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Evansville, Indiana
December 25, 1987     The Message
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December 25, 1987

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December 25, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana SO u n ds of Co u n try Christmas message is still t same: we have nothing to fear By S.E. DURCHOLZ What was it like that night nearly 2000 years ago? Joseph and Mary weren't traveling on a paved highway as they mae their way from Nazareth in Galilee, to the town of Bethlehem in Judea to register for the census. There must have been many ruts and rocks in the roadway to stumble over. It appears that their journey could have covered almost 50 miles through countryside where mountain ridges were around 2000 feet or more high. Therefore the way must have bee.very difficult, enough to test even the energies and perseverence of the most able- bodied. Think of how ex- hausting it must have been for ill Mary in the final days before giving birth. The journey must have been several days in length and not a one-day trip as we sometimes assume. When the sun went down in the evening it grew cold. Their only light would have been that of an oil lamp. Joseph and Mary probably spent the nights of the journey in the open, huddled up against the shelter of a large rock or some bushes. Coming near Bethlehem after the long tiring journey, they would not have seen a town all aglow with street lights as we would today. Neither would they have been greeted by brilliant neon signs declaring the best place to stay in town. At best, they found only a crude MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM I,St. Vincent de Paul Store 767 E. WALNUT STREET- EVANSVlLLE INDIANA One of the most true direct charities in existence anywhere. Please shop our stores when possible. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! hand-printed sign on a post or tree telling them they had arrived at the right place. Mary's time of fulfillment had come. Surely, she had all the first time fears of any mother, the weary feet and burdened all the more by necessity of making a very dif- ficult journey in her final days. We are left to our own con- clusions as to whether the inn- keepers really didn't have any vacancies, or they just took one look at this pathetic travel weary couple and decided they didn't want a room messed up by a woman giving birth. Perhaps the innkeepers should have used better judg- ment. Little did they know that their inn could have gone down in history as the place where Christ was born. So as the story goes, Joseph and Mary ended up in a stable where Christ was born amidst the animals and was laid in a manger. Later, three shepherds (farmers if you will) came by, drawn by a bright star in the sky. Biblical commentary says these shepherds were con- sidered to be amongst the lowest strata of Jewish society, on a par with prostitutes and tax collectors. However, it was they who first came to pay respects, ac- cepting without question the simple message the angel brought to them in the fields: "You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you...tidings of great joy to be shared by the whole people. This day in David's city a savior has been born to you, the Messiah and Lord." The message is still simple. The message is still the same. We still have nothing to fear. The good news is still the good news. But the journey still hasn't gotten any easier. Funds for CTNA are not a'subsidy' By TRACY EARLY NEW YORK (NC) -- Money provided to the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America from the annual Catholic Communication Cam- paign collection should be viewed as a "purchase of ser- vices" rather than as a "sub- sidy," the term commonly used thus far, the network's presi- dent said. The official, Father Bernard R. Bonnet, who was named president of the U.S. bishops' satellite communications net- work last March, said in an in- terview that the "purchase of services" concept, if not necessarily the terminology, was in a proposal he submitted to the Catholic Communication Campaign for consideration in January. Although the "services" could be itemized, he said, they would not be direct services to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and U.S. Catholic Conference, but ser- vices to the church in a more general sense. The network, which had been SENIORS You will receive a BIG welcome at Oak Tree Village 1 Bedroom $150 month/SELECTED APTS. $99 Me. NEED A RIDE? CALL US AND WE WILL ARRANGE IT WE CARE ABOUT OUR SENIORS 310 N. Rotherwood 477-5574 I I expected to achieve a balanced budget within three years of its formation by the bishops in 1981, remains a deficit opera- tion, and funds from the annual national communications col- lection have been used tokeep the network operating. Some critics have argued that pro- ceeds from the collection should be used instead to finance programming rather than network facilities. Father Bonnet was interview- ed after he gave a report on the network Dec. 10 to the Tri-State Catholic Committee on Radio and Television, an organization of church broadcasters and communicators. NEIDIG Wishing You A Merry Christmas! And A Happy New Year The elves who write, edit, pu nd distribute "'The Message" each week throughout the year.