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

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0 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Some agricultural practices not just, rural conference told By NANCY WIDMAN Catholic News Service DES MOINES, Iowa (CNS) Some forms of agriculture practiced in the United States are contrary to the justice of God, a rural life activist said at a conference designed to ad- dress the growth of large-scale hog farming. "In the midst of such a boun- tiful harvest this year, there is bitterness, because the return for the hard work done is in- credibly meager, and the bounty will not go to those who need it most," said United Methodist Rev. Gil Dawes at the Nov. 30 conference. Mr. Dawes, coordinator of PrairieFire Rural Action's Re- newing Rural Iowa project, told the 100 assembled that agriculture has grown more in- dustrialized since World War II. "We find ourselves now con- fronted with a particular link of this (consolidation of) agri- culture in the hog confinement business," he said. "It is not designed to produce jobs for the Midwest. It is not designed to help feed the hun- gry of the world. It's designed to make bigger profits for agribusiness and for interna- tional finance." Large-scale hog farming, run by agribusiness, involves putting up to 100,000 sows on one farm, compared to the 100 sows raised by the average family farmer. Farmers are then contracted to tend to the SOWS. "The issue is not just the smell," Mr. Dawes said. "Even- tually, they will find a way to deal with that, and they may even manage to deal with the environmental danger. "What we're not going to be able to change is the economic concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people." Bernard Evans, associate professor of pastoral theology at St. John's University in Col- legeville, Minn., called upon participants to address issues that are dividing rural commu- nities within their own congre- gations. "I don't think there's any question but that the churches locally must interact with soci- ety," Evans said. "Any action to help build a just society by the local church is an integral part of the preaching of the Gospel." Often, rural congregations are afraid to raise controver- sial issues during worship for fear of creating divisions among the faithful, he said. "The divisions are already there," he added. "Let us begin to work on them." Evans outlined five princi- ples drawn form Catholic so- cial teaching when attempting to deal with conflict within congregations: the dignity of the human person, the com- mon good of society, the right of individuals to participate in decisions that affect them, the preferential option for the poor, and stewardship of nat- ural resources. In examining agricultural developments during this cen- tury, Evans said that "too often, the possibility of being able to do something is equated with the right" to do it. The conference, sponsored by the Church Land Project, a joint venture of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and Prairie Fire Rural Action, was funded by a grant from the U.S. Catholic Conference's en- vironmental justice program. Correction: There will be no 6 p.m. Mass on New Years Day at St. John Church, Evansville. Mass will be at 11 a.m. only. I I I I I  D'O'W'N'T.O'WN 301 MAIN ST.. VINCENNES. IN 47591 I Basketball play continues The following fifth and sixth grade basketball results from league play Dec. 10 at Holy Rosary Church, Evansville, were submitted by Steve Schlachter. Christ the King 31, Holy Spirit 21; Good Shepherd 34, St. Theresa Red 29; Holy Rosary Green 37, St. Theresa White 28; St. Benedict Blue 47, St. Benedict White 30; Holy Rosary White 57, Evansville Christian 17. vNrrlm sotrrHw00vr BANg IBIB effi I  WASHINGTON-SHOALS-LOOGOOTEE Ed. L. Lee Mortuary 101 North Meridian Street Washington, IN 254-3612 ii i I (812) 254-2641 SAVINGS BANK, FSB 200 E. Van Trees St., Washington 500 Main St., Petersburg Champions ii i  Members of the Westside Catholic Consolidated girls volleyball team won feeder league tournament. The team is coached by Brian and Pam Lemberg' ] include, sitting, Gina Conner, Amy Krack, Brianne Lemberg, Katie Pam Steinkamp, Amy Ellert, Jami Altstadt, Julie Lehman and Crystal Kirsch. i Fellowship announces Scroo true spirit of Christmas come when the churches of the '90s begin laughing and singing and loving each other (and) are filled with the joy of his salvation. The Noiseletter commented: "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly,' G.K. Chesterton observed. Dr. Wirt's book will help readers grow wings and fly with the joy that our joyful Savior. intended his followers to have at Christ- mas and Winners be given a corn scription to The letter. HAMM'S The best in Church Supplies and SEI Washington, HAVE HEARD CALL? DOMINICAN SISTERS OF HA WTHORNE Providin. g free care and shelter to incurable cancer patients. We seek women who are full of love for Christ, desire to join a congregation with a and community life. Our Sisters come from of life. Prior nursing experience not required. Contact: Sr.Marie Edward Rosary Hill 600 Linda Ave., Hawtborne, NY I0Y32 (914) 769-4794 Narol Addrtss , City Home Tel. ( Stt. PORTAGE, Mich. (CNS) -- An interdenominational group, the Fellowship of Merry Chris- tians, is giving its first Scrooge Award and True Spirit of Christmas Present Award. The Scrooge Award goes to the Jesus Seminar, a group of 150 religious scholars, for pub- lishing a book during the 1993 Christmas season that cast "serious doubts about who Jesus is and what he said." The book, "The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus," says among other things that no more than 18 percent of the sayings at- tributed to Jesus in the New Testament were actually spo- ken by him, and that Jesus never regarded himself as the Messiah and the Son of God. The Fellowship of Merry Christians, based in Portage, announced the awards in their December issue of The Joyful Noiseletter. In the newsletter the fellowship said the Scrooge Award will be given annually "to the organization or group whose humbug most insis- tently dampens the spirit of Christmas at Christmas time." The True Spirit of Christmas Present Award was given to 82-year-old Sherwood Eliot Wirt of Poway, Calif., for his newly published book, "The Book of Joy." Wirt is a member of the Fel- lowship of Merry Christians, a group devoted to recapturing joy and humor in faith. He is also the former editor of Deci- sion magazine, which he founded with the Rev. Billy Graham. His book focuses on joyful men and women of faith such as Mr. Graham, St. Fran- cis of Assisi, and author and Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom. "The Bible is a book of joy," wrote Wirt. "When the Holy Spirit brings revival to our generation, it will not come with black clouds and premoni- tions of doom. Revival will