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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 23, 1994     The Message
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December 23, 1994

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l)ecember 23, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -" Bishop's Forum -- ,tChristmas message to the people of the diocese My Dear Sisters and Brothers, was very hard for some. For others, need, especially through the missions and relief ef- it did not seem to be enough. The Christmas Masses will be cele- natural tensions of renewal and brated in our parish churches for growth have required dialogue and e fiRy-first Christmas since the consultation in our Church. We are ounding of our Diocese on Novem- still getting used to this new dy- )er 11, 1944. _ . namism as we continue to imple: It is both frightlhl and encourag- ment the teachings of Vatican m.g to ponder all that has tran- Council II. splreci since then We took on the Through instant communica- identity of a diocese, a particular tions, we have witnessed the Church, much like a young couple ByBISHOP shrinking of the world into a global at marriage begins a new home. GERALD A. village and have even seen it from dw wOUng couple it was not GE2"rELFINGER the moon. Yet the message of at was ahead for the Christmas remains unchanged. raernbers and member anshes of thn: The promise of peace to all those of _diocese 50 yePs ago. good will continues to be our Christmas prayer. ave al! been touched by World War II. Fifty The whole world is not at peace. Families are ears ago many of our men were engaged in the attle of the Bulge Durin- ,L^ fiftio d Ix i Wen,a-_  " ;, an s" tes, and m su1'ered greatly Wioth:he Kor:::loWs::f he Vietnam Conflict, n ly y life and limb of man of sUie_r ,t y our famlly members, we aean ish " " ' " less co .... , gu of being enmeshed m win- . reacts in far off lands The bloody battle lelds of Vietnam were br living ro ought nightly into our oms. , Pope John XXIII called th ou e;! t . e Second Vahcan n .... ne Church was renewed. The. change torn asunder by internal strife and brokenness. Children are victimized by adults. We beseech the Holy Family for healing, reconciliation and love to reign within all families. Yet, in spite of all that is not well, what bless- ings God has bestowed upon us over these past 50 years of Christmas celebrations in our Diocese! How many families there are who are filled with the love and radiate the joy of Christmas daily! Our parishes are alive. The faithful of our diocese reach beyond its boundaries to assist others in forts for those in need both at home and abroad. There are so many who have preceded us and who have been the faithful architects of our diocese. Particularly we are deeply grateful to those who took the risk to lead our diocese; they include bish- ops, lay men and women, priests and the men and women of religious communities. We rejoice too in being part of the Church Jesus founded long ago, a church that still stands before the world as sign and symbol of hope. We pray" daily for our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The secular world also has recognized his stature as spiritual leader in a world hostile to truth. His re- cent book is one of hope. Christmas is a sign of hope for us and for the na- tions. May the history of the next 50 years of our diocese reflect that message to all as the first 50 years have to us. May the Prince of Peace reign in your hearts and homes this Christmas and always! Fai:hrist, Most ReveredGerald A. Gettelfinger Bisho'flf Evansville ]3 COMMENTAR YSAI-. Y It& $CHNELLENBERGER A gift of hope: (00atholic Charities at work of Christmas is and towns are strings of twin- and downtown dl of shoppers. of Santa Claus presents beneath many families, of Christmas feeling of hap- IOy. HOWever, these not shared by all. needy families )ften a less than lights often create a Needy children mg a visit Year due illness, or Is Assistance ]s adminis- Charities gives the The pro- helping the years. Wayne rdinator of the Night Christmas Assistance Pro- gram, is Santa's secret elf. He agrees that Christmas for the needy "is often a sad and diffi- cult time.  Through the Christ- mas Assistance Program, needy families can receive ne- cessities and presents for their children. The program is de- signed to help those in need during the holiday season. Every year Bochert receives the names of needy families throughout the Tri-County area. He and his volunteers, many of whom are affiliated with St. Vincent de Paul, gather information about fam- ily income, visit homes and col- lect other valid information. They then conclude whether the family is truly in need. Bochert stated that "500 fami- lies are helped by the pro- gram." After the family quali- fies, Bochert matches a donor to the family. Donors consist of individuals, businesses in the community, and churches who have contacted the Catholic Charities wanting to help. According to Bochert, donors specify how large a family they would like to help and can even ask for the gender and ages of the people. The donors receive a list of the recipients first names, items needed, and sizes for clothing and shoes. Requests on the lists are ob- tained from the families. USI Social Work Club mem- bers who are some of the pro- grams volunteers stated that "It is very touching to hear the requests of the needy." Jenny Schuetter, a USI. social work student, stated that "as a col- lege student it is hard to do- nate money. By volunteering, I receive a wonderful feeling when helping the families." Schuetter recalls a mother liv- ing in poverty. She was only concerned for her son and asked nothing for herself. Her heart would be full of joy if only her son could receive some gifts. Schuetter also remem- bers a mother of a family ask- ing them to provide her with sheets. Many Americans do not include bed sheets on their Christmas lists. Bochert also remembers some of the needy. He recalls one family consisting of four generations who were living in a three-bedroom apartment. They owned a couch, a card table, a chair, and one or two mattresses which rested on the floor. Another volunteer recalls a very young mother with four children living in a home which was literally falling apart. After the donors purchase the gifts, they can either de- liver the presents to the family or leave them at the Catholic Charities Bureau's office. One volunteer, who helped deliver the presents to the families, will always remember a family crying tears of joy and thank- ing them over and over. For that family, it was one of the greatest gift of love they had ever received. The families that are helped through this program are very appreciative. In fact, Bochert states that "many families who were once helped through the program are now donors." For the donors as well as the needy families, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning. It is no longer a season of Santa Claus and presents, it is a time of giving. Too often we forget the true meaning of Christmas. God gave us the greatest gift, his Son. This Christmas give the gift of hope, remember the poor and needy with your contributions and prayers DEWIG BROS. PACKING CO. FRESH MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA I i I I iiii I TEKOPPLE BLOCK 1701 West Ohio 422-2491 or 422-2416 00/A'NI}ERBURGH CO. RIGHT TO LIFE 473-3195 Evansville, IN Peace and Good Will Toward Men Along with our best wishes of the season go thoughts of thanks to our many friends. FLECK INSURANCE, INC. Jasper, Indiana THE HERALD OF DUBOIS COUNTY