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December 11, 1987     The Message
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December 11, 1987
 

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CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 18 NUMBER 15 DECEMBER 11, 1987 I | Special mangers Christ the King first grader Mandy Kemper places a piece of straw into a manger n, as part of the school's special Advent program. The students place a piece of straw into a manger for each good deed or act of kindness they perform. Ten mangers were made by Christ the King parishioner, Joe DeVault, one for each classroom, according to Marty Homing, director of religious education at the parish. -- Message Photo by Mary Ann Hughes Future use ECHS Board studies facilities By MARY ANN HUGHES do anything regarding them further." Messago StaffWritor Corcoran noted that none of the  buildings are at a full occupancy rate. A preliminary study is now under- In other school business, the board way to determine possible future use for also looked at repairing the roof at two convent buildings, at both Mater Memorial High School. Corcoran noted Dei and Memorial high schools, and the that the roofs over the original school brothers' house facility at Memorial. building and the auditorium are both in At its December meeting, the need of repair. Evansville Catholic High School Board agreed to do a preliminary study of all The board also discussed repair of the three facilities, parking lot at Mater Dei. "The lot needs "We will be looking at the current major renovation," Corcoran said. -cost of maintaining those buildings and what the current occupancy rate is," Both projects, the roofs and parking said Tom Corcoran, ECHS Board presi- lot repair, are expected to be done in the dent. "Then we will see if we need to second quarter of 1988, he said. .,On the inside-- ...... St. Philip Church, Posey County Feature parish on pages 8 & 9 Lilly Endowment Daughters of Charity and Sisters of St. Benedict share grant. See page 13. Violence there concerns many Southwestern Indiana Catholics By MESSAGE, NC NEWS SERVICE News about the violence in Haiti is causing concern among Catholics in Southwestern Indiana. More than 20 parishes in the Diocese of Evansville have "adopted" parishes or parish-run services in Haiti, according to Father Dick Wildeman, pastor of St. Mary Church in Sullivan. Father Wildeman has made six trips to Haiti; his first trip was from Holy Family Church in Jasper, where he was formerly assigned, to a Haitian parish at Dupity. Father Wildeman had planned to make another trip this coming winter, but he says he may postpone his travel until after Hai- tian elections. Other priests and people from Southwestern Indiana have also con- sidered delays in plans to visit Haiti. At St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh Coun- ty, Father Francis Schroering says he and several parishioners hope to visit. St. James Church at Plaine du Nord, "but we are not going to go in the mid- dle of this." Members of St. Joseph Church conduct a monthly collection for their adopted parish. Among the parishes offering assistance to Haiti is St. Joan, Jason- ville, which has adopted a nutrition center in a slum area of Port-au-Prince. Reports of election violence have come mainly, but not only, from urban areas. Haiti's bishops said it was un- constitutional for the government to disband the country's independent electoral council and announced they would not name a representative to a new election board, according to NC News Service reports. . The bishops also condemned election day "atrocities" which resulted in the council canceling the nation's first free national election in 30 years. The of- ficial death toll for Nov. 29 was 34, but one church leader said journalists estimated deaths at more than 200, Churches and a Catholic-run radio station were among targets of the violence, which was attributed to members of the Tontons Macoute, sup- porters of former President Jean-Claude Duvalier. In the United States, the U.S. bishops' conference expressed solidari- ty with the Haitian bishops. The Haitian bishops issued their statement Dec. 4, a day after the head of an interfaith human rights group also criticized the government. An in- dividual bishop earlier had called for Haitians to "take up sp/ritual arms" against the government. Salesian Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, an activist and self-decribed liberation theologian, went into hiding after the elections but issued a state- ment Dec. 3 calling for "a true revolu- tion." He called for active non-violence but did not rule out armed violence. After the electoral council canceled elections, the National Council of Government, led by Gen. Henri Nam- phy, disbanded the electoral council. Namphy told churches, human rights groups and other organizations to pick representatives for a new electoral council and said if they did not, he would name them. He promised new elections before Feb. 7, the second an- niversary of Duvalier's overthrow. The bishops said they could not find someone willing to serve on a new elec- tion board. They also accused the military of abetting the burning of poll- ing stations and ballots. Bishop Willy Romelus of Jeremie, Haiti, issued a statement calling for Hai- tians to "take up spiritual arms" against the country. He said three things would have to occur before the country could return to normal: -- The current government would have to be removed from power. The Provisional Electoral Council would have to be reinstated. -- Duvalier supporters would have to be kicked out of the military, and the Tontons Macoute would have to be dissolved. Churches and church institutions ,.were targets of violence on election day and in preceding days. Observers said at least three church- es, including the main cathedral, were attacked Nov. 29 in Port-au-Prince, and at least two worshipers were killed in- side the churches. i. More than 40 armed men forced open the locked doors of Sacred Heart Church in Port-au-Prince where several dozen people were attending early morning Mass. The attackers beat two women with machete butts, climbed on the altar and destroyed several fixtures, said Father Niclolas Christian, the parish priest. The incident occurred about 15 minutes before the polls were schedul- ed to open. The church courtyard, a designated polling place, eventually opened for a short time. Late Nov. 28, Radio Soleil, the Catholic radio station, went off the air after its transmitter was hit with grenades and firebombs by uniformed soldiers, said the station's director, Missionhurst Father Hugo Triest. The station, which had criticized Duvalier before his February 1986 overthrow, was still off the air Dec. 3. The head of the U.S. bishops' con- ference, Archbishop John L. May of St. Louis, offered the conferences' help in a cable to Bishop Francois Gayot of Cap Haitien, president of the Haitian bishops' conference. The text of the cable was released Dec. 3. "I am confident you will let us know how we can be of assistance especially at this time," Archbishop May said. "Be assured of our solidarity with you and of our prayers for all the church and people of Haiti." Archbishop May added that he joined the Haitian bishops "in urging speedy peaceful resumption of the electoral process." He also said he looked forward to rescheduling the visit of Haitian bishops to U.S. church leaders that had been slated for Dec. 2 in Washington. Haitian bishops recommended that the visit be postponed in view of the upheaval in Haiti.