Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 20, 1996     The Message
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December 20, 1996

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A very humble Christmas story 0n Sept. 21, 1982, about 10 a lot about my older children, all bundled up and went the dis- lights, everything, little late now, but again, I say, was born at St. was beautiful. We very excited. We by a nurse me to come with knew quite a told me she was might die. I rand her, the Just was there and away. got to the room, the to me, "Give her a around and still was there, even boy in the a very cleft my mother- narae is Olivia. Little much this name 'our lives. lying might say begun to They had friends just like hers tance. Sarah was getting one of cleft lip and all. those colds. We were early to see This was first prayer. There were other times like that one special Christmas when we all came closer togeth- er through a very trying time. everyone got a seat. The church was packed, the services were beautiful, and Mass, crib, music, Back home again, we spent most of the night there in the rocking chair, Sarah and I. Doctors have a lot of work and I didn't want to unneces- sarily worry them on Christ- mas. Toward morning, she raised up as if seeing a vision and said twice, "Jesus, Jesus." This was her first prayer. It's a "Thank you, Lord." I credit these little miracles to Our Lady of Garabandol. With four daughters and four sons, I guess even in these times, I can still feel thankful when they arrive home safe after a late basketball game away from our home, and just keep on praying. Carolyn Jost Haubstadt The children would go out our basement door, sometimes to examine the fine new flakes of snow, and come down with a good cold. I began right away to teach them to dress covered up. One Christmas, we decided we would make the ultimate sacrifice. Since Sarah, we had been gift- ed with another daughter, Ruth Ann. We decided to go to Mid- ;away. I thought night Mass together. So, we got Christmas candy, mixed nuts and warm flannel pj's ristmas was and both my and one grandpa istraas eve, Santa SUpper in on a dark, to look at *lights. to grand- e for springer. Madeline mixed Uncles and the small n. It was family. always one gift. or SOme- other wid- poor. She SOcks for her year. there candy and mixed nuts in the shell. That was a real treat. One Christmas, I didn't received the season's most pop- ular, best-selling doll. I received a doll missing an earring and shoe; the box wasn't perfect either. To me, she was the most beautiful doll. She was a bride doll decked out in her white wedding gown. I dreamt of a day when I could become a bride dressed up beautifully in a fancy wedding gown. We also had fruit salad made from scratch for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Mother and father bought fresh fruit for the salad. Santa at Morn and Dad's home always brought warm flannel p.j. It was always such an appreciated gift. The practi- cal Santa gave us what we need- ed and what was affordable! Barbara Cason Evansville to the World Wish be trimmed with peace and love, one and all a very Merry Christmas!" p News ublishing Company Tell City, Indiana Printers for Printing for southwestern Indiana First Christmas in the Monastery Although I have many good memories of Christmas, my first Christmas in our monastery at Ferdinand stands out in my mind. I had entered the monastery in September and was determined to follow the Lord's call, but I knew that meant a very different lifestyle. My birthday in October had come and gone, without one gift and only a couple of cards from my family, since we didn't cele- brate birthdays, but our saint's name (feast day) in the commu- nity. So, I figured that I wouldn't get gifts at Christmas either, since we were concentrating on the spiritual meaning of Christ- mas and the simplicity of mean- ing. That was the first Advent I had spent without Christmas shopping or seeing the lights (we didn't leave the monastery except for doctor appointments), and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. No Christmas decorations appeared until about a week before Christmas, when little things began to appear. In the large novitiate room, where we spent most of our time, nothing happened until about two days before Christmas. One day, I went to the door and saw a sign that said, "Do SISTER DIANE FISCHER, O.S.B. not enter until Christmas morn- ing." I knew something must be happening inside, even though I was sure it must be "holy stuff' and certainly not a Christmas tree in the monastery. Christmas Eve arrived and in our monastery dining room, each of us had a few gifts next to our plate: a new apron, a handkerchief, a holy card and a candy cane. After we ate, some of the Sis- ters entertained with Christmas music, including the harp and even a band of musical instru- ments. I thought it was really great. They sent us to bed shortly after our meal so that we could sleep before we got up for Mid- night Mass. Around 11 o'clock, I heard the most beautiful music I'd ever heard. It must surely be the angels in heaven since no one on earth could sing like that. They sang a special voiced "Glo- ria" with a descant that contin- ues to be used every Christmas Eve at the monastery, when the angels come to awaken the Sis- ters for the Midnight Mass. Of course, the Midnight Mass was another "heavenly" experience. On Christmas Day, we got to enter the Novitiate room, at last. What a sight greeted us! A huge tree, plus decorations in every window and corner of the room. It looked like a Christmas wonderland, and was nothing like I ever dreamed would be in the monastery. We kept the Advent spirit in preparing for Christ's birth, but we went all out for the celebrat- ing of Christmas in our litures, decorations and joyful celebrat- ing in our simple ways. I was sure this was one ofthe happiest Christmases I'd ever had! Sister Diane Fischer, O.S.B. Bloomfield A grateful Thank You/ My favorite Christmas memo- ry is not about something mate- rial I have received. During World War II, with the U.S. Navy, we were involved in Convoy Coverage and Anti-Sub- marine Patrol. We were sta- tioned on the Northwest Africa Coast midway between the Strait of Gibraltar and Casablanca, two miles upstream from the mouth of the Sebou River near Port Lyantey. This place was a sheltered spot for our seaplane takeoffs and landings. On the night of December 24 to 25, I had "the duty" in our department. This meant I could sleep, but was subject to call at any moment. Usually nothing happened. But this night a call came to check two pieces of equip- ment on a specific seaplane. One was the IFF (Identification -- Friend or Foe), the other LORAN (Long Range Navigation). Since only the Motor Machin- ists were authorized to start the planes' engines, the others had to use a small gasoline-powered electrical generator we called a "putt-putt." It was a rainy, windy night. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean two miles away made a terrible roar as they crashed into the rocky cliff coast south of the mouth of the Sebou. I covered the putt-putt with a heavy tarpaulin to keep it dry. By the time I pulled it under the wing of the plane it was thor- oughly wet. Wishing you a prosperous New Year We're so very appreciative of your support. LOUISVILLE TILE, INC. Phone: 473-0137 Evansville, IN I plugged in the cable, started the putt-putt, climbed aboard, and did the work. As I finished, the putt-putt stopped and the lights went out. This meant it should be dark -- but it wasn't. Apparent- ly, the putt-putt had operated long enough to dry the tarp and set it on fire. Fortunately, because of the fire, I could see to scramble from the plane, unplug the cable, and pull the putt-putt from under the plane's wing loaded with fuel. I removed what was left of the burning tarp, and the rain quick- ly put this fire out. Our plane did not sustain any damage! As I pulled the putt-putt to the hangar, all I did was think a grateful "Thank You  for my grandest gift ever. Nestor Olinger Ferdinand Main Street Pharmacy 217 E. Main St. Downtown Washington Phone: 254-5141