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

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Taking the time to make a difference--- - Showing appreciation You just never know where you will find wisdom. Some people find it in the Bible. Or in poetry, or in great literary works. I found a little bit of wisdom while searching for a used car. It's a very simple story, but it has within it a profound observation about human nature. We were looking for another car for the family. We wanted a used car, one to help get all of us to work and school, especially on the days when we all had different places to 'go and different schedules to meet. The first thing that happens when you look for a used car -- especially if it has been a few years since the last time -- is the shock that you get over the numbers. The only number higher than the dollar figure is the number of miles on the odometer. After a while, however, numbness sets in, and you find yourself saying the most extraordinary things -- like, "Oh, 80,000 miles --just getting broken in, I By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR see." Not long after we had achieved that level of used-car buyers' numb- ness, I made one of many calls to the owner of a car advertised in the classified ads of the local newspa- per. I had studied the four lined of text in the ad, and I had questioned the owner as best I could -- and then I made arrangements to see the car. It looked pretty good. The car was clean and shiny, inside and out. The floor was clean. The seats were clean. The trunk was clean. Even the engine was clean. And the tires were brand new. Said the seller: The car looks better now than it has for most of the time we were using it. And there it was. There was the occasion of that small bit of wisdom: we do not value what we have until we are about to lose it. We seem so often to take for granted what we have, until it is time for us to give it up. We fail to appreciate what we have. We pay too little atten- nOW tion to the good things in our lives. $ * Things are not as important as people. It's one thing to clean and polish a car you get rid of it. It is quite another the people who are with you. A secretary is leaving the office center work, after six years of employment. She some well-deserved attention, some being expressed, for her work and the years. I hope the people who shown her their appreciation during the -- not just now, at this time of departure. Who or what is important in your life? you taken a close look at the value have. Or at the importance of another your life? Has it been six years -- or maybe miles -- since you have really paid close Perhaps you and others at your you work might take some time -- even typical Christmas rush -- to she tion for the good things you have and for the': and relatives who bring you joy. -.-- Washington Letter Orphans in the storm--a political firestorm By MARK PAII'ISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Ever since Rep. Newt Gin- grich, R-Ga., the House speaker-to-be, made remarks about cutting out welfare and putting children in orphan- ages, a political firestorm has brewed, the likes of which are uncommon even by Washing- ton standards. The day after one of Gin- grich's post-election comments on orphanages Nov. 13, Auxil- iary Bishop John H. Ricard of Baltimore, head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domes- tic Policy, said in response to reporters' questions, "The state has a responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves. And children would be disproportionately af- fected (by cutting out welfare)." The orphanage proposal is part of the proposed Personal Responsibility Act in the Re- publican Party's "Contract with America." It would end Aid to Families with Depen- dent Children and housing funds for unwed mothers under age 18. States could raise the age to 21 and use any The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-O169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pubher .............. Bo GeraU A. C-ng Eddo ........................................... Paul L Proax Uanwer ........................... P [ger OrcuU ................................ ,V Hous Adveng ..................................... Paul Newland S .rr ........................... Uary Ar Hug Address all communications to P.O. Box 416g, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 (812) 424-5536 Fax: (812) 421-1334 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville. IN 47701. Pubtica. tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Offe of Put,cation C, qwng 1994  Press o Evansvile i savings to establish orphan- ages'or group homes. The goal is to cut in half the 10 million now on welfare rolls and save $40 billion in the first five years. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton called the proposal "unbelievable and absurd." Gingrich, on "Meet the Press" Dec. 4, suggested she go to a video store and rent a copy of "Boys Town." President Clinton will hold a private, bipartisan welfare summit in early January. There were 194 Catholic or- phanages serving 76,245 peo- ple in 1993, according to the Official Catholic Directory. Orphanages today are far different from when Thomas S. Monaghan was a boy. Mon- aghan, owner of Domino's Pizza and active in several Catholic causes, was sent with his brother to a Catholic or- phanage by their mother after their father died. In a 1988 interview, he ac- knowledged the loneliness and hardships of orphanage life, but said the nuns there taught him that "my first love ... is the church," and impressed upon him the importance of being fair with people. "Orphanages of years ago were opened by religious groups -- nuns and brothers running these places with very little money," said Helen Hayes, executive director of St. Catherine's Center.for Chil- dren in Albany, N.Y. "Those days are gone. For one thing, the (numbers of) re- ligious aren't here to do it." St. Catherine's gets 90 per- cent of its funds from govern- ment sources, mostly in the form of contracts, Ms. Hayes said. The average for Catholic residential care centers is 60 percent, ac- cording to Sharon Daly, deputy assistant to the president of Catholic Charities USA. By Ms. Daly's count, govern- ment support would be cut up to 30 percent "or maybe more" by the Gingrich plan. "Placing hundreds of thou- sands of children in orphanages doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, personally or profession- ally," Ms. Hayes said. The GOP proposal implies that children born to poor teen- age mothers are "ipso facto in need of protection from abuse and neglect," Ms. Daly said. "That is something we have a lot of trouble with .... Their only crime is that they were born before their mother was 18." Ms. Daly said that consul- tants to Catholic Charities es- timated earlier in 1994 that the effects of a Gingrich-style plan would result in "more teen-age pregnancies, not less." Gingrich "thinks that 16- year-old girls think like stock- brokers, and calculate the IIII lln I ...... I 'I :i ili'ii ill|' i i i ..... II Mother Angelica, EWTN To the editor: network. We Catholics know The more I see the powerful TV evangelists on TV, the more we Catholics need to sup- port Mother Angelica and her Catholic EWTN Network. Today I heard from one of the Protestant TV evangelists that over 8 million people in the Ukraine are tuned it to his how much the Ukrainians have suffered for their faith for 80 years, and the large number of priests, sisters and Catholics who have been murdered for their Catholic faith. May each of us start today to give to EWTN from our hearts! Viola Weaver Jasper pluses and minuses," Ms. Daly said. "The people we talk to tell us they don't calculate those things at all. That's why they're in the situation they're in." Ms. Daly said she prefers a plan backed by Rep. Jim Greenwood, R-Pa., that would permit welfare payments to teen moms living with their parents, with group homes a second choice and young moms living on their own as a "last gasp." None of these options is in the Gingrich plan, she said. Sister Josephine Murphy, a Daughter of Charity who runs the St. Ann Infant and Mater- nity Home in the Washington suburb of Hyattsville, Md., ac- knowledged that drug abuse or prostitution by the mother plays a part in what she called "failure-to-thrive" babies. Give mothers with troubled backgrounds six months to a year to sort out their lives and get some help and a job, Sister Murphy said, but if that doesn't work, "terminate parental rights and put these children up for adoption." Tough talk? "Certainly I'm prejudiced toward the children. But I don't mind," she said. "There needs to be a few people to be prejudiced toward the children." Boys Town, riding the crest of a wave ity, still gives of love as de Spencer movie, said its Val Peter. The difference' Boys Town's girls in 16 is that "we technologies compassion," Rather than the and mess halls stance, Boys all live with Peter said. No corn Peter on the though. (Boys Town foun Flanagan to ideas in his declined," Father "We similarly day." Father peter sent faxes to Mrs. Clinton visit Boys' near Omaha, Neb: But come them. "You wot squabble and that would ing for our Peter said. good role Bishop's s The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger.