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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 16, 1994     The Message
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December 16, 1994

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2 The Message .- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Evansville native&apos;brings gospel help to far reaches of . + .. By BOB ZYSKOWSK[ Catholic News Service ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS)- "Some of our parishes are big- ger than Texas," said Crosier Father Myron Effing, an Evansville-born missionary who is helping to build a fledg- ling church in southeast Rus- sia. He and another priest, Fa- ther Daniel Mauer, serve five parishes in the Diocese of Vladivostok in an isolated area bordering China and the Sea of Japan at the end of the Trans- Siberian railway. "There wasn't so much of the tenacious holding on of the faith as you might find in the western part of Russia," Fa- ther Effing told the Catholic Bulletin, newspaper of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese. "The church wasn't known ex- cept by those in exile, and for those, there was no possibility of meeting for prayer." It is 100 percent mission work, which is why he chose to be a priest in the first place, said Father Erring. "I'm there because God wanted it," he said. "There are people there who need the Gospel and who need the sacraments." The priest, who once worked at the Crosier Seminary in On- amia, Minn., said resources in this part of the former Soviet Union are more scarce than Catholics. His work, partly that of de- velopment director for a fledg- ling church, is a big job and Father Effing said he is always looking for help. That brought GRAHAM FARMS CHEESE GIFTS Cheese, Sausage, Jellies, Mustards, etc. I .... ...... I " (i *nr r'l r i i Coil 800-472-9178 For Free Brochure Plus Visit our =tore for ...... CHEESE, NUTS, CANDIES, JAMS .JELLIES AND MOREl :+ .. ,492. HALVES ; Graham .o,.,o+s. M<xqy - Sotutdoy 8 o.m. - b p.m. SUnClay No<:>n - 5 p.m, him to St. Paul recently, where he spoke at weekend Masses at Nativity of Our Lord Church. The Nativity connection began, parishioner Sandra Sonnen said, when "I answered an ad: 'Catholic priest from Russia needs rosaries."' Now, Nativity's service board will work on developing a sister parish relationship with one of Father Effing's churches, Most Holy Mother of God in Vladivostok, Russia's big Pacific seaport. Ms. Sonnen said she thought Nativity could join the roster of Americans already assisting the priest: an Air Alaska flight attendant delivers packages; an Arkansas parish provides children's clothing and medi- cine; an Anchorage, Alaska, volunteer does the priest's banking; and others send des- perately needed vegetable seeds for home gardens and tools for renovation projects. "I've been praying all my life for the conversion of Russia," Ms. Sonnen said. "Now we've got the chance to do something more." She said she envisioned Nativity's outreach starting small. "We could sponsor a semi- narian. We could help restore a church," she said. "We could have the contents of a church that's being closed somewhere here in the United States shipped over there." "We have no hammers, saws, nails -- you can't find that stuff in Russia," Father Effing said. One parish that finally got its church back brought in used the- ater seats because there were no pews or kneelers. Money is also short, he added. But the best part of his work, the priest said, is the feeling of accomplishment. "It's a chance to preach to a people who 0 wouldn't hear it hadn't heard it "And you can suits," he said. "We seminarians. We have baptisms. The parll small enough in we know each other more like a family thing else." Father Effing the Russian people very warm, very very honest." He said his parishioners, who themselves, have taken on a service their city of 1 millio "We found the are taken to the foundling home taken off the stre clothes," Father "so we're ] clothes." American attitudes about time seen hurting By SEAN HORRIGAN Catholic News Service HOUSTON (CNS) -- Atti- tudes of time management in American culture are creeping into the liturgy and hurting it, a leading Catholic musician, composer and liturgist said. Father Michael Joncas of St. Paul, Minn., said that as the 40-hour work week erodes, the view of the weekend as per- sonal time has become ever more sacrosanct. "We know that our culture has sent a strong message on how free time is spent," he said in a lecture at St. Mary's Semi- nary in Houston. "The weekend becomes 'my time' and we go shopping for a church with the shortest homily and Mass, where little is asked of us in return," he said. "We want the most out- put for the least input." Father Joncas teaches liturgy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul but is known to most "Catholics for his record albums and dozens of popular church hymns, espe- cially "On Eagle's Wings." During his visit to Houston, he also gave the keynote speech at a diocesan liturgical conference. He said that despite prob- lems of empty ritualism and lackluster celebrations facing the church, its liturgy is a means of promoting peace and justice as well as bringing peo- ple into union with God. "By interweaving symbolic texts and ceremonies, the church continues to encounter God's self-disclosure .... The liturgy should be a place where forgiven sinners become radi- ant with God's own life," he said. He pointed out refers not only all the church's worship, including tion of all the "At every the Eucharist of the Scriptures read," he said. Catholics are Bible. The liturgY biblical narratives front of the sciousness." He said one should be to help become "aI guage of God." He said the sig Mass is still all awkward gregarious and are at odds. More work people peace in terms tradition as a me I I I Cheese Corp.:00il = Ed. L. L+e = . I Eln0ra, IN 47529 I 101 North Meridian Street 812-692-5237 .: Washington, IN 254-3612 VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II said he hoped his upcoming letter to the world's children would help them prepare for Christmas and love Jesus. The pope announced the let- ter Dec. 10 as he blessed nativ- ity scene figurines of the baby Jesus held up by thousands of young people in St. Peter's Square. Vatican sources said the let- ter, about 15 pages long and written in a simple style, would be released in mid-De- cember. Designed to mark the end of the International Year of the Family, they said the letter touched upon the mean- ing of Christmas, the role of "It is a gift that I wanted to give you and your families: Read it attentively," the pope told the young people. "It will help you prepare bet- ter for the coming Christmas, and I am certain that it will also encourage you to follow and love Jesus more gener- ously," he said. He said he wanted to help children become "joyous mes- sengers of his Gospel" for a The pope talk that Advent time of anticipati' out over the own Christmas tree where a nati vity under the activity -helps the heart." As he blessed urea of Jesus, h children that should be at the Christmas The Papal Concert to Com- memorate the Holocaust will be broadcast by WNIN TV, Channel 9, Evansville, on Sun- WNIN to broadcast Vatican he day, Dec. 18, from The historic Royal Phil was performed Philharmonic Vatican on April John Paul the II ers from him at the formance, which by Gilbert fuss was the ...... Pope hopes letter to kids +,, prepare them for Christmas, By JOHNTHAVIS Jesus and the importance of peaceful world. Catholic News Service holiness.