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Evansville, Indiana
December 18, 1987     The Message
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December 18, 1987

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4 Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana December 18, 1987 00iMessageE00'tr Bringing home the tree: Another beginning at Christmas A weekend trip this time of year produces op- portunities to observe people in unusual, once-a- year circumstances: getting the Christmas tree home. A trip last weekend provided dozens of ex- amples, along the interstate highway, near every city along the way. We bought our Christmas tree a week earlier, so others had the chance to watch us. We bought it from a tree farm a few miles from home. We have an old set of cartop carrying contrap- tions composed of rubber suction cups, nylon straps and thin hardwood boards. One such assembly is mounted on the roof near the front of the car; the other near the rear. At least two of the buckles are upside down, so tightening them re- quires some unusual gyrations accomplished by totally unused muscle groups. Our Christmas tree was tied to the cartop car- rying contraptions, with a hundred feet of twine. At a moderate rate of speed, the tree rode home comfortably and quietly. The only outward sign of any concern was my head and neck poked awkwardly through the window at every possible chance -- to make sure the tree was still on the rooftop. Artificial trees may have their advantages, but if you ever watched a person take one home, you would notice that their failings include an inability to entertain other motorists. Out on the highway, you can see many varia- tions in the pursuit of getting the Christmas tree home. Some motorists have trees on the roof, much the same way we carried ours home. Others use the car trunk or hatch, which makes the car look like a planter turned sideways. A pickup truck is the carrier of choice for others. A few weeks ago, we saw a tree lying by the interstate guard rail; a man had parked his car alongside the road, and was walking toward the tree to pick it up. A half mile later, we saw the source of the free tree -- a truck load of trees minus one, parked along the road, as the driver worked to tighten up some cables over the moun- tain of greenery. No matter what the method or style of bring- ing home the tree, the one common concern is very simple -- preparing for Christmas. The days are rushing upon us, faster and faster, for trees and gifts and visits with family. The time of preparation is rapidly being spent. Some people make better preparations than others. Some people need a hundred feet of twine to keep everything together. Others find their Christmas as easy as a haphazard gift of the wind, along the side of the road. With just a week of Advent left, there is still time to prepare for the coming of Jesus into our lives, into our homes. For some people, it is a struggle; for others, it appears almost too easy. Bringing Christ into your life is not the same as bringing a tree into your home, but there are some similarities. The most important similarity is this, that get- ting the tree inside is not the end of the process. It is only another beginning. Washington Letter Marielitos: following through with detainees By STEPHENIE OVERMAN NC News Service WASHINGTON (NC} -- The Catholic Church, represented by the slight, frail figure of :Miami Auxiliary Bishop Agustin A. Roman, helped the U.S. government reach an agreement to end the takeover of two Bureau of Prison facilities by Cuban detainees. Now the church, in the form of Bishop Roman and the U.S. Catholic Conference Migration ..d,Rfge Services, wants :t. heli the government live up to that agreement. . When the United States and: Cuba resumed a 1984 pact that would return to Cuba detainees languishing indefinitely in U.S. prisons, the initial response was swift and violent. Cuban detainees rioted and took hostages at the federal peniten- tiary in Atnr the detention center in Oakdale, La. The sieges ended peaceful with the help of Cuban-born Bishop Roman, who arrived at each site to encourage the de- tainees' cooperation. The bishop has long worked quietly for the Cubans' fights. 0088aOO 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Puttshed wNIdy except  week in December by the Catholic Press ot Evansville. Publlldler ........ Bishop Francis R. Shell Associate Publisher .... Rex. Jo ZJllek Editor .................. Paul Lelngang Circulation Mgr.... Mrs. Rose Montrlultelle Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Advertising Mgr ............. :. Dan Hotly Adclreu all communications to P.O. r 4169, Evanwille, IN 47711. Phone (812) 424-6536. Subecriptlon rate: $15 per year Entered u 2nd class matter at the poet of. flee In Evansville, IN 47701. Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication As a result of the agreements signed in Atlanta and Oakdale, the Cubans got an indefinite moratorium on the deportations and a chance to go to third countries instead of Cuba. Most importantly to them, each detainee will receive an ' indix/idual hearing. Deputy Attorney General Ar- nold I. Burns announced Dec. 11 that the Justice Department is setting up a new program for the detainees. Immigration and Naturaliza- tion .w!l: make initial deter- minations on parole under this hew system but these can be ap, pealed {o new review panels made up of Justice Department personnel. "These new panels will pro- vide one more opportunity, with ample advance notice, and with the advice and help of counsel, for obtaining parole," according to Burns. New appeals panels have been created for repatriation hearings as well. Burns said the Justice Depart- ment has been "considerably aided by the advice of Bishop INF Continued from page I He noted that he had not analyzed the complex docu- ment itself. Nevertheless, he said, "from what I have seen, it is substan- tively important because it eliminates a whole class of nuclear weapons. Moreover, I believe it could be symbolically important in strengthening the process of arms control." Furthermore, he said, "the treaty seems to show that the.' superpowers are managing I their relationship in a spirit of! negotiation." The bishops' pastoral letter called for "negotiations to halt the testing, production and deployment of new nuclear weapons systems. Not only Agustin Roman." "We have no desire to detain anyone indefinitely," Burns said, but the Justice Department must "find more halfway houses so that parole is not in effect denied because of a lack ofbedspace." "To be frank, in the past ... because of an inadequate number of sponsors or halfway houses ... detainees approved for release have been held for some time after that decision was made," according to Burns. "WE MUST DO better. We will do better," he said, adding that the Justice Department was pressing for more resources. MRS has announced it wants to help provide more of those resources. The USCC agency sees "a pressing need for community programs in assisting those Cubans judged eligible for release," Msgr. Nicholas DiMarzio, MRS executive direc- tor, said Dec. 11. Noting that the church already operates two release programs that help detainees should steps be taken to end development and deployment, but the numbers of existing weapons must be reduced in a manner which lessens the danger of war," it declared. "U.S. proposals like those for ... INF negotiations in Geneva are said to be designed to achieve deep cuts" in nuclear arsenals, the bishops said in their letter, "Our hope is that they will be pursued in a man- ner which will realize these goals." "We mentioned the INF in the pastoral, specifically," said Father J. Bryan Hehir, secretary for social development and world peace at the U.S. Catholic Conference. re-enter society and rejoin their families, said "the USCC is confident that it will be able to set up programs" that meet the needs of the Cubans and the government. "This is especially important in light of the fact that the released Cubans will be subject to reparole evaluations. It is im- portant for the protection of the local communities and the suc- cessful functioning of any release program that clear, fair and effective enforcement pro- cedures become an integral part of any release program expan- sion," Msgr. DiMarzio said. Raphael Penalver, an at- torney for Bishop Roman, said the case of the Marielitos, known for their port of depar- ture, Mariel, Cuba, has been "a total exception" to U.S. im- migration and refugee policy. INS did not grant them entry visas but classified them as "entrants," Penalver said. This made them people "who were not given any constitutional rights," he said. Out of the original 125,000 Marielitos "1 or 2 percent got In terms of overall numbers, the INF treaty "is limited in its impact on the nuclear weapons in the world but it shouldn't be judged on that alone," said Father Hehir, who assisted the bishops in drafting the pastoral letter. The INF agreement "is a real reduction. That's important to note," he said. While further ef- forts are reqred by both super- powers, the INF treaty "con. tributes to the arms control pro- cess and to political relations, and all of that is in the (bishops') letter," he added. The pastoral also opposed proliferation of weapons that "may seem to be useful See 1NF page 6 into trouble here," according to Penalver. Burns reported that of the 2,400 Marielitos in Atlanta and Oakdale, one-fourth were convicted of violent crimes and another fourth were convicted "of crimes involving dangerous drugs." Under provisions of the e " isting code for entrants these Cubans were deportable. So, after they had served their sentences they were detained indefinitely because the Castro regime would not take them back: Now, after the November U.S.-Cuba agreement, the in- surrection that followed, and Bishop Roman's efforts, the:, Marielitos, immigration's"total exception," are being offered a review process that Burns called "beyond that which the law requires." [ Letter to the editor [ To the editor, We wish to thank The Message for the nice picture of our Holy Redeemer Children's Thanksgiving Mass and food collection for the Food Pantry.-:.. But, the caption under the pic- ture was in error. The Holy Redeemer students collected 3000 food items, not 2000. We were all sovery proud of this ef- fort by our students, to do as Jesus taught, and help those in need. The 3000 items collected represented an average of almost 10 items per studantl We also wish to praise your added coverage this year of our Catholic Schools. They repre- sent one of our Diocese's most precious gifts, yet one who's ef- forts are many times taken for granted or merely overlooked. ':" Please keep up the fine work! In the Redeemer's Peace Stephen T. Waller Principal Holy Redeemer School Evansville, Ind.