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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
March 7, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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March 7, 1998

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ARKANSAS C.g CATHOLIC March 7, |998 Page 11 A first-grader looks at his teacher ]kah0 puzzled after she talks to the Class ut the death of Jesus, on the cross. .Fie asks, Jesus is dead? The teacher reminded that Jesus death is an im- portant lesson but so is His triumphant resurrection. During the Lenten season on our Way to celebrating the "feast of feasts," i we recall the passion and death of Jesus. The literal or symbolic death of I Christians is reheated over history. Jesus accepted his death on the cross J 9r.the salvation of the world. Other early Christians died for the faith, too. i When religious men and women another name of a saint as they Profess their vows, they are symboliz- ing the death of the former selves. Con- then Christ has not been raised; if Christ firmation candidates take their patron has not been raised, then our preaching saint's name or another Christian name is in vain and your faith is in vain ... But as a symbol. During baptism, our sins in fact Christ has been raised from the are buried or die in the water, dead, the first fruits of those who have These literal and symbolic deaths are fallen asleep" (1 Cot 15:12-14). not complete without mentioning the res- We can see another powerful symbol urrecdon. Yes, Jesus died, but he rose of death and resurrection in the Eves of again. The communion of saints were those affected by the March 1, 1997, tot- resurrected and intercede for us. Reli- nadoes. Those who were killed in the gious men and women and confirmation disaster ended their earthly life, but be- candidates take on their names to sym- gan a greater life with Christ. Others saw bolize new life in Christ. their material lives torn in pieces, never Our Catholic faith requires us to be- to be reclaimed. But the hundreds of lieve in resurrection, homeless and injured were able to re- "How can some of you say that there build their Eves. They put their commu- is no resurrection of the dead? But if nities back together with the help ofvol- there is not resurrection of the dead, unteers. It was a hopeful scene that many people refused to be defeated by the loss of their home or business. They wanted to see their new life rise from the rubble. As the people in southwest and cen- tral Arkansas continue to heal and oth- ers across the country affected by other weather-related disaster begin to re- cover, we pray that they see the hope- fulness in the resurrection. especially to address this letter to _ Y brother priests in the diocese;with- ly'eXcluding others. In August 1980 our Father, John Paul II, announced the Provision through which, because h. ye Compassion and visionary faith of P McDonald also, I was eventually urt]ained a Catholic priest in 1988. W.Ould be incorrect to describe the Since as "sweet;" and on ordination the btshop looked into my eves and air[ -/ t, a, /ou know, Alan, you are not going c~get off of this cross." He was, of course, ect, but the years of our family being i the ~ ~ . '~nurch have been if not sweet, ~ly blessed and a cause for frequent J tci g. P as,in- ain Wnt to digress and remember in g that our Holy Father was a true rer. He sweated in quarries and in es. His love for workin o le was eve, ,,- g pe p [ff , : meoretical. He had a tragic young including many close deaths and gteCtion of t iends." He was and is also artist, a fine playwright, poet and besides being a genuinely creative . profound theolnoqan Our emulation so-- --t,- mentification with him is a spe- cial treasure of priests in these strange, and per- haps ultimate, times, But espedally, I wanted to thank my brother priests for acceptance, for encourage- ment, for forgive- ness, for latitude and for their un- tiring fraternity Ft. Alan Rosenau and example. My family and I have always felt ac- cepted, appreciated, supported and nur- tured. And perhaps it is important to say, as perhaps only I can, that the manner in which we came into the Church and I was given opportunity to serve as a presbyter, was indeed, exactly as articulated: a pastoral provision. It was not a political move for a married priest- hood. It was not some ploy to "get priests." Indeed, it never indicated or intended such a thing. There are about 90 men in the provision in this country and perhaps three times that worldwide, you, for Christ. We enter extraordinary, for which I believe we may all rejoice, perilous, promising and challenging days; but because it represents an historical these millennial years move on toward expression of faith and pastoral care not the fulfillment of our faith and redemp- anything less Christlike or pragmatic, tion. I wish to thank especially the Sisters It would be unjust and thoughtless of of Mercy for their generous help, sup- us not to say "Thank you" andlove port and collaboration, in some special you" and thank God in every remem- way to rejoice in the opportunity to serve brance of you. In this my 25th year of day to day with my brother priest in the ordained ministry, my ninth as a Catho- Southwest Deanery under the deanship lic priest, a poor and wounded sinner, a of Msgr. Leo Riedmueller. My opportu- seeker into Truth, on behalf of us all, nides have been both genuine and chal- Timothy, Elizabeth, Jonne and myself, I lenging, and I look forward, as a weak thank you bishop, the Holy Father, and and sinful human being (but a priest most especially all of my brother priests forever) to each new day. I am humbled for the continuing opportunity to be to know that my brother priests feel and myself and to witness to the everlasting show that I am one with them, although Gospel in this sacred place called "unique and unusual" as indeed we are ms. all. But that is never easy to live out or We all can know together, if we will, affirm, that He who has called us together into In May my family and I will mark our this holy work is faithful and shall cora- l Ith year of coming home into commun- plete in His good pleasure what He has ion with Peter and the whole Church. begun, for He is faithful and He will do We thank God and each of you for grant- it. ing us haven, healing and pastoral provi- Father Alan Rosenau is the chaplain at St. sion, as well as an opportunity to per- Joseph Regional Health Center in Hot Springs. haps evidence something of our love, with He was an Episcopal priest until 1988. 85% 73% 61% 57% 46% 'Putting on Christ' takes on new meaning with WWJD merchandise Do you wear your Christianity on your sleeve? You can, you know. You can wear it on your sleeve, on your wrist, on a medal around your neck, on your ball cap, as a bro(xh, a lapel pin, on your keydmin--- even on the bumper ofyour car. For centuries, Christians have worn outward signs of their faith in the forms of medals and necklaces with crosses and VWJD?" items. Hats, shim, jewelry, you name it, are emblazoned with initials that remind us that the decision-making pro- cess in every situation should include the question, "What would Jesus do?" Of course, these items also can be merely fashionable accessories, a fad, a good idea overdone by over-marketing. Still, we can use plenty of reminders of the values to which Jesus calls us. So often in the heat of conflict, emotions like an- ger and self-centeredness supersede Chris- dan principles of love of God and love of neighbor. We forget to ask when faced with difficult choices what Jesus would do in a similar situation. Wearing dothes or costume jewelry with a religious motif is not everybody's spiritu- ality. Wearers of the brown scapular-- crucifixes. But for the most part, those were I low-key admissions of membership in themeant to be worth underneath clothing church, and, if we are honest about it, at and unseen by others -- are an example times merely fashionable jewelry, that we can have personal reminders of Now, fueled by evangelical Christians our Christian calling without intentionally who proclaim their faith more openly, the putting it on display. commercialization of personal religious On the other hand, ,wo hl't it be ideal if =10% expression has gone big time. thorn who wore the "WWJD? were aho tho Among the latest trend you will find in about whom others would q_ook at those ,, lm; llup 1998 CNS Or0#it~ religious-goods stores and catalogs are the Calfisfiam, how they love one another."