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December 5, 1997     The Message
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December 5, 1997

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December 5, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of southwestern Indiana -w Invisible service By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Once Upon-a time there was a ma " went to a ve, ni ...... rrled couple who -s  restaurant As the r home and  ....... y etumed to their nl ...... ,,unuy, mey remarked to each other what a do;.-,t experience it had been The food was dell , me ric " had  p e appropnate for the place and menu. It 'a a good evening. Indeed, it was wonderful. lne next Thursda eve " out, they d;^ . Y nmg, their regular evening . - ,-u at another restaur good reco .... ant with equally experien 'tmenctations and beautiful setting. The ce Was similar to the revl SOmethin,, w ..... P ous week But On  as amerent. ful .... e Way home, elated from another wonder- ,ung, they began talking about the two experi- ences tn two noted restaurants There was somethin  bhe .se. Cond that put it in a class all its own. g u was so much better than the week before. A Lthol Lgh the first w c ss,  le fir as good and the evemn a suc- Scon,[,,.^'.Str.estaurant lacked somethin lat the y-UVlCle(l, g In discussing it further, the insightful couple came to a surprising conclusion. It was not the menu. Both had been excellent. It was not the setting, for both were elegant. What made the difference was the invisible presence of the waiter. He seemed to antici- pate our needs, they said. He was always there, but not intrusive. He made us feel that our needs were his. Teamed with his associates, whom he obviously respected, he saw to it that water glasses were never empty and his attention to detail was above and beyond the call of duty. Although a waiter is a public figure, his invisible presence made the difference between two fine evenings of dining out. That invisible presence is the work of the deacon in our church. Although the deacon is a public per- son, as is the waiter in a restaurant, he never draws attention to himself. Last Sunday, Anthony Ernst received for the first time the Sacrament of Holy Orders. He is a son of the parish of St. Peter Celestine. He was ordained a deacon there. He now assumes a pub- lic role within the Church while still responsible for being faithful to his baptismal commitment to be a witness to the Gospel in the world. Deacons are to assist those who have been ordained to the order of priesthood and episcopacy. Three times a man can be ordained. This threefold sacrament empowers the recipient to exercise his ministry in a unique way within the Church. One who is ordained a deacon may aspire to the celibate priesthood. That is the path to which Deacon Tony Ernst has committed himself. On the other hand, there are those who are mar- ried who may aspire to the diaconate as a permanent state. In our diocese we have 22 married deacons, and one celibate deacon who does not aspire to priesthood. , Today, I ask you to pray with me for Deacon Tony Ernst that he may fulfill the requirements neces- sary for the Order of Priesthood. : In the meantime, Deacon Tony, with all the other deacons in our diocese, can be expected to provide invisible service to the community of the Church as commissioned by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. More next week about the Holy Order of Deacon in our diocese. Immaculate Conception: A model for humanity crhe feast of the acentio-, Immaculate Some worried that it meant that found in the openness which trivializing the importance of symbolic theology to translate fi4sir, f "tOCuses much e w "y" araon, Pr " _on- Mary had no need of redemp- Martin Luther had to this idea the individual, the church the more abstract aspects of its ell as _ o otestants as tion, but as one theologian around the same time. presented a feminine model of meaning into our lives. Maav ..aOng SOme Catholics. explained it, you can be saved Nevertheless, the feast was what it means to be human, As important things in life efers to the con- from a pit by being pulled out being celebrated in the liturgy that is, a belief that there is easily fade into the background Co_nentarv of it or by having someone keep and, after the appearances more to life than the material by more pressing needs, seeing 13Yl ufHERDrT..,." you from falling into it; the lat- claimed by Catherine Laboure world and that we are each the Immaculate Conception BOq ab,,,, ",,Lu "*aOl, S M e ,,,- ter is the case with Mary.. and Bernadette, devotion unique beings in the sight of within the concept of the Bibli- .I.D. The concept of the Immacu- among the faithful proliferated God. cal Mary and her relationship to cfiptiOfJesu , ,,. ;, late Conception has had a in the 19th century, the former It is important to keep the Christ and to the church can ' "attheA tir,whe , nnun- stormy past. Some of the great in 1830 before the dogmatic dogmas of the Immaculate help us to see ourselves more try'. c n,,  tact, it refers to 0 ..... fi_ . saints of the Middle Ages did proclamation and the latter Conception and Assumption c/early as faithful ples of 0[ ,e, oth'e on m the Womb not accept it. At the time of the afterwards in 1858. within sight of each other. They Jesus.   