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December 5, 1997     The Message
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December 5, 1997

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- +"++ 11 Dscember 5(i997 "The Message" for Catholics of southwestern Indiana .+ I I I II I " . p ] ill aim + l i Limbo By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service Question: We always enjoy your column, but the recent one on the fate of unbaptized children was especially enlightening. It recalled what I was taught in Catholic grade school in the 1930s. Limbo was the answer then. Do we not recognize limbo nn,? ' since I vo h.a ,,_ v_. It s been years ...... u me word. (Illinois) children suffered some sort of pain, but by the 12th or 13th centuries that idea was pretty much ignored. Limbo only became a subject of heated debate later, when a widespread, severely repressive, wing of the church called Jansenism held that all non-bap- tized infants were condemned to hell. In 1794, Pope Pins VI condemned this teaching, along with numerous other offbeat Jansenist beliefs. People may believe in a limbo, he said, a "middle state" of happiness, and still be Catholic. That is obviously a long way from saying that limbo belongs anywhere in official Catholic teaching. It remains the only mention of limbo in any signifi- the God who created us. As the catechism explains, we may attain that objective or we may reject it by our own fault. But there is no half happiness somewhere in between. God has raised us to a supernatural life, a sharing in his life, his being, far beyond our natural capacity or hopes. Once having done this, there is no, so to speak, going back. The desire for this happiness, says the catechism, is built into our nature, a gift 6f God, a calling addressed to every human being. The final goal, then, of every individual person, of everything people do, is the same: to share in God's Answer:. It's I,. _ _ ' true, as you recall; there was former- cant official Catholic document, own eternal happiness (Catechism, Nos. 1718-1719). v much talk and writin ab " older Cath_,. g out hmbo. Some few Despite its common occurrence in the past, even The story of our salvation and the way it happens uuCs,still think of it, along with heaven and in some catechisms, one seldom hears the word any- is filled with mysteries and wonders. According to hell, as a third place to go after death, more. The present Catechism of the Catholic Church Catholic faith, however, we will need to negotiate There Were, m fact, two limbos much discussed a! certain time-- r- . doesn't even mention it. those mysteries, including the eternal life of unbap- (literallvj li,+,L,,,uo otto tChrlshan history.. "limbo +patrum" The reason is understandable. Limbo implies tized children, without resorting to something called people of -- he fathers), referring to deceased some sort of two-level final destiny for human limbo. -. ,mctent times, and" ,, limbo of,4,:1-, limbo puerorum, beings. One is eternal life with God. The other is a WithoutThe.#n',vusm. Usually meaning" those who die "natural" happiness apart from God (limbo) where A free brochure answering questions Catholics ask all to say about limbo people go who, for whatever reason, do not reach the about Mary, the mother of Jesus, is available by sending a truth is, the church never did have much at top level, stamped, self- addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, ply assttmoa ,,_ . For centuries Christians ram- This theory contradicts a central teaching of Holy Trinity Church, 704, N. Main St., Bloomington, I11. OWn Way. "" mat God took care of those people in his Christian faith, which we understand better now per- 61701. Sme theologians once taught that unbaptized haps than before. There is only one final goal and Questions for this cohmm should be sent to Father desire of happiness for all humanity, life with and in Dietzen at the same address. Cifts from monks, others found in the mail, on the internet By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service (CNS) _ rosaries to music and Kahlua with or prod- t O do Christmas leaving the rluns in Oregon fUdge. Entrepre- offer tra- and witty reli- in Georgia by monks r^,C..Untry, selling ' mlglous items, art- Videos by cat- Internet. Prender- Monastery the of the of Gethse- the 1,500-year.old when Work of your quoted Brother Pren- selling cheeses e that bourbon IN RE pays about 90 percent of the liv- ing expenses for the 72 residents of the Kentucky monastery, he said. With Christmas approach- ing, the workload gets heavy enough that even the older monks who normally don't work in the business pitch in, according to Brother Prender- gast. Still, the pace is reason- able. "It doesn't interfere with our life of prayer," he said, explain- ing that a few lay employees help out so that phones and business functions are able to continue while the monks