under the direction of Mary Jean Julien, a public school teacher who wbrks part time with the 14 people who teach religious education courses for Father Kiesel is involved in is an active RCIA group; seven around 100 students. Possible papal visits planned for 1989 SEOUL, South Korea (NC) -- Local efforts are under way for papal trips to China and South Korea, but plans have not reached the level of "official conversation" between the Vatican and Peking, said a South Korean church spokesman. Father Augustine Ham Say- oong, director of social com- munications for the Arch- diocese of Seoul, said church officials hope that the pope can combine the trips with a visit to the 44th International Eucharistic Congress in South Korea in October 1989. However, a eucharistic con- gress organizer said it was uncertain whether the pope Christopher East Livin g Center ,, Large Spacious Rooms ', o Medicare, Medicaid & V.A. 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After the efforts were men- tioned at a recent meeting of the East Asia Catholic Press Association, a Hong Kong diocesan spokesman told reporters that a third country b, ISTMA S CRAFTS ORNAMENTS CHRISTMAS TREES WREATHS For All Your Holiday Shopping Needs 1210Hwy.57 S. Wqshington was involved in trying to ar- range a papal trip to China. Vatican press spokesman Joa- quin Navarre-Vails denied that negotiations were under way and added, "I do not currently see the elements for such a hypothesis." Formal ties between the Vatican and China were broken in 1949, when the People's "Republic of China was established. The government- approved National Association of Patriotic Catholics was established in 1957. In recent years there has been a thaw in Vatican-Chinese rela- tions. The Vatican has said it wants direct links to China, but Chinese officials object to the Vatican's insistence on naming bishops and its recognition of Taiwan. t,, ''i q, p4". :;,::,ii  ::,:. @.. i' ':!:ft..,':,,';; L:/.::':: :!...:..';::,'.,.,: !* :/?.';ii:'