1 54 P::e ius IX declare d th It M Reformation, the debate on the At a time when Marx was really proclaim to us anew that ltsia7  idea among theologians had proclaiming his economic the- Mary is model for all the faith- Brother Donald Boccardi, S.M., or  preserved from become so out-of-hand that the ory defining man, when Niet- ful disciples of Jesus who are S.T.D., serves on the faculty of lgrl ce OfGoY;d e of a spe- pope put all writings on the zsche was expounding on the born in grace and who are des- Theological Collegeat The Catholic rbein, a,_ in view of subject on the Index of Forbid- idea of superman, and when fined for resurrection and eter- University of America in Wash- "' mother of Christ. den Books. A further irony is the industrial revolution was nal life. We need this kind of ington, D.C. iE) alle s says naming Mary Co-Redeemer' would confuse ) iv .liat in.g predicting that Pope John Paul II understood. But he said the exact "the title was not yet sufficiently other major documents, Father " and co--, uvocate, would proclaim the titles, content of the proposed dogmas clarified" and would be "ecu- Dulles said. c definiti,uemptrix by "As things presently stand, remained unclear, menically counterproductive," Where it was used, it "seems  iderap:uld "pro- however, I think it unlikely that The failure of Mariologists to Father Dulles said. to be a concise way of referring :,uca..'un -ath,,,-.,lics ana COmusion .... the oooe will dogmatically pro- reach agreement on some of the He noted that Pope John Paul to Mary's intimate association L tlis a ,7-_,,, reat ecu- claim any or all of the three ro- disputed points suggests that had spoken of Mary as "media- with her Son in his redemptive it F  Y' accordin . . Pl therAve_ ,_ _ g to posed tries, especmlly the title "any dogmatic definition might trix" as recently as Sept. 24, and action," he said. ' . of co-redemptrix," Father Dulles be premature," said Father in other teaching denied that But the pope makes clear that ..... said. Dulles. giving her this title "derogates the title does not mean Mary Report He, also noted that papal He said "advocate" was the from the unique mediatomhip of "stands on the same level with EARLY spokesman Joaquin Navarro- title "least burdened with diffi- Jesus Christ." Christ or makes up for any deft- 8o Valls recently said no new Marl- culties." s he think that Mary an dogmas were under study. As a "created per- 0Urch  Father Duties said the Ortho- son," Mary is advo- t leal to become a" dox churches might agree with cate on a "different .or the substance of the proposed level" from Christ fo h p Unique media- titles, but would dislike having and the Holy Spirit, exalted to become a urt erson in of ! 'ag o  them declared "ex cathedra" by but denying her the the odhead act was the pope. The pope's ecumenical title altogether would g, tte a priest said. concern for Orthodox.relations mean rejecting "the whole doc- But it remains tmdear whether ciency in his redemptive action.- "doctri- would lead him to"take account trine of the intercession of the declaring Mary"mediatrix of all Father Dulles said that ct r01 : of these sentiments," he said. saints," he said. graces" would mean "all prayers although the term, properly vc e    signifi. The pope also shows "corn- Father Dulles said the title must be channeled through qualified, could be used, it left h obser- plete loyalty to the intentions of "mediatrix" was ancient, and Mary," Father Dulles said. open the question of whether of 2000 Vatican II," which was cautious had been popularized in mod- He said "co-redemptrix" had Mary cooperated in Christ's a'th it. lead- about Marian titles, he said. so ern times by individuals such a"more checkered" as well as redeeming action directly or  Dtlles raad far, he said, Pope John Paul has as St. Louis Grignion de Mont- shorter history, having entered only indirectly as mother, and the aaau e the corn- refrained from "personally fort, a writer Pope John Paul theology only in the 14th centu- whether her cooperation added of  ,e" at the Bronxal fall cMCGin" deciding issues that are still sub- had studied and the source of ry. Popes as recent as Benedict anything that would not have l t'Ie r(  [-: amous ject to theological debate." his papal motto, Totus Tuus XV and Plus XI have used it, but been otherfise present. "'UVersi - Kitz -d that as thel Giving a historical survey, (completely yours), addressing Popes Plus XII and Paul VI did But regardless of questions o at,,,_ . new rail- Father Dulles showed that the Mary. not, he said. about these titles, Pope John Paul ft ps "Tvrached "c al -atl,,. ertain titles had been used by popes A proposal to declare Mary Pope John Paul used the term regards Mary as "the primary IogaCs are pressing and theologians over many cen- "mediatrix" at the Second Vati- occasionally in speeches in the patroness of the advent of the i,,_,, . c definitions,,, turies, and indicated they were can Council was opposed by earlier years of his pontificate, new millennium," Father Dulles "ulvMtzals Were even valid terms when properly some cardinals who argued that but not in any encyclicals or said ............................