par- ticipate in prayer throughout the day. Gethsemani Farms takes no direct phone calls for orders but can be reached by fax, available 24 hours, at (502) 549-4124 or (502) 549-4134, or via regular mail at 3642 Monks Rd., Trap- pist, KY 40051-9102. Its Web site is (Orders for Christmas deliv- ery must be received in early December, Brother Prendergast said.) The Gethsemani monks have plenty of company among con- templatives who follow the monastic tradition of working with their hands to support their spiritual mission. The 48 monks of the Trappist JOHN MANGIN ownei- The Decorating Corner 21 East South Washington, IN 47501 Business: 254-7794 Home: 254-308"/ M&S Fire & Safety Equip. Co. Inc. Over 25 years sales and service m the Tri-state " 6,70 E, Emnklq  24-3,. Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers, Ga., support them- selves with The Abbey Store, a catalog and online sales of reli- gious items from around the world. The monks' operation also includes a separate division shop are the products of the monks themselves. Father Pearson makes sand castings, another monk is the stained glass expert, a third is an artist whose work recently took a major prize at an Atlanta Spencer Abbey has direct sales of its dozens of varieties of jellies and preserves. Its Web site  http://www.spencer-  allows ordering via the Internet. Orders are also taken by fax at (508) 885- that sells bonsai trees and sup- show. plies. The monastery can be reached at (800) 592-5203 or on the Inter- net at Trappist nuns get a part of the market, too. The Abbey Store sells caramels made by nuns at Mississippi Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa, and almond bark from Mount St. Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, Mass. Particular favorites at the And like the monks at Geth- semani, everyone pitches in to help, Father Pearson said, not- ing that a 90-year old monk spends several hours a day in the bonsai garden. "It's kind of like you 'shop 'til you drop,"' he quipped. Several of the abbeys and monasteries that supply The Abbey Store also sell through their own companies. +4687o+.. + .:j; ++++',+,,',+;-++ .... ,, ;. ,+ Among Trappists selling directly to the public are the monks at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va., who sell fruit- cakes through fax and mail orders. The price, including UPS shipping, for 2 and 1/2 pound fruitcakes is $21. Orders should be faxed to (540) 955- 4006 or mailed to Monastery Bakery-WE Route' 2, Box 3870. Berryville, VA 22611. Worth mentioning Mill Road plan rejected The Evansville City Council Dec. 1 reject- ed a proposal to widen Mill Road to four lanes. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger, one of four citizens who spoke against the proposal at the meeting, said the increased traffic would be dangerous for children attending schools along the route, and that it would hurt churches and private homes. The project had been .rejected in 1994, but was revived as part of the planning for 2020. It was proposed as a major East-West con- nection, possibly adjacent to the Sarto Retreat House. Christmas music at the Archabbey The Indiana University Choral Quartet will perform traditional and popular Christmas music, in St. Bede Theater at St. Meinrad Archabbey, Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. EST. The performance is free. To hold National Vigil for Life .,.. Some churches in the Diocese of Evansville are participating in the eighth annual Nation- al Vigil for Life, according to Jackie Fehren- bacher of Mt. Vernon. The four-hour vigil, from Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. through Dec. 9 at 1 a.m, is planned before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration and reparation for sins against the t - " ,. i i , .... - - i, . lives of innocent unborn and helpless ones. Legion of Mar), praesidiums are coordinat- ing efforts at Christ the King, Sacred Heart, St. Benedict and St. Agnes in Evansville and St. Philip in Posey County. The vigil will include 15 decades of the rosary, other prayers and hymns; silent med- itation and Benediction. Tree of Life benefits hospice Family Hospice of Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center offers area residents a chance to "light up a life" through its Tree of Life. For a $5. donation, an ornament inscribed, iti honor or in memory o arloved one or a special event, will be placed tn the tree. Sponsors include Buehler Foods, WITZ Radio and Memorial Hospital. All proceeds benefit Family Hospice, a free service dedi- cated:to providing care for people during the !a phase of life. +. CEF tuition grant applications available The Catholic Education Foundation has announced that applications for tuition grants for the 1998-1999 hool year can be obtained at the offices of Mater Dei and Memorial high schools, or from the Catholic grade school principals and parish pastors. ........... +A2. + :! .:.